Schools

PLAN2 data collection requirements cut

June 18, 2018

The Department of Education has responded positively to Federation’s call for a significant reduction in the workload associated with data collection for PLAN2 in the Early Action for Success (EAfS) schools.

A Memorandum to Principals authored by Deputy Secretaries Georgina Harrison and Murat Dizdar states, “we are removing all system requirements for data collection in term 2” in relation to the learning progressions.

The same memorandum indicates a significant reduction in requirements for the rest of this year. Rather than collecting and recording PLAN2 data for seven sub-elements of the Literacy and Numeracy progressions, schools are now provided with a choice of two options.

  • Monitor 5-10 students in each class from K-2 against the Learning Progressions for the seven identified sub-elements
  • Ensure assessment information is entered in PLAN2 by the end of the term, noting that it is advisable to enter data in the system as you go.

Or

  • Monitor all K-2 students against just one literacy and one numeracy sub-element
  • Ensure assessment information is entered in PLAN2 by the end of the term, noting that it is advisable to enter data in the system as you go.

In correspondence to, and meetings with, the Department, Federation argued that the implementation of PLAN2 created excessive workload related to the expectations regarding data collection and the problems associated with using PLAN2 as a “tool”.

Federation utilised member’s comments drawn from the workload survey and in correspondence to Federation to identify the key issues including:

  • “The micro level to which teachers are expected to be assessing and plotting children is beyond ridiculous. It is a checklist and feels to teachers as though it is ticking boxes for the sake of ticking boxes. It is by no means helping teachers to track their children and plan for future teaching/ learning. In fact, it is taking them away from planning and teaching.”
  • “Moving from continuums to progressions and dealing with time-sucking PLAN2 software, only to gather non-mandatory data that isn’t entirely a reflection of syllabus documents, has been introduced poorly with little meaningful support.”
  • “I don’t mind collecting and reporting on data, my issue is that using programs like PLAN means up to 40 per cent of my time is spent waiting for the program to load.”
  • “We are expected to navigate through this new system and re-enter all PLAN data into the new system yet have been given less time to do so.”
  • “The biggest concerns with progressions is that we have progressions and reports all due at the same time. I’m wasting more and more of my teaching time to record data.”

The significant cut in terms of the data collection requirements will provide more time for members to implement the process. More importantly the additional time will allow for the Department and Federation to discuss the impact of the data collection requirements on teaching the syllabuses and teacher workload. Federation will also pursue issues raised around the functionality of the software and relevant professional learning.

The Department’s memorandum does not prevent teachers from choosing to monitor and assess additional students or sub-elements. However, it is clear that the Department does not require, and has not mandated, data collection other than the choices specified in the memorandum.

Schools that have voluntarily engaged with the use of PLAN2 and/or the implementation of learning progressions have no mandated requirements set by the Department.

If members have concerns about the implementation and use of PLAN2 and for ALAN they should discuss this with their Workplace Committee and Organiser. Federation will continue to pursue concerns raised by members with the Department.

Joan Lemaire Deputy President