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Valuing the teaching profession — An independent inquiry
Attention will be drawn to the extent and complexity of changes to the nature of members’ work when an independent inquiry investigates the value of the work of teachers and principals over the next 12 months.
“The profession is experiencing unprecedented changes in its work requiring a greater level of skills and a range of additional responsibilities,” Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said.
“It’s been nearly 20 years since the previous examination of the nature and value of teachers’ work.
“Since that time there have been significant changes in schools including changes to curriculum, technology, students’ needs, school complexity and parental and community expectations.
“Teachers and principals have been working in a context of ever-changing government priorities and prescriptions, social expectations and conflicting demands on school operations and teachers’ and principals’ time.”
Next term, members will be encouraged to write submissions to the inquiry, recounting the intensification and changing nature of their work.
Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney and former West Australian Premier The Hon Dr Geoff Gallop AC, is chairing the inquiry. He will be joined by the former Justice of the NSW Industrial Court and Deputy President of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission Dr Tricia Kavanagh and former the head of the NSW Institute of Teachers Patrick Lee.
The terms of reference and the calling for submissions are expected to be announced later this term.
During next term the panel of experts plan to collect relevant background material and documentation on changes to teachers’ work since 2004.
A number of site visits and public hearings, to be held across the state, will be programed for term 3.
The panel will deliberate in term 4 and expect to present their findings and recommendations in February 2021.
|Investigations highlight working conditions|
Inquiry into the provision of public education in NSW (2002): Federation co-sponsored the inquiry along with the Federation of Parents and Citizens Association. Media coverage of the Vinson inquiry’s hearings, conducted in different parts of the state, gave attention to the circumstances of public school students and teachers. The inquiry’s findings provided a basis for Federation’s campaigning for several years. Momentum provided by the Vinson inquiry’s recommendations assisted the union in achieving a reduction in class sizes in the infants’ years.
Work value case in the NSW Industrial Commission (2003/04): Dozens of Federation witnesses gave evidence on changes to teachers’ work since the previous work value case in 1991/92. The judgment referred to “revolutionary” changes in teachers’ work and delivered salary increases of between 12 and 20 per cent over two years, depending on classification. (Current legislation does not facilitate a work value case in the Industrial Relations Commission.)
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