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Snippets 4 August 2006.
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A) Meeting With Director-General

Representatives of the ISEA State Council met with the Director-General (Andrew Cappie-Wood), the Deputy Director-General (Trevor Fletcher) and the General Manager, Industrial Relations and Employment Services (Peter Riordan) on the 26th July to discuss a range of topics nominated by the ISEA. In each instance a commitment or response in writing was sought from Director-General.

The topics discussed and responses requested included:

  • Teaching Experience and Education Qualifications for Senior DET Positions.
    The ISEA sought a commitment from the DET that the ISEA will be consulted prior to the advertisement of senior positions, including CEO positions, where extensive school experience and post-graduate studies in education are deemed to be not necessary.

  • The establishment of Senior Officer positions at the expense of Chief Education Officer positions.
    The ISEA sought a full disclosure by the DET of its intentions in regard to unfilled CEO positions and as to the future of the CEO classification as a whole.

  • The temporary/permanent status of advertised positions.
    The ISEA sought the opportunity to peruse all advertisements for CEO positions before they are placed in publications.

  • Career Progression Opportunities for CEOs
    The ISEA sought a firm commitment from the DET that a policy for the Career progression of CEOs will be developed in consultation with the ISEA and that immediate opportunities will be identified.

  • Professional development for DET staff in senior positions including induction for CEOs and opportunities for international study.
    The ISEA again sought a commitment to the professional development of CEOs and asked that a clear and specific indication be given of how that commitment will be honoured and that the applications for support from officers taking part in the 2006 ISEA Study Tour will be considered on their merits.

  • The Role of the ISEA in Supporting the DET
    The ISEA sought from the D-G his ideas on how the ISEA might best support the policies, programs and achievements of the DET.

The meeting was congenial with a full discussion taking place around each of the topics raised by the ISEA.

The Director-General undertook to provide a written response to the ISEA’s requests.

Members will be provided with the D-G’s response when it is received.

B) Meeting With the NSW Teachers Federation

Representatives of the ISEA State Council met with the General Secretary (John Irving) and staff members of the NSW Teachers Federation the 20th July to discuss matters of mutual interest.

The topics discussed included:

  • Teaching experience and education qualifications for senior DET positions
    The ISEA and Teachers Federation share a concern about the growing numbers of senior positions, within the DET, that do not require extensive teaching experience and post-graduate qualifications in education. While it is conceded that not all senior positions should require such criteria there are key positions where an extensive knowledge of the operation and culture of schools and of current research is clearly essential.

    Both organisations believe that it is not in the interests of schools (students, parents and teachers) to have such key positions filled by staff without such experience and qualifications.

    The ISEA and Teachers Federation will take up the issue with the Minister, the Director-General and other key groups before further action is considered.

    Meanwhile members are asked to notify the ISEA of advertised positions where it is believed that extensive school experience and post-graduate qualifications in education should have been included as essential criteria.

  • The establishment of Senior Officer positions to the detriment of Chief Education Officer positions.
    The ISEA and the Teachers Federation have noted that in “Out of School locations” there has been an increase in Public Service positions at the expense of Education Teaching Service positions. In particular, the disestablishment or non-advertisement of Chief Education Officer positions, while there has been a rapid increase in the numbers of Senior Officer positions, is of concern. Likewise the non-advertisement of established Senior Education Officer and Principal Education Officer positions is not considered to be in the interest of the support services needed by schools.

    Both organisations will seek detailed data in relation to this matter be fore pursuing it with the Director-General.

  • Temporary/permanent status of advertised positions.
    As members of both organisations are aware the issue of the inconsistent advertising by the DET of positions as either “Permanent” or “Temporary” has been a major concern for several years. Both the ISEA and the Teachers Federation have found it necessary to approach the Industrial Relations Commission in recent years to resolve disputes where it was believed the DET had breached agreements over the matter.

    Again in recent months both the ISEA and the Teachers Federation have drawn the DET’s attention to the advertisement of positions as “Temporary” contrary to the written agreement signed with the DET.

    Unfortunately the DET, despite accepting the incorrect advertising of some positions as “Temporary”, has declined to withdraw the advertisements and re-advertise them as “Permanent.”

     This is an entirely unacceptable situation to the ISEA and Teachers Federation which only leads to a proliferation of “Temporary” positions and uncertain career prospects for hard working and highly skilled officers.

    The two organisations will cooperate in identifying positions incorrectly advertised and will immediately take them up with the Director-General. If necessary the IRC’s involvement will be sought if breaches of the agreement are not rectified.

    The associated matter of the “Right of Return” conditions applying to long-term Temporary CEOs is also of major concern to the ISEA. A series of case studies is being prepared and they will be presented to the DET in order to negotiate a case-by-case consideration of each situation.

C) Scheduled Meeting with Minister

The Minister has agreed to meet representatives of the ISEA’s State Council on the 20th September.

While a list of topics for discussion has yet to be forwarded to the Minister it is likely that the ISEA will nominate several of the issues taken up with the Director-General (see A above) and the NSW Teachers Federation (B above) and in particular the growing trend in the DET to remove the requirement for extensive school experience and post-graduate qualifications in education for senior administrative positions.

D)  ISEA Professional Development Activities.

The ISEA has conducted, or is planning, a range of Professional development activities for 2006 including:

  •  A Breakfast Session featuring ACER’s Deirdre Jackson demonstrating the on-line student assessment program “iAchieve” Held at the Ryde College of TAFE the session attracted ISEA members, State and Regional colleagues, principals and teachers interested in this contemporary and flexible mode of student assessment.

  • A Professional Dinner held in the CBD following the ISEA’s Annual General Meeting. The after-dinner speaker was Dr Melinda Mangin, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the Michigan State University, who spoke of the demands on school leaders in the USA and the range of training offered by school systems and universities for aspiring school leaders.

  • The number and depth of questions to Dr Magin posed by the ISEA members, colleagues and friends was a fair indication of the significance of the topic in Australia and the USA.

  •  A Lunch Time Session held at the Ryde State Office featuring Ms Judy O’Brien, Senior Lecturer at the Teacher Education Faculty of the Michigan State University (MSU). Ms O’Brien spoke of the mentoring program conducted by MSU in cooperation with Michigan School districts for exit-students from the University. The MSU program identifies, trains and pays experienced teachers to act as mentors to beginning-teachers for the first 3 years of their careers.

    The gathering of several ISEA members, State and Regional colleagues, principals and teachers stayed well after the scheduled completion of the session to discuss the MSU’s innovative Mentoring program with Judy O’Brien.

  •  2006 ISEA Study Tour On Track
    The ISEA’s Study Tour to the USA and Canada, to be conducted in October this year, is scheduled to visit a range of educational institutions and educators in Seattle (USA), Lethbridge, Calgary and Vancouver Island (Canada). Assisted by Professor Paul Shaw of the University of British Columbia and Professor Richard Butt of the University of Lethbridge the Tour promises to be as informative (and demanding) as the Study Tour conducted by the ISEA to the UK and Germany in 2005.

E)  Legal and Financial Services Available to ISEA Members.

ISEA members and potential members are reminded that the ISEA is able to arrange for legal and financial advice as required.

Newly appointed SES members are offered expert advice by Jones Staff and Co prior to signing a Contract with the DET. Financial advice is available to all members through the experienced services of Chifley Financial Services.

F)   Membership Details and Application Form, see the ISEA’s Website

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This page last updated 3 March 2008