The final acts of outgoing NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli were among his most contemptuous of teachers in the non government sector. Legislation passed last year following the review of BOSTES reduced the number of elected teachers to the Quality Teaching Committee (QTC) formerly the Quality Teaching Council, from 11 teachers to five.
This reduction was a recommendation from the BOSTES review panel, although no case was made in their report for the reduction, and none of the published submissions suggested lessening the representation of teachers. Several actually recommended increasing elected teacher participation.
The panel claimed to be “strongly of the view that representation of the teaching profession should be retained on a recast Quality Teaching Committee” yet bizarrely and illogically sought to do that by reducing teacher input.
Like most legislation the detail and structural operations are spelt out in the regulations. In the dying moments of his time as Minister, Piccoli quietly released the regulations which would distribute those five elected positions, three to government school teachers and principals, one to teachers in early childcare centres and one to teachers and principals in the non government sector. An additional regulation directed that an interim QTC would consist of the elected teachers who got the largest number of votes in the 2015 election. Piccoli did this knowing that only one of the three electoral colleges he had amalgamated had a contested election. For the other two who were elected unopposed, no votes were cast, so those elected members were excluded.