Over the last few years, Lismore Catholic School Office (CSO) has been developing and trialing a teacher development program called Cycles of Improvement (COI). COI is supported by online infrastructure, and will stand participating teachers in good stead when it comes to compulsory BOSTES teacher accreditation and maintenance of accreditation.
The Lismore COI conforms to the IEU framework for teacher performance and development processes negotiated with Catholic employer representatives during the last round of enterprise agreements.
IEU General Principles (revised):
•The implementation of the framework is to grow from a collaborative and respectful culture.
•The teacher performance and development processes are not akin to grievance or like supervisory practices. They are intended to be formative and affirming.
•Teachers have the right to be supported in their professional enhancement and the responsibility to be engaged in performance and development processes.
•The individual teacher (however described) determines their own professional development plan. While a professional dialogue should occur, the teacher maintains professional control in relation to their plan. Plans should be cognisant of system and school priorities.
•Performance is referenced against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. These standards provide a mechanism for professional learning. They are not intended to act as a checklist.
•Observations are conducted by an agreed upon and trained colleague, and support is provided for this to occur.
Lismore CSO plans to have COI in place across the Diocese by the end of 2017, which will place them in a position to recognise the pre 2004 ‘existing’ teachers as meeting BOSTES proficient teaching standards, without any further process of accreditation and with minimal administrative paperwork for teachers.
The streamlining of compliance requirements is a feature of the 2016 Union agenda.