VET: Serving up more complexity

The IEU has been advised that the Catholic Education Commission has circulated preliminary advice to schools regarding the revised training package SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality.

Students who started a two unit, two year Hospitality course this year will need to transition to the equivalent replacement qualifications. Schools thrive on certainty and this dimension is lacking where such arrangements emerge. For teachers, the changes are considerable.

The specific industry experience – “worked in industry for at least three years where they have applied the skills and knowledge of the units of competency that they are assessing” is enormously difficult for the vast majority of teachers to meet.

As a consequence, a co-assessment model will be developed. This will entail schools sourcing a Hospitality co-assessor (not a trained teacher) to ensure compliance is met. The IEU is seeking discussions to clarify the above matters. It is somewhat disconcerting that teachers cannot assess units of work such as “prepare dishes using basic methods of cookery and serve food and beverage,” among others.

Next generation HSC

The IEU has provided a preliminary response to a BOSTES proposal for evolutionary change to the HSC to be implemented in Year 11, 2018. The Union is not opposed to this proposal, contingent upon:

the standard BOSTES consultative mechanisms being in place as various subjects are further developed, and

that PD be provided at no cost to teachers – especially for the changes to assessment that were foreshadowed in the papers.

The assessment procedures to be reviewed will potentially assist teacher workload as it appears the number and nature of assessment tasks will be more closely prescribed.

A change of emphasis will be sought. That is that tasks do not necessarily mirror the HSC. In the initial response the IEU has indicated that if ‘projects’ emerge as tasks they must be constrained and closely defined. The proposed minimum standards for literacy and numeracy are accompanied by multiple pathways. The notion of common scaling for mathematics is viewed positively. The IEU, while open to an on-screen assessment, would seek additional member input prior to its possible implementation.

A process of recognition

Teachers who began teaching before 1 October 2004 in NSW and haven’t had a break of five years or more will be accredited at Proficient on 1 January 2018. The provisos are:

you have been teaching in the five years before 1 January 2018

you have a current Working with Children Check as of 1 January 2018, and

you pay the $100 fee by the due date (in 2017).

How exactly the exchange of information between employers and BOSTES occurs is still being negotiated, but you can’t create a BOSTES account just yet. This will be created for you closer to 2018.

Misinformation exists regarding the accreditation on 1 January 2018 but know that the following is accurate.

Your current qualifications (including two years trained and three years trained) are fine as long as you don’t take a break from NSW teaching for five years or more.

AITSL in Catholic systemic schools

Catholic systemic schools – What the employers have agreed to

“Over the life of the agreement, the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) will commence discussions in regards to a diocesan wide framework for Teacher Performance and Development. Where a diocese is currently developing a framework, the employer undertakes to consult with the Union. The IEU is to provide a MOU expanding on general principles for the broader framework, with the understanding that it will align to the principles of AITSL’s Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework.“

The IEU is meeting with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations regarding AITSL requirements and will advise members of the outcome.

Work intensification claim moves forward

At the March IEU Council meeting, councillors were provided time to grapple with workload intensification and precisely what items should move forward as a component of the claim to be made on Catholic systemic employers.

The task of the Union will be to take the issues forward, initially at diocesan level to seek commonality and codification of key issues across the 11 dioceses.

Protecting teaching and learning is of key concern to teachers. The multiple intrusions into classrooms must be constrained and managed. The various diocesan workload agreements are a critical plank in establishing boundaries and limits.

IEU Council focussed on were programming requirements, intrusions on RFF, the collection and analysis of data, meetings (of many different forms), class sizes, compliance, accreditation and the dual expectation of meeting BOSTES and Faith Accreditation requirements. Further discussion of these matters will take place at upcoming branch meetings.

Mark Northam
Assistant Secretary