Professional Engagement: 'Best Practice' replacing compliance

Since the release of the NESA Curriculum Fact Sheets it has been encouraging to see Chapters engaging in professional discussions with leadership teams regarding the unnecessary workload generated in the name of compliance.

The IEU has commenced discussions with principals and employer groups to unpack these documents to address workload issues in schools.

Some systems continue to claim that their data collection and record keeping practices, above those required to satisfy minimum regulatory compliance needs, are essential to meet the high standards expected by parents and the school community.

Where this is occurring, the IEU would encourage school leaders to take the parent community on a learning journey so that they might better understand what best practice teaching and learning looks like.

Members are reminded that nowhere in the NESA Fact Sheets does it mention the concept of ‘minimum requirements’. NESA requires schools to be compliant, period. There are no degrees of compliance. There are, however, many degrees of over-compliance and NESA invites schools to consider the purpose of any additional expectations.

Continuous improvements, continuing workload

As excessive compliance issues begin to be addressed in schools, it is becoming obvious that the various professional growth in action or professional performance plans around the state continue to prove burdensome.

Members will recall that these processes were put in place some years ago, as part of AITSLs Teacher Performance and Development Framework, for systems and schools to qualify for funding.

Even though teaching is one of the most visible professions, and a teacher’s adherence to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers is discernible at every moment of the day, excessive processes were put in place requiring teachers to spend time and energy on administrative activities.

The IEU has offered to provide feedback to AITSL around these processes to develop compliance clarifying documentation. The IEU believes that a thriving culture of continuous improvement depends on respect for professional autonomy and the reduction of unnecessary and duplicative workloads. These principles will underpin any feedback we provide.

Pat Devery Professional Engagement Coordinator

Pat Devery
Professional Engagement Coordinator