NCCD process impacts workload of learning support teachers

Pictured above: Working Group members, from left: IEU Professional Officer Patrick Devery; Michiko de Solom, St Columba's Leichhardt; David Parnell, Waverley College; IEU Education Coordinator Veronica Yewdall

As any good union member knows, the working conditions of teachers are the learning conditions for students.

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) process in schools has long been a cause for concern for learning support members.

In late 2020 the IEU conducted a detailed action research survey to establish the extent of the work intensification impact resulting from the NCCD process.

The survey, developed after extensive discussion with a working group of learning support members and an external consultant, attracted strong engagement from members and the data couldn’t be clearer.

Findings from the survey indicated that the NCCD process has a significant impact on workloads for learning support teachers, with nearly half of all respondents reporting they receive no additional release time and are undertaking five or more after school hours per week to complete the process.

It appears the bulk of the NCCD workload across the non-government sector is being carried by a part-time workforce, and in the majority of cases this responsibility usually falls to a single person within the school.

Of significant concern was the revelation that the extensive administrative requirements and staffing limitations divert time and resources from the core work of the learning support staff and that professional development aimed at facilitating the NCCD process is taking priority over professional development specific to supporting students with special needs.

Data duplication

Work intensification practices identified in the NCCD process included the duplication of data across multiple platforms and significant issues with uploading data onto the platform, especially during peak periods.

The IEU is now looking at making recommendations to employer and other relevant state and federal bodies.

High on this list of demands will be workforce planning to staff the NCCD process at the school level, while also allowing the core role of learning support to take place. Other recommendations centre on providing appropriate release time, clarifying and streamlining the evidentiary requirements, and avoiding the layering effect of duplicating data.

Learning support staff are to be congratulated for their strong engagement with this campaign to improve their working conditions and the learning environment for the students in their care.

As good union members know, the working conditions of teachers are the learning conditions for students.

Veronica Yewdall