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First steps towards addressing administrative workload
Federation’s pursuit of concerns raised in the teachers’ workload survey is showing progress with the Department and Minister listening and responding to the issues raised by more than 18,000 members.
Federation and the Department have met twice since Minister Rob Stokes wrote to the union identifying that dealing with the “administrative burden” on teachers is one of his “highest priorities”. The Federation asked the Department to identify the data collection and compliance demands made on schools.
As an initial response, this week the Department deputy secretaries Murat Dizdar and Georgina Harrison wrote to principals advising them they “no longer required any school to provide evidence of implementation in the AZT (A-Z software) in 2018”.
The advice related to the three identified policies of “Sport and Physical Activities Policy”, “Work Health and Safety Policy” and “Bullying of Students – Prevention and Response Policy”.
Schools are still required to implement all of the policies but “are no longer required to enter evidence of implementation”.
Mr Stokes’ letter on 1 June was in response to a briefing provided to the Minister’s Office by Federation’s about the initial results of research project, commissioned by Federation last year, and conducted by a team of academics from Sydney and Curtin universities.
The Minister wrote: “Indeed the findings of the University of Sydney study — that 97.3 per cent of the 18,000 surveyed teachers have reported an increase in administrative duties over the past five years — highlights why reducing this administrative workload is one of my highest priorities.”
Deputy President Joan Lemaire said the subsequent response by the Department regarding A-Z tool is an important recognition of the need to reduce administrative requirements.
The overwhelming response of teachers, executives and principals to our survey has exposed excessive administrative workload and action is being taken to reduce these demands, said Ms Lemaire.The final report of the Understanding Teachers’ Work – the foundation for teaching and learning research by the University of Sydney will be released at Annual Conference.