Page 1

Vol 46 I No.3

Official publication of the Australian Education Union (SA Branch)

May 2014


Independent Public Schools:

What the evidence reveals Inside: u Federal

Budget 2014: An attack on public education

u National

TAFE Day: Support public VET on June 18

Teachers Health Fund now offers Travel Insurance for all teachers. Choose the cover that suits you: Comprehensive Domestic Essentials Multi-trip Cancellation and luggage Travel cover provides: Unlimited medical & hospital expenses^ Unlimited overseas emergency medical assistance^ Customisable cancellation fees & lost deposits* Cover for your luggage & personal effects^ Cover for snow, ski & golf equipment hire should yours be misdirected, stolen, lost or damaged^^

For more information call 1300 728 188 or visit

For the well-being of teachers & their families. ^Sub-limits apply – refer to Your Policy Cover section of the Product Disclosure Statement for details. * You must nominate the benefit limit for Section 2.1 Cancellation Fees & Lost Deposits from the optional amounts made available to you when you purchase your policy. The benefit t limit selected by you will be shown on your Certificate of Insurance. ^^You only have cover for these sections if the relevant Pack has been purchased. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Any advice provided is general advice only and has not taken into consideration your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision in relation to these products, please consider the Teachers Health Fund Travel Insurance Product Disclosure Statement – available at or by calling 1300 728 188. Teachers Federation Health Ltd ABN 86 097 030 414 AR 270 604 is an authorised representative of AGA Assistance Australian Pty Limited ABN 52 097 227 177 trading as Allianz Global Assistance (AFS Licence No. 245631). Teachers Health Fund Travel Insurance is underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 (AFS Licence No. 234708) and issued and managed by Allianz Global Assistance. THF-TI-05/14

Features President’s View

AEU Union Journal Training

Australian Education Union | SA Branch 163 Greenhill Road, Parkside SA 5063 Telephone: 8272 1399 Facsimile: 8373 1254 Email: Editor: Craig Greer AEU Journal is published seven times annually by the South Australian Branch of the Australian Education Union. Deadline Dates Publication Dates #4 June 6 June 25 #5 July 25 August 13 #6 August 29 September 17 #7 October 17 November 5

Gone-ski page 9 The Coalition ‘Unity Ticket’ on Gonski is torn up as budget cuts education funding.

Independent Public Schools:

What the evidence reveals


Inside: u Federal

Budget 2014: An attack on public education


u National

TAFE Day: Support public VET on June 18

Subscriptions: Free for AEU members. Nonmembers may subscribe for $33 per year. Print Post approved PP 531629/0025 ISSN 1440-2971 Cover: AEU Printing: Lane Print

Get involved and make a difference, visit Authorised by Pat Forward, Federal TAFE Secretary, Australian Education Union. 120 Clarendon St, Southbank. 3006

Tafe day -poster.indd 1

What the evidence reveals

Take Action!

pages 11 – 14 Independent Public Schools have been lauded by many but do they benefit students?

page 10 Support public VET on National TAFE Day.

25/03/14 12:41 PM

Advertise in the AEU Journal. Reach over 13,500 members across South Australia.

8272 1399

Letters to the Editor

*Winner of top letter! Dear Editor, As I approach my final year of teaching I’ve come to realise that my service varies from the norm of many of my peers. During forty years with the Department I’ve always been a loyal union member, grateful for their fight for conditions and wages and as a backup if anything ever went wrong. I trained for three years at Wattle Park Teachers’ College under the leadership of the inspirational Colin Thiele. Then it was full-time teaching for five years before resigning to have our family. In 1983 I returned to teaching as a relief teacher (TRT) in primary schools, beginning with an occasional day until our sons were settled at school. Thus my career has continued for over thirty years in this casual capacity, in a job I love. Relieving has not been without its problems. There has often been a lack

of communication with the Department, with fellow TRTs and with schools. (How we would appreciate some form of acknowledgement of our presence at a school by a member of the school’s leadership team!) The uncertainty of when we work is an inevitable consequence of being a casual worker. More recently the rigmarole involved with reapplying for work each year seems an unnecessary exercise. But for me the advantages far outweigh these minor niggles. Our wages are pretty good and we have the option to teach when, where and who we want. This flexibility was crucial in my decision to continue as a TRT. I could stay home with sick children, attend their sports days and other special events, holiday when I wanted and pursue my passions including community involvement, playing golf and radio – most

recently presenting a weekly programme on ABC Local Radio. When finances were tight, supporting two sons at university in the city, I taught much more often. My top priority during my relieving years has been to give the children an enjoyable, different day. I did this by combining their regular programme with elements of me. This was in the form of oral, written and sporting games, art activities, sharing my life experiences (they loved my travel tales) continued over page 3

Best letter in each issue of the AEU Journal will receive two tickets to either Palace Nova Cinemas or the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Email to:


Letters to the Editor Cont. and reading aloud to children of all ages. My pile of Shel Silverstein picture books and various collections of short stories were essential additions to my school bag. I’ve seen many changes over the years. I remember the early days, of being called, each morning, by numerous schools. It was only the first caller who scored a TRT. The establishment of a district booking office solved that problem, enabling relievers as well, to notify schools of their unavailability. I realise, and accept with disappointment, that when I retire after forty years with the South Australian Education Department, there certainly won’t be any gold watch, and probably no acknowledgement at all of my service to education in this state. I do know that I have touched many thousands of children’s lives and this is much more important than any official piece n of paper. Lucy Richards, TRT

Exchange to Japan in 2015

5 Positions Available: 2 Assistant Supervisors of English & 3 Junior Assistant Language Teachers Current teachers of English/ESL/EFL or Japanese are invited to apply for a teaching position in Japan. DECD teachers will be on Leave without Pay for the school year to take up such a position and be employed by the Himeji City Board of Education to assist in municipal junior high schools supporting the local English teacher. The junior position (ALT): salary of approx. $3638 AUD per month plus airfares. Subsidised accommodation and medical cover are provided in Japan. The senior position (ASE): salary of approx. $4469 AUD per month with accommodation and health insurance included. ASEs are required to pay their own airfares. Personal costs remain the responsibility of the teacher. Registered DECD permanent teachers (minimum of three years) are eligible to apply.

Applications due by: Friday 25 July 2014 Enquiries/Applications:

Roberta Spreadbury, Manager International Programs

Email: For further info: 4

KEYS TO MUSIC 2: Handel’s Fireworks

This program features Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks as well the Overture and Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from his Oratorio Solomon. Years 10-12 Wednesday 29 October at 11am & 1.30pm ASO Grainger Studio, $10 per student

Schools Open Rehearsals Years 6-12

Friday 7 November, 9.30am – 11.30am Festival Theatre, FREE. Limited places, bookings essential Conductor: Keith Lockhart (USA) Works by Gershwin BOOKINGS W: E: T: 8233 6253


be part of it LEARNING PROGRAM 2014

President’s View

Just how independent can you get? AEU SA President David Smith says fairness and equity relies on a strong public education system, not so-called “independence”. “...we are asked to blindly accept that if you poke the word ‘private’ into the title, it must be better. Why?”


e have discussed Independent Public Schools (IPS) in these pages on a number of occasions over the last few years. In earlier times it was under the name of Devolution. Recently we have made some analysis of IPS in this country and elsewhere in the Western world. We have researched them in England, Sweden and the USA, in their various iterations and with their varied titles – Free Schools, Academies or Charter Schools. You have to congratulate the advertising nous of those who came up with those superficially appealing names, drawing as they do on the aspirational urges of their target clients. Nearer to home, here in the SA Branch of the AEU, we held a serious discussion about the phenomenon at our first Branch Council meeting this year.

contradiction no longer raises eyebrows. How can a school, or preschool for that matter, be both independent and public? As in those other benighted systems where the appeal of the schools’ names is to snobbery, we are asked to blindly accept that if you poke the word ‘private’ into the title, it must be better. Why? Certain conservative politicians argue – or, rather, merely assert as fact – that what is wrong with public schools is that they are just not sufficiently like private schools. We can’t and don’t accept that.

Nowhere have we found that they can be justified on grounds of educational advantage for the students who attend them. Everywhere they have emerged they have created a two-tiered system, where at least initially the Independent Public Schools have been better resourced.

You have to concede that this phenomenon is persistent, as is the often shrill and irritating urging and barracking that accompanies it. The current federal government is wedded to the notion and seems hell-bent on converting all the States and Territories to their view. Western Australia and Queensland have plunged in. Others haven’t. Curiously, the Coalition government in NSW is also vehemently opposed. The NSW Education minister has read the research and both he and the former Premier have clearly and publicly stated that there is absolutely no evidence to show that students are educationally better off simply because a school converts to IPS status. The South Australian government remains opposed for similar reasons. So do we.

The term has been so often brought into the conversations of even our wisest and most hardened activist members, that the basic irony and apparent self-

Further, when we look deeper into what the protagonists mean by the notion, it’s clear that the independence they promote involves some degree of

autonomy in decision making about such things as personnel and finances. In South Australia we already have a considerable degree of that kind of autonomy. Why take the next step and remove the possibility of statewide guarantees of fairness for all students in our government schools? There is no reason to do so. So, what else do they promise? Could it be greater power over curriculum? We haven’t heard that, but an OECD study produced earlier this year which examined the effects of autonomy on educational performance suggests that, based on the results of the 2012 PISA results – a test, we must acknowledge, which is not an entirely reliable indicator – those countries in which schools had a greater control over the formation and interpretation of the curriculum performed better. Those education systems where schools had more independence in personnel and resource management, did not gain an advantage. Some schools have been courted by politicians and their staff to embrace Independent Public Schools. We strongly counsel against that and support the SA government and DECD in their opposition to the idea. Indeed, our March Branch Council adopted a resolution to urge our members ‘in the absence of any educational evidence’ to resist. What we have is far better. It’s a system with its problems, but it is a system, rather than a scattering of independent units. Maintaining such a system guarantees fairness of staffing and the allocation of resources which match the needs of the students, schools and preschools within it. We need to defend, preserve and continue to improve that, at all costs. n In solidarity, David Smith 5

International Many Africans, particularly many Ugandans, do not want to read. The nature of our economy has reduced many of our citizens into basic means of survival. So people wake up and they think about how to make ends meet – it appears to them that they don’t have time to read books.”

1 Namuwongo market precinct – site of the proposed community library

A library in Uganda AEU member Elisa Resce writes about her recent trip to Uganda with close friend and librarian Megan Davies.


ew Zealander Megan Davies spent two years living and working in Kampala. While she saw a school on every corner, there was a distinct lack of resources. Libraries are practically unheard of, even for school children. Since moving back to New Zealand and then to Australia for work, Megan has been saving with the intention of returning to Namuwongo to open a community library. Her dream is for children from the most impoverished situations to have access to a safe space where they can learn to read and enjoy the world of imagination that books have to offer. Thus, Megan and I (I tagged along for moral support) travelled together to Kampala on a quest for consultation: if the library is to succeed, it must be grassroots, sustainable and community driven.

Community Consultation Megan admitted that she didn’t have high hopes for our short time there. Meetings are hard to organise because “Westerners have a watch, but Ugandans have all the time in the world!” What we didn’t expect was the snow6

“The nature of our economy has reduced many of our citizens into basic means of survival ... people wake up and they think about how to make ends meet ...” ball effect of one meeting with the Mayor of Makindye, Ian Clarke. Ian listened to Megan’s vision for five minutes before interrupting to call his Personal Assistant. Before we knew what was happening, we were back on boda-bodas and flying around the countryside, meeting school teachers, NGO workers, university officers, and finally the Deputy Director of Education of the KCCA (Kampala City Central Authority) himself. We soon discovered that Megan’s passion for cultural transformation through reading is shared by many.

Developing a Reading Culture “We have a challenge in this country,” says Robert Kayiki, an officer at Kampala Library and Information Centre. “The challenge is a poor reading culture.

The Kampala Library and Information Centre is a growing resource, but being in central Kampala it is largely inaccessible to wider community members, and books are not available for borrowing. However KCCA is working on a number of reading initiatives, including camps for children with activities to inspire a love of reading. Robert was pleased to support a grassroots community library, particularly because its initial focus will be for children. “In our country,” Robert says, “we have an adage that says, ‘A tree is bent to the right shape while it is still green, for if an attempt is made to bend it after it has become brown it might break.’ The old people are already “bent”, so our strategic intervention is with the young ones.”

Close to Home Arnette Akello, personal assistant to Mayor Ian Clarke, shared some of the challenges Ugandan education faces. “Initially there was a lot of corruption, there were no background checks – anyone could come and set up a school,” Arnette explains. “It’s about making money. Some teachers would come in, put their bags down, and for the whole day they would do their own business, leaving the children unattended. Sometimes very bad accidents would happen because the little toddlers were not attended to.” However, Arnette is hopeful that things are changing. There has been a recent overhaul in the Kampala City Central Authority with a crackdown on all forms of corruption, especially taking bribes. Now the KCCA has a much stronger and passionate team. “People are working aggressively, and they are loving their job. Another thing is the salary is good now. Back then the salary was so little; from 400,000 shillings ($200AUD) to 3 million ($1500AUD) a month, and we are being paid promptly. It makes a very big continued over page 3

Vice President’s Report difference. And the working environment is a lot better. There is now no reason for someone to take a bribe, especially to risk your job.” Now KCCA’s passionate team is on board, school inspections are occurring and requirements are being met. Rather than closing schools, KCCA is committed to helping them achieve standards by providing them with appropriate equipment and training, or connecting them with NGOs and other donors. “I am feeling very hopeful about the way education is going at the moment. The team that we have now, especially the Director of Education, is very passionate. They are not there to just earn their salary. They are owning their job.”

Teaching Conditions Despite the fact that education is supposed to be free, Arnette explains, “we still don’t have enough resources, especially financial, to manage and maintain public schools well. Before the schools turned into free education schools, they were performing better. But they have completely gone down, because the number of staff (has decreased). They pay them only little, and they don’t pay them promptly, so the teachers are moving into the private sector.” The teachers’ union has been working hard, coordinating strikes in an effort to see salaries increase, but so far they have been given only empty promises. While Arnette remains hopeful that the situation will change this year, she acknowledges that change will be slow. “They are thinking that if they increase it for the teachers, then the nurses will come in, the doctors will come in and so they want to be sure that they can manage.” But Arnette is thrilled with the concept of a Namuwongo community library. “There is a big gap between a child who has been raised in a slum in Namuwongo and a child who is studying in at Greenhill Academy. What we hope for this community library is that no matter which school you attend or which area you are from, the child can access the same books and achieve the same education. If all children have access to a place with computers and electricity, we will all be at the same level. If there is a balance, then there is hope.” n

Teacher Recruitment and Selection – what does the data tell us? AEU Vice President Jan Murphy reports The AEU recently received data from DECD about Teacher Recruitment and Selection and placements for this year. It shows some really important and interesting outcomes of the process and what’s been happening for members. When members contact the Union or we catch up at committee or area meetings, Branch Council, conferences or at training, we hear about your experiences with these DECD processes. Maybe you’ve been looking for TRT work or a contract, have been applying for permanent jobs, or are looking to transfer. Your experiences tell us how the policies are working for you and possibly for other members. At times, members’ experiences and their sense of a lack of fairness in the system are borne out by the overall data and we need to address issues through seeking policy change. At other times the statistics show us things are not as we may first think, that there are many positive outcomes and that we need to support individual members in a more ‘case by case’ manner rather than by looking to change policy. The data around the placement of teachers shows that the number of ongoing positions advertised had decreased over the last two years. This raises some important questions that must be put to DECD. Why is the number decreasing? How do these figures compare with retirement rates? How will DECD reach permanency targets if there are fewer ongoing vacancies? And what can we do to increase the number of ongoing positions? Do we need to pursue further policy change? System change? What can sub-branches and PACs do? Over 400 ongoing teaching jobs were

“The data around the placement of teachers shows that the number of ongoing positions advertised had decreased over the last two years.” advertised for 2014. 64 were won by teachers who were already permanent with DECD and 9 by graduates. Over 300 teachers who had been TRTs or on contract won ongoing positions and, interestingly, there is a broad spread of teachers at each tier among these successful applicants. This shows that our experienced employable members are winning ongoing positions, as well as those who are new educators. Just over half the successful applicants were already working in the school where the jobs were advertised, a decrease when compared with previous years but still an issue for many members. Only one teacher was converted to permanency! This clearly needs to be addressed. 86 contract positions were advertised. 22 were won by teachers already in the schools where the jobs were advertised, 53 were won by teachers previously employed by DECD, and 15 by graduates. The figures show that we need to keep working to see increases in the number of ongoing positions that are declared and advertised and that members, be they graduates, new educators or more experienced teachers, are given every opportunity to gain permanent, secure employment. Questions always need to be asked and policies always need review and improvement. AEU members must continue to demand higher levels of permanency and fair and equitable processes. n 7



Teaching on The Lands – a great experience Anangu Schools Principal Manager Ann Marquard says great opportunities exist in remote communities Are you a passionate graduate or an experienced Early Childhood educator who would love an interesting and very rewarding experience in your career? Have you ever considered the possibility of working in a remote Indigenous school in the far north-west region of South Australia , the remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands?

Currently, there are a variety of Early Years (Birth – 5) teaching positions available! Tarsha Howard from Amata Community started as a graduate preschool teacher on The Lands. Now in her second year of teaching she is the Early Years Coordinator at her school. Tarsha loves living and working in the tight-knit Anangu community, and says that it is the most rewarding and unique cultural experience that is like no other. “Being able to live and work with Anangu is a privilege. I feel like a valued member of the community and I know I am making a difference by providing a quality learning environment which is culturally relevant for Anangu children,” Tarsha said. Apart from the rewarding relationships Tarsha has formed while working in the APY Lands, she has found that professionally there have been a variety of experiences that have allowed her to grow as a teacher, network within the profession and provide leadership in an area which is her true passion. n

If you are interested in enquiring further, please feel free to contact: Ann Marquard, Principal Manager Early Years, Anangu Schools Ernabella Office:

P: 0419 814 821 E: : ann.marquard11@



No way to “so gay” LGBTI students need our support says John Pirie Secondary School teacher Cara Fiebig “That shirt is gay.” “That hair cut is gay.” “We lost netball on the weekend, gay!” These are just some of the ways the word gay is used by students and, quite frighteningly, by staff in our schools. Speaking as a former student, I attended a rural school where using the word ‘gay’ as a replacement for ‘stupid’ was the norm. While I may have used it to mask my own insecurities as an adolescent struggling to come to terms with a sexual orientation different to that of my peers. Others used it as another way to slander their mates. Whatever the reason an individual used ‘gay’ in this way, it is homophobic and it was, and still is, wrong. After attending the ‘Speak Up: Safe schools for all!’ workshop in Port Pirie, I was able to reflect on how LGBTI students are affected by homophobia in schools today, particularly in rural areas. I was shocked to discover that so many of the kids in our rural areas are turning to suicide as a way to escape homophobic behaviour. I mean, surely there is somewhere that these kids can get the help they need? Actually, no! As an educator and member of the rural and LGTBI communities, I was astounded to learn that in my location there are no support services available to help kids who are having trouble dealing with issues surrounding homophobia, their sexuality and gender identity. As participants of the workshop we discussed what we as educators can do

to ensure the safety of LGBTI youth. This is what we come up with: 1. For some schools, the first step may be to include homophobia and transphobia in their anti-bullying and harassment policies and make staff, students and the school community aware of the fact. 2. Providing training and information relating to LGTBI issues will help staff build confidence in dealing with homophobia. 3. Speak up! Challenge homophobic language like ‘that’s so gay’ in your classrooms. This can be extremely powerful for LGBTI students to see and hear! 4. Offer support. LGBTI students who can identify and have access to supportive staff are likely to feel safer at school. The invisibility of positive LGBTI information and conversation in schools can send extremely negative messages to same-sex attracted youth. In rural areas where the acceptance of LGBTI people is constantly challenged, it can sometimes be a difficult place for a same-sex attracted child to grow up. The ‘Speak Up: Safe schools for all!’ workshop made me realise that we are in a unique position to have an incredibly positive influence on the safety and wellbeing of LGTBI youth. If we can all influence just one LGTBI student’s life, imagine the lives we could save. n

For more information on what you can do to advocate for LGBTI students and staff at your school, check out the AEU’s Moodle at:

: >Your AEU>Interest 8 Groups>GLBTI

sustainability Federal Budget 2014

Coalition ‘unity ticket’


Treasurer Joe Hockey’s first federal budget has delivered a savage blow to South Australian public school students, cutting over $450 million in funding promised by the Coalition at the federal election in September.


heartless selling-out of the most disadvantaged in our communities is the best way to describe the Coalition’s approach to education funding, with Tony Abbott binning the so-called “unity ticket”, breaking his promise to honour the ALP’s Gonski agreement with the Weatherill state government. “Joe Hockey’s budget speech confirms what was revealed in the Commission of Audit report, that the Better Schools plan will conclude two years early in 2017. This announcement effectively duds South Australian schools out of two-thirds of the Gonski funding, which was to be delivered in 2018 and 2019,” says AEU SA President David Smith. The Better Schools (Gonski) plan would have provided extra support for students with disabilities, increased literacy and numeracy support, and more one to one attention for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. “This is an incredibly short-sighted decision from a government that claims to be acting in the best interests of the nation,” said Mr Smith “The Gonski review highlighted the urgent need for a more equitable needsbased funding system that would give more children the chance to succeed. But here we have a federal government ignoring the recommendations of the expert panel and cutting education funding when it desperately needs to be increased,” said Mr Smith. “By ignoring the recommendations of the most thorough report ever con-

ducted into education funding in this country, Tony Abbott’s government is entrenching disadvantage in our poorest communities and widening the gap between the haves and the have nots.” Not only has the Coalition abandoned Gonski, they’ve added insult to injury by reducing the indexation rate for funding increases after 2018 from 4.8% p.a to CPI, which is forecast at 2.5% through 2024/25. “The decision to effectively tear up the former Labor Government’s deal with the State Government to fund Gonski for the full six years is an act of bad faith and we call on Premier Weatherill to take the matter right up to Tony Abbott in the interests of public education in this state,” said Mr. Smith.

Federal Budget an attack on the young The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) fears the implications of the recent Federal Budget will be felt for years to come with young job seekers among those most significantly impacted. ACTU President Ged Kearney said, “The so-called budget for everyone will hurt some much more than others.” “By removing the safety net for young job seekers, the Abbott Government has effectively given the next generation a ‘sink or swim’ ultimatum with no room for failure, while simultaneously making it harder for them to gain employment or earn enough.” Ms Kearney said work for the dole has been proven to have a negative impact on young people getting a job.

Image: Ian Martin

“The government is inflicting pain on young people and reducing their chance to get a job. These policies will make youth unemployment worse,” she said. The unemployment rate for 15 to 24 year olds is more than double the national average at 12.5 per cent and is projected to rise.5 In criticising what many have described as a callous and punitive budget Kearney said the Coalition is making it harder for industry to create jobs and that young people will ultimately be the ones to suffer. “What these workers need is a jobs plan and industry investment. Where are the one million new jobs Mr Abbott promised? It’s unacceptable that the policy of this Government is to create obstacles to job creation instead of opportunity,” said the ACTU President. Kearney said that a government concerned with getting people into work and boosting productivity should be emphasising training programs and skills development rather than gutting support for skills and training by cutting half a billion in funding as well as scrapping a range of key agencies such as the Australian Workforce Productivity Agency. “This intrinsically un-Australian budget from the Abbott Government is setting up a generation of young job seekers to be confined to poverty with all the risks this entails for social cohesion,” said Kearney. n 9

TA FE focus

Competition impacts badly on VET Funding cuts to TAFEs are doing permanent damage to the quality of vocational training

1 Look out for the new Stop TAFE Cuts! poster series at your campus.

he AEU’s Federal TAFE Secretary Pat Forward said that government recurrent funding to TAFE and the Vocational Education and Training sectors had dropped by 26% nationally between 2003 and 2012. “TAFE is one of the best vocational education institutions in the world and it trains more people each year than the university sector. Yet it is at risk from a

role in initial vocational education for young people entering the workplace for the first time, and in providing retraining and career change opportunities for all Australians.” Ms Forward said that opening up the training sector to competition from private operators had reduced quality, while undercutting the viability of some established TAFEs. A 2014 report by the Australian Skills Quality Authority into Registered Training Organisations found: • The marketing practices of half of RTOs were potentially misleading students. • 45% were potentially in breach of the national standards required for registration as an RTO. • 54% had web sites that were marketing qualifications that they claimed could be achieved in unrealistically short time frames. • 8.6% were engaged in potentially misleading or deceptive advertising such as guaranteeing a qualification, or a job outcome. “Forcing TAFE into competition with low-cost, low-quality providers will do long-term damage to a system that has equipped millions of Australians with essential skills,” Ms Forward said. A recent leaked report from the Victorian Auditor General has shown that half of Victoria’s TAFE colleges are now in the red, with six reporting operating losses in 2013. This announcement was quickly followed by news of impending mergers. “If we do not fund TAFEs properly we run the risk of losing institutions which have educated generations of Australians and given people the skills they need to find work, and to go on to further education,” said Ms Forward. n


lack of funding and policies that encourage government funds to go to private sector operators,” Ms Forward said. Students around the nation are facing increases in upfront fees of thousands of dollars for courses which no longer attract a public subsidy or are incurring lifelong debt through VET FEE HELP. “Yet at the same time there are skills shortages in many areas of the economy. The Australian TAFE system plays a crucial


Get involved and make a difference, visit Authorised by Pat Forward, Federal TAFE Secretary, Australian Education Union. 120 Clarendon St, Southbank. 3006

Tafe day -poster.indd 1


25/03/14 12:41 PM

National TAFE Day On Wednesday 18 June organise an activity that celebrates all that is good about TAFE and public education. Why not put on a morning tea or a lunch at your site and send your photos in to the AEU Journal by emailing:


Cover Story: Independent Public Schools

Independent Public Schools – how much do you know? Department of Educ ation, Training and

With the recent incursion of Independent Public Schools into WA and QLD, we take a look at what they are and whether we need them.

The Coalition’s Policy for Schools, August 2013.

We’ve been hearing claims in Australia like the one above for a number of years, but despite our ongoing coverage of the issue in the Journal and consistent reports on the topic in the press, most educators still don’t know a great deal about the phenomenon that threatens to change the nature of public education.

So what is an Independent Public School? As the name implies, Independent Public Schools (IPS) are publicly funded schools operating with varying degrees of independence from a central education bureaucracy. IPS are governed in ways that resemble a private (or “independent”) school – they are administered by an elected School Board with the Principal operating like the CEO of a typical company. IPS boards usually consist of parents, community members and business representatives. In Queensland, where they were implemented last year, the Department of Education Training and Employment describes IPS as “providing opportunities for: • enhanced local governance • advancing innovation • locally-tailored workforce • financial flexibility • building for the future • public accountability, transparency and performance.” The principles that drive this model are very much derived from free market

Independent Publi

c Schools

Driving local decisio n-making and inno vation

“…there is little evidence of changes to student outcomes as a result of initiatives of this kind. At best they produce a feel good effect.” Ken Boston economics – the idea that deregulation and devolution from a government bureaucracy will produce better results, lead to more innovation, give “consumers” greater choice and, with specific regard to schools, provide principals and school councils/boards with more “autonomy”.


“A programme to implement independent public schools will lead to higher productivity, better quality education outcomes for students.”

Education Queenslan d United in our pursu it of excellence

While based on the same free market principals as similar international models – charter schools in the US, academy and free schools in the UK and Europe – in their current form IPS are not as independent as the name suggests. In both Queensland and Western Australia, the two states that have rolled IPS out in recent years, flexibilities around curriculum, industrial agreements, enrolments and a number of other government regulated areas are limited. For the time being, IPS schools still have to adhere to legislation, directives, whole-of-government policy and national agreements.

Why does the government want schools to convert to IPS? After the 2013 federal election, Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne quickly announced a $70m fund to entice public schools to become IPS; his hope is that a quarter of all public schools will become an IPS by 2017. You might ask how $70m could possi-

1 Queensland’s Department of Education, Training and Employment prospectus on Independent Public Schools

bly spread far enough to achieve such a goal? The answer is simple: the aim is to eventually remove the ‘P’ from IPS. Pyne admitted as much himself when he said early last year that “If we are elected, we will approach the education system on the basis that how do we make government schools more like non-government schools.” Ultimately, the government hopes that by dangling the carrot of a few thousand dollars for some training and the promise of more principal autonomy, that public schools will leap at the opportunity.

Do Independent Public Schools really have autonomy? For school leaders, Pyne’s enticement should be carefully weighed up against the growing evidence that shows the autonomy schools are afforded under the IPS model is leading to increased administrative workload rather than improved educational outcomes. The Western Australian government continued over page 3 11


Running Cover story: HeadIndependent Public Schools

age property services contracts using funds in the one-line budget,” “Responsibility to select and appoint all staff, including fixed-term staff, and manage expressions of interest,” and so on. In stark contrast, there is very little information provided on how IPS provide greater autonomy over educational matters like curriculum and other core aspects of education delivery that might lead to some kind of improvement in student outcomes.

What does the evidence on school autonomy say?

IPS Prospectus should have had alarm bells ringing for principals who were considering converting to an IPS. The document, which claims Independent Public Schools are “leading the way in the reform of education in Western Australia”, sets out dot point after dot point on how schools can have autonomy over things like “a one-line budget”, “flexibility to manage utilities”, “flexibility to determine accounting and financial procedures and practices…” “Flexibility to contract and man-

The WA Prospectus’ near omission of how autonomy will improve results is likely explained by the mountain of evidence that shows Independent Public Schools don’t produce better outcomes for students. For example: An Evaluation of the Independent Public Schools Initiative in Western Australia by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education found little evidence of any improvement in student outcomes: “In this early phase of the IPS development there is little evidence of changes to student outcomes such as

Performance in PISA 2009 and level of autonomy in the system

“…when co-operation and collaboration are replaced by competition in schools on the grounds that it lifts standards, students suffer.” John Smyth enrolment or student achievement.” 
 “...there was no evidence of substantial differences in outcomes between schools that were selected into IPS and those that were not.” 
“...the secondary data shows no substantial change in staffing, student behaviour, attendance or performance between IPS and other public schools.” The Myth of Markets in School Education, a Grattan Institute paper authored by Ben Jensen made this conclusion: “On autonomy, Australia and other countries have the wrong strategy. The world’s best systems have varying levels of autonomy. But it is not central to their reforms. Instead, they articulate the best ways to teach and learn, then implement reform through high-quality systems of teacher development, appraisal and feedback, among other policies. Autonomous schools in Australia and other countries are no better at implementing these programs than are centralised schools.” Jensen’s paper also states that, “The level of autonomy in a country’s schools is not consistent with how well they perform internationally.” 7 See infographic (left)

Note: the level of autonomy was calculated using an average of the various domains of autonomy collected by the OECD. Source: OECD (2010b); OECD (2010d) 1 from Grattan Institute’s report: The myth of markets in school education’ by Ben Jensen – July 2013 12

Writing for The Conversation, Australian Research Council-funded academic John Smyth says: “It (school autonomy) also prompts schools to compete against one another for students, and within schools that means teachers competing against one another. When co-operation and collaboration are replaced by competition in continued over page 3

Independent Rev iew of Independent Publ ic Schools schools on the grounds that it lifts standards, students suffer.”

And what are the benefits for students? The most comprehensive study into school autonomy, carried out by Department of Education in Western Australia found that: “…there is little evidence of changes to student outcomes as a result of initiatives of this kind. At best they produce a feel good effect”. Gonski Panel member and education expert Ken Boston writing in The Australian said: “This (school autonomy) is a peripheral distraction with no real bearing on student outcomes.” (01/11/2013)

Don’t schools have enough autonomy already? The answer from most principals in most states to this question is “yes”. Victoria, for example, has had a high level of autonomy for years. Victorian Minister for Education Martin Dixon supports this view: “Victorian schools have the highest level of autonomy, it’s every single school here in Victoria compared to other states and territories … that’s been part of our culture for a couple of decades,” he said. NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has been adamant that public schools in his state have a substantial amount of autonomy to make decisions and has consistently ruled out further devolution. He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “We will not be introducing charter schools or independent public schools because there is no evidence that they improve student performance.” In the State Election edition of the AEU Journal the South Australian State Government responded to our question on whether they saw a future for more “school choice” in South Australia with the following: “Labor does not support the introduction of a two-tiered public schooling

system which could prevent parents from enrolling their children at their local school.”

Do we need Independent Public Schools in South Australia? The question of IPS and whether implementation of them in South Australia would be good for public education Role Purpose has been a topic of conversation for some time. State Opposition Education spokesperson David Pisoni has consistently championed the cause of greater school autonomy, and his “more power to the princi1 WA’s Department of Education Services review on Independent Public Schools pal” mantra has been rolled out at every opportunity. In 2010, the Depa rtment of Education Services was appointed by the Minister for Educ ation to conduct reviews of Independe nt Public Schools. Independent reviews are ident ified in the Delivery and Performance Agreement for each Independent Publi c School as one of the suite of accountability instru ment s. These reviews commence d in 2012.


However Mr Pisoni and his supporters, if they were genuinely concerned with what’s best for students and staff in the public education system, should be taking heed of the evidence from interstate and abroad that shows school autonomy has led only to significant increases in leadership workload and an absence of any tangible improvements to student outcomes. Further, mounting evidence reveals that as the responsibility for budgeting, financial management, maintenance and other costs are devolved more and more to local schools, government funding dries up. A shift to such a model would be a shift toward the eventual privatisation of public education.

What kind of system do we want? The AEU has consistently challenged the notion that devolving responsibility for the running of public schools to principals answerable to local boards of management, as is the case with the IPS model, will improve student outcomes and lead to innovation in education. It is a regressive step that will eventually result in further stratification in education, where schools are in constant competition for student enrolments, staff recruitment, and corporate

The purpose of the independent revie w is to assure the Minister for Educ ation, the Director General and the school comm unity that the scho ol has met its commitmen ts as outlined in its Delivery and Performance Agre ement and associate d Business Plan. This is done through a verification of each school’s performan ce in the self-review it has conducted again st these document s.

funding. The best efforts of dedicated educators notwithstanding, equitable, high quality education may eventually become a secondary consideration. Independent Public Schools will result in wholesale changes to the industrial entitlements educators have fought for and won through decades of struggle – wages will be reduced and a swathe of basic rights and entitlements forgone. Students will be the biggest losers as the focus shifts from holistic, rigorous education to the churning out of compliant workers who merely fill the skills needs of industry. Ironically, it will stifle innovation rather than enhance it. The AEU’s vision for what public education in this state should look like has been set out in our Charter for Public Education (p14). The Charter emphasises equity, fairness, rigour, collaboration, opportunity, democratic decisionmaking, job security and appropriate funding delivered by a “strong single system of public education not fragmented by unproductive division into school types such as independent public schools and others.” The Charter was recently supported and signed by both the Weatherill State Government and The SA Greens. n See AEU Charter over page 3 13


AEU Public Education Charter

Public Education Charter South Australia Australian Education Union | SA Branch

Public education is a social necessity because it provides opportunities for, and is welcoming of, all students regardless of background. Valuing the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, it serves as a gateway to a democratic and cohesive Australian society.

We, the undersigned, pledge to:

Public Education

1. Work in partnership with families, communities and school leaders to build a strong, vibrant and equitable public education system so that all children and students have success in education and life in a fair and just society.

2. Promote a broad education and curriculum that includes academic, intellectual, emotional, social, physical, aesthetic, artistic, cultural and vocational development so that children and young people can find and follow their hopes, dreams and passions.

3. Model for students the processes of active citizenship by having open and democratic decision making in preschools, schools and TAFE which includes, values and empowers all stakeholders.

4. Ensure that preschools, schools and TAFE are staffed by teachers, leaders and educators who are qualified, trained, respected and secure in their employment. 5. Ensure that our children have well maintained public places of learning with infrastructure in public education that is at the forefront of purpose and design.

6. Support excellence in teaching by ensuring teachers, leaders, lecturers and support staff are well prepared, are supported, have manageable class sizes/student groups, and have time to collaborate so that they can confidently and effectively undertake their professional responsibilities.

We, the undersigned, expect:

1. Government to respect Aboriginal children, young people and families by acknowledging the ownership and ongoing relationship of their people with their land, and the importance in their education of their culture, language, law and ceremony. 2. Bipartisan political support within the South Australian parliament for the active promotion of public confidence in our preschools, schools and TAFE.

3. A long-term commitment by the South Australian Government to the full funding of TAFE and the funding of preschools and schools to a resource standard shown to achieve age-appropriate and sustainable learning outcomes, with additional loadings based on categories of disadvantage and with weightings based on their complexity. 4. Fair reporting of the achievements of public education in the mass media.

5. A strong single system of public education not fragmented by unproductive division into school types such as “independent public schools� and others. 6. Enhanced decision making for educational leadership, staff and communities in curriculum and assessment to ensure improved learning outcomes for students.

Passed at Branch Council, 23 November, 2013


Leaders Focus


When will we say “No?”

Have you elected your PAC nominee?

AEU Leaders Consultative Committee Chair Stephen Measday asks “Slice by slice we are taking on more and the accountability issues that go with this.” threat or problem but never enough to create a significant response. The result is that, by the time you are prepared to take action, it is too late. Whether by design or default, this is what is happening to us.

If you put any two school or preschool leaders together these days, the conversation inevitably turns to how bad things are or how difficult leading our schools or preschools is becoming. These can be quite depressing conversations which cover a range of experiences and topics but the themes remain the same. “Things are not right” and “How did we get to this point?” The AEU is attempting to come to grips with this issue under a banner of ‘Workload’. This is not just about the amount of work or the time taken to do it. It includes the quality and value of the work that teachers, support staff, office staff and leaders engage with every day. The trouble is that it is hard to put your finger on any one thing that is wrong. I am a great fan of the ‘Yes Minister’ series. In one episode, the Prime Minister is challenged about when he would take decisive action about a real military threat to the country. The advisor points out that a threat or major change rarely happens in a hurry. The opposition uses ‘salami tactics’ or change, slice by slice. Each slice is a

When I think about some of the things that are happening to our leadership and our schools I am always tempted to say, “Surely it can’t get worse than this. Surely someone will work out that this is nonsense, poorly thought out, counterproductive or just wrong.” And then something else happens. At what point do we decide that something is not good and we are going to collectively say “No?” This will be difficult in a world where compliance is the expectation but it will be important as more tasks are ‘devolved’ from the old regions and central office. Slice by slice we are taking on more and the accountability issues that go with this. There is a genuine workload issue but there is also a quality of work issue. We still believe we are school leaders, significant educators who are all about student learning success but, slice by slice, our days (or the resources in our schools) are being taken up with management issues, compliance and accountability around new responsibilities. At some point we will need to say “no” and not just be accountable for what is added to our roles but responsible for what happens to our workload and our schools. n Stephen Measday is Principal of Keithcot Farm Primary School and Chair of the AEU SA Leaders’ Consultative Committee.

Schools usually elect their AEU PAC nominee at the beginning of Term 2. If your site hasn’t already done this, now is a good time to call a meeting so that interested members can consider nominating. Also, sub-branches should discuss and set up consultative and reporting mechanisms so that the responsibilities of the AEU PAC nominee can be facilitated and properly carried out.

The AEU representative: • Any financial member of the AEU, including non-teaching staff, can be elected to the PAC as the AEU (SA Branch) nominee by the sub-branch members. A ballot is to be conducted in a formal way, that is, determined at a meeting called by the Subbranch Secretary and at which minutes are taken. • The AEU (SA Branch) nominee must have participated in PAC Training or agree to undertake the training at the earliest possible opportunity. The AEU (SA Branch) nominee represents the AEU sub-branch members and will consult with and report regularly to the sub-branch. n

PAC Training Dates for 2014 Thurs 5 June 1:00pm – 4:00pm Week 6 – AEU, Parkside Tues 17 June 1:00pm – 4:00pm Week 8 – AEU, Parkside Tues 8 July 10:00am – 1:00pm School Holidays – AEU, Parkside

Term 3, 2014 Tues 13 Aug 4:30pm – 7:30pm Week 4 – AEU, Parkside Thurs 28 Aug 1:00pm – 4:00pm Week 6 – AEU, Parkside Fri 12 Sept 9:00am – 12:00pm Week 8 – AEU, Parkside

Term 4, 2014 Thurs 6 Nov 1:00pm – 4:00pm Week 4 – AEU, Parkside


Comment basis. It is a substantial body of work through which the big corporations advance their demands on a willing government. It uses Gonski against Gonski, labelling it with the criticisms that Gonski made of the old funding system (“complex, inconsistent and lacking transparency”) and dismisses the Schooling Resource Standard as “not sufficiently justified”. It seeks to limit funding after the first four years of Gonski at the 2017 amount indexed for CPI and the Wage Price Index. It wants the Commonwealth Department of Education “significantly reduced in size”.

For the good of the nation, we need to increase class size AEU Research Officer Mike Williss writes


e need to kill off Gonski, reduce or abolish the Commonwealth Department of Education, forge ahead with Independent Public Schools, and entrench principal right to hire and fire staff. Such is the thrust of the recently released Commission of Audit and its bed partner, the paper produced by Jennifer Buckingham for the Centre for Independent Studies. Together these papers represent the agenda that big corporations and conservative ideologues seek to impose on Australian schools. The Chair of the Audit Commission Tony Shepherd was until last October chair of the construction and services giant Transfield Services and is currently head of the Business Council of Australia, the membership of which comprises the 100 largest and mainly foreign-owned businesses in Australia. The Centre for Independent Studies is a right-wing think-tank dependent on cor16

“Highly effective teachers can be developed without this punitive approach by adopting the Shanghai and Finnish formulas...” porate finance. Supporters of Centre for Independent Studies projects include Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, J. O. Fairfax and McDonalds Australia, while BHP, Shell, ICI and Western Mining are among companies that provided funds when the centre started in 1976. Its current subscriber base includes 70 companies and 1200 individuals. Critics of the Audit Commission have noted the timing of its release in the context of the delivery of the Federal Budget and have tended to dismiss it as a piece of kite-flying designed to soften us up for the nasties in the Budget. It may have worked to that effect, but it should not be dismissed on that

Buckingham, another of The Australian’s favoured columnists, goes further. Her paper, trumpeted in a Weekend Australian editorial, calls for ending the Gonski model after 2017 and replacing it with one that is “student-centered and portable”, i.e. vouchers. To further accelerate the drift to private schools, she proposes making available a $10,000 “bursary” to ten percent of low income students to enable them to enrol in the privates. And for the fifty percent of high income households (households with an income over $130,000 per year) who have obviously mistakenly placed their students in government schools, there should be a punitive charge of $1000 per year per student. Buckingham doesn’t just want the federal Department of Education reduced, she wants it abolished. Here she channels the US Tea Party mantra of extreme federalism and small government. Buckingham takes at face value the current student-teacher ratio of one to 13.9 and argues that class size reduction “is one of the most expensive and least effective educational reforms”. Her remedy is to “remove any mandatory class sizes and to eschew any further class-size reduction policies”. Noting that the “best strategy to improve education is to ensure a highly effective teacher in every classroom”, she again opts for a punitive approach, seeking to empower principals to be “selective in teacher appointments and continued over page 3

Vice President’s Report decisive in dismissals”. Highly effective teachers can be developed without this punitive approach by adopting the Shanghai and Finnish formulas which see teachers spending half the time of their Australian counterparts in front of the class. They are given time to collaborate on lesson preparation, to undertake effective classroombased research, to observe recognised model teachers and each other in nonappraisal based situations, and to reflect on and raise their proficiency levels. Concurrent with the release of these two neo-liberal perspectives are two papers that have not been the subject of editorial commendation. The Mitchell Institute convened a panel discussion featuring Kathryn Greiner (Gonski Review Committee member), Prof. John Hattie (noted and often misquoted academic), Dr Lisa O’Brien (CEO of the Smith Family) and Dr Zhong Yao (University of Oregon). There is no slash and burn, downsize and outsource rhetoric from this eminent panel; rather they advance four propositions that inherently reject standardised testing as a proxy for evaluating schools; call for more, not less, funding of a targetted nature; recognise that current classroom structures will not overcome serious socio-economic disadvantage and behavioural issues; and that data must be real-time and relevant if it is to inform school improvement. The other paper is by David Zyngier, Senior Lecturer in Curriculum and Pedagogy at Monash University. Zyngier reviewed 112 papers from 1979–2014 on the effects of reducing class size. In stark contrast to Buckingham and others, Zyngier notes that “of the papers included in this review, only three authors supported the notion that smaller class sizes did not produce better outcomes to justify the expenditure.” Zyngier draws from Hattie the conclusion that class size reductions can be made most effective when changes in methodology accompany the reduction. He further notes that such reductions would lead to minimal achievement outcomes if introduced “in the current policy context of high-stakes testing, together with the inadequate funding highlighted by the Gonski Review”. n

Curriculum Review, Same First Day and TfEL Latest news from AEU Vice President Howard Spreadbury The Australian Curriculum, despite posing many challenges, has received broad in-principle support from teachers and other education staff. As it continued to be rolled-out in a range of subject areas, members were not altogether surprised though nevertheless perplexed at Federal Education Minister Pyne’s announcement of a review of the curriculum, specifically in relation to content of subject areas in which teachers have already engaged in significant professional development. The AEU will make public comment when the review is released and the Minister’s findings are announced. In the interim, AEU members have responded positively to a recent survey through which comment was sought in relation to a number of key areas including assessment and reporting and the usefulness of the two days of professional development. Members were also asked to comment on their concerns about the review. To date, the AEU has received a total of 379 responses with a high proportion of members identifying workload as the major issue. A summary of member responses can be accessed through the AEU website.

school provided they have their fourth birthday before 1 May. Some of these children now commence preschool as young as 3 years 8 months. Subsequently, children are able to commence school in a similar time-frame with the consequent age range commencing at 4 years 8 months in Reception classes. The AEU has recently surveyed members in preschools and schools seeking feedback on the impacts of having younger children in settings that may not be suitably equipped for the holistic early childhood learning and development environment. For example, many Reception classrooms do not have immediate access to designed outdoor learning environments such as those provided in our state preschools. Members have identified the need for smaller Reception classes, additional ECW and SSO support and improved professional development to ensure curriculum requirements meet the needs of an expanded range of age and child development. The Teaching for Effective Learning Compass provides an effective means of enhancing classroom teaching practice. The AEU and DECD have recently agreed on a Statement of Protocols for peer observations using the TfEL Compass.

The Same First Day policy, initially implemented in preschools in 2013, was introduced to Reception classes in schools at the beginning of this year.

Peer observations are encouraged in a positive climate of Performance and Development support, based upon mutual negotiation. The Statement of Protocols sets out specific parameters such as voluntary participation in observations and that teachers cannot be required to engage in the use of the TfEL Compass in their NIT. The agreed protocols will soon be accessible to members in schools.

As a consequence of a state budget reduction, preschools and schools now have a single enrolment intake in Term 1. Children are able to commence pre-

AEU members continue to engage in processes which will contribute to enhanced professional development and teaching practice. n

The AEU Curriculum and Professional Development committee will monitor member feedback and provide the basis for reporting members’ concerns to DECD.



Running Head

Enviroweek – smart ways to live. Your action counts! Schools and students, join in with Enviroweek challenges, 24 – 30 August 2014, and see your impact grow. In 2013 more than 162,000 young Australians joined in 490,000 challenges and saved 106,521 CO2-e. Enviroweek is free, fun and connects with young people. All Enviroweek 2014 challenges have Co2-e (black balloon) measurements for students to watch their action grow from them to their school, State and Australia-wide. There are six Enviroweek challenges. Join in one, or all six!

All the challenges are student-led and benefit all areas of your school including savings for waste and energy. Teachers get access to free curriculumaligned activities for their challenge that are also suitable for other major events in the school calendar.

Enviroweek challenges:

Schools can also showcase their sustainability action through the Enviroweek website (see link below), collect virtual badges from their profile page and have the opportunity to win prizes, participant packs and fundraise for their schools’ environmental projects.

Action: Green it up wherever you can

Australian Education Union,

South Australian Branch

ELECTION NOTICE Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 Nominations are called for:

Ordinary Branch Executive Officers (Female) (2) Federal Conference Delegate, General Division (1)

Waste Warrior Action: Pause, stop and explore your day-today waste and make better choices

Green Thumb Sparky Action: Change energy behaviour for big savings

Foodie Action: Take the fresh food and tap water challenge

Trader Action: Hold a swap meet for your unwanted stuff, trade your skills, space and time

Wild Child Your challenge: Re-connect with the outdoors

Written nominations which comply with the Organisation’s rules must reach the Returning Officer not later than 12:00 noon on Friday, 6 June 2014.

Nominations cannot be withdrawn after 12:00 noon on Friday, 6 June 2014. Nomination forms are available on request.

“Enviroweek initiatives give our school a chance to focus on caring for your environment as a whole school community.”

How to lodge nominations

By Post: PO Box 344, Adelaide, SA 5001 By Fax: (08) 8237 6584 By Hand: 9th Floor, 1 King William Street, Adelaide, SA 5000. By email: A properly completed nomination form including all necessary signatures and attachments may be scanned and submitted as a pdf file to: The ballot, if required, Friday, 20 June 2014 and close at 10:00am on Monday, 14 July 2014. Changed Address? Advise the Organisation now. Note: A copy of the AEC’s election report and the results can be obtained from the Organisation or from the Returning Officer after the completion of the election. Anna West  Returning Officer 18

Feedback from teachers involved in 2013 Enviroweek:

Tel: (08) 8237 6530 23 May 2014

“Enviroweek helped us to teach the students about their world and how to live in it appropriately.” For more information, go to the Enviroweek website:


women’s Focus

‘WILD’ about the 2014 project Five participants of this year’s Women in Leadership Development (WILD) project speak about their experience so far Rhianna Woodbury Mark Oliphant College “I decided to join the 2014 WILD program because I’d heard from other members that it was a fantastic opportunity. I’m so glad I did! The first two days were really inspiring and empowering. It’s made me look at the world through a different lens.” n

Vijaya Sarunga TRT “The first two days of WILD aimed to develop leadership capacity within participants through creating self-awareness as well as through an introduction to how the AEU is run. Our discussion on women’s role at work, home and in society aimed to make us think of some of the limiting behaviours and practices that women hold themselves to. It also explored how we can have a positive influence on ourselves and others by breaking these conforming barriers. The notion of shared leadership as good management practice was one of the take-aways for me. The ability to positively influence others though creating trust and ensuring psychological safety, thus leading to a more willing, engaged and committed group of workers. This applies not only to the workplace but also is highly relevant in classroom management and practice. Overall it is exciting to be part of a group which enables the collective strength of women at different stages of their career to come together with the aim

of gaining greater skills and in turn creating greater value for the organisation.” n

Carissa Coleman Deputy Principal Lameroo Community School “So far I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the WILD program. It has been really interesting gaining an insight into the leadership and processes that occur in the AEU. I have really appreciated the chance to network with other participants and staff from the AEU, face-toface, and also on the Moodle. In the first two days of the program the group spent some time reflecting on feminism and how to work with different types of people, as well as developing our presentation skills. The program has challenged my thinking and provided me with some leadership strategies that I can use in my work. I look forward and I am excited to be a part of this valuable n program.”

Michelle Dohnt Primary School Counsellor Seaford K – 7 Campus “My name is Michelle Dohnt and I am undoubtedly a WILD woman. I started the Women In Leadership Development course for a few reasons; firstly I wanted to learn more about the role of women in the Education Union, how the decision making body of the union operates and to increase my ability to be involved in our Union. Secondly I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a course that could help me develop my skills

and confidence as a leader within a school setting. With these as my aims, the first two days of the course did not disappoint. I was able to network with women who had differing roles and backgrounds, though all, like myself, have children and young people in the forefront of their professional roles and wanted to improve themselves in one way or another. I was fortunate to be able to watch part of a Branch Executive meeting, seeing how issues we as the members deal with are discussed and actions are decided upon. I felt privileged to meet and hear from Jan Murphy our modest and effective Female Vice President, who spoke of her own journey to leadership and how she has managed to balance both her role in the Union and being a mother. I left the first two days feeling hopeful and more confident in my abilities as leader and cannot wait to explore the course over the following two days.” n

Amy Seelander Port Lincoln Primary School “I decided to apply for the Women in Union Leadership Program for 2014 (WILD) after being elected as our school’s Subbranch Secretary and the AEU rep on PAC. I have had very little involvement with the AEU in the past and I wanted to learn more about how the AEU works and what part I play in my new roles. I found the first two days thought-provoking and interesting. I learned the importance of understanding the personalities of the people you work with and how they may respond to situations. This allows you to know how to best approach working with them. Understanding yourself is important so that your strengths can be reflected in your leadership. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with and meet new people and look forward to the remaining two days of the WILD Program.” n

For further information contact: AEU Women’s Officer | Tish Champion

T: 8272 1399 E:

8:>interest groups>women

Women’s Focus online


Running SSO: did you Headknow?

Upcoming Event in July

AEU SSO Conference 2014

Stepping Up!

Meal Breaks An employee will not work more than five hours in any one day without being allowed a meal break of not less than 30 minutes nor more than one hour to be taken not more than five hours after commencement of work on that day. The meal break is not counted as time worked.


Friday 18 july 9:15am–3:30pm

(School Services Officers Government Schools Award Clause 6.2)

Where: at the AEU Conference Centre, 163 Greenhill Road, Parkside

Tea Breaks Although tea breaks are not an award provision, it is expected that schools, in terms of long standing custom and practice, will make arrangements to provide non-teaching staff the opportunity to partake of a cup of coffee/tea. Tea breaks are paid breaks and therefore staff are not required to make up the time. Whilst the roles of non-teaching staff are different from those performed by officers of the teaching service, it should be recognised and appreciated that ancillary staff are equal partners in the overall makeup of the school human resources and have a right to be treated on an equal footing.


Thursday 17 july @ 6.00pm


Where: Coopers Alehouse at the Earl, 316 Pulteney Street, Adelaide

For Further Info

Lisa Sigalla SSO Organiser Phone: 8272 1399

To Register Follow this link:


SSO Conference 2014


This panel will also give members the chance to ask those tricky questions such as “my site says SSOs don’t need to attend PAC meetings unless there is a SSO issue” or “you’re not entitled to a break”. There will be some great workshops such as SSOs’ role on the PAC, legal issues and requirements, recruitment and selection, the imbalance of power, cyber safety and classroom management. Travel and accommodation is provided for country members so get a group together and come along! n

(Source South Australian School and Preschool Education Staff Enterprise Agreement 2012 Clause 5.4) n

his year’s theme is “Stepping Up”. Did you know that SSOs can hold a wide range of positions within the school such as AEU Sub-branch Secretary, SSO Contact Officer, Non-teaching staff rep on PAC and AEU rep on PAC? These positions provide SSOs a stronger voice within the school and also the AEU. We will be holding a panel of SSOs who have taken up leadership roles within their sites and they will discuss how they got there, how they “Stepped Up” and what was their first “Step”?

If you have any questions, call the

To register or for further information go to:

(DECD Circular 09/7523)

SSO Support There shall be a minimum of one (1) SSO present while a class in a special school, special unit or special small class is being taught.

AEU Information Unit on: 8272 1399 20

8:>events & courses

AEU Training and Development Program 2014

Events & Courses 2014 | Terms 1 & 2 + holidays 5 June, 17 June, 8 July, 13 Aug, 28 Aug, 12 Sep, 6 Nov

Open to: All educators, particularly those in leadership positions.

AEU/DECD Personnel Advisory Committee [PAC] Training

Cost: AEU Members $110, Non-members $330 incl. GST

The AEU strongly recommends that all members of the PAC, including principals, AEU representatives, equal opportunity and non-teaching staff representatives who did not complete the update or full training in 2013, register for PAC training. In 2013 there were significant changes that will affect the PAC.

Wed 16 July

Book Online:

Fri 23 May

9:15am – 3:30pm

Reconciliation Conference This is a one-day conference to share the contribution of educators working towards Reconciliation and a just Australian Society. Open to: AEU Members & Aboriginal Community Members Support: Relief, country travel & accommodation.

Fri 30 May

9:15am – 3:30pm

Formal Meetings and Public Speaking Workshop

9:15am – 4:00pm

SSO/ECW Merit Training Workshop A full day practical workshop to assist SSOs and ECWs who wish to sit on merit selection panels. Open to: Any SSO/ECW in non-teaching positions.

Thurs 17 July

9:15am – 3:00pm

SSO General Reclassification Workshop A 1-day practical workshop to assist SSOs in applying for reclassification. Open to: financial AEU members working as an SSO. Includes a fully catered lunch.

Thurs 17 July

1:00pm – 3:30pm

SSO/ECW Application Writing Workshop A half day practical workshop to assist SSOs and ECWs applying for DECD promotion positions.

A 1-day course to develop members’ confidence in decision-making forums. Meeting procedures assertive communication and public speaking are covered in a practical workshop format. Support: Relief, country travel & accommodation.

9:30am – 12:00pm

Curriculum Organiser Online (COO) Intro Workshops A short introduction to the AEU’s Curriculum Organiser Online and how it can help members’ teaching Foundation - Year 10 plan and program based on the Australian Curriculum. Open to: Everyone interested in finding out how COO can help them in their Australian Curriculum implementation.

Day 1: Tues 15 Jul Day 2: Wed 16 Jul Day 3: Thurs 17 Jul

9:15am – 4:00pm 9:15am – 4:00pm 9:15am – 4:00pm

Conflict Resolution through Mediation A high demand 3-day course facilitated by Professor Dale Bagshaw and practising mediators covering the theory and practice of mediation. It is essential that participants attend all three days.

Day 1: Tues 8 July

9:15am – 3:00pm

Student Engagement Workshop – Port Pirie Follow-up day (optional): participants can attend Day 2 on Thursday 9 October in the City. The $55 enables you to attend one or both days.

Day 1: Tues 15 July Day 2: Thurs 9 Oct

9:15am – 3:00pm 9:15am – 3:00pm

Student Engagement Workshop – City A practical workshop facilitated by experienced teachers who will develop teachers’ skills in creating ‘rigorous learning conditions’ (TfEL) which support active participation and increase student engagement and accountability for their own learning using strategies including cooperative learning. Open to: AEU Members only. Cost: $55.

SA Unions is an approved provider of WHS training for Health and Safety Representatives in South Australia. Our specialist trainers and facilitators have many years experience in providing the highest quality training and are committed to delivering best practice through the design, delivery and content in a continual improvement cycle. SA Unions courses are delivered in a relaxed friendly atmosphere with particular attention to participant interaction and acquiring hands-on-skills. As a HSR you have the right to choose your preferred training provider in consultation with your employer. Contact SA Unions for registration details: 08 82792248 or email Visit our website for the 2014 training schedule and registration form.

For further info on any of the above events and courses: email Saniya Sidhwani on

8:>events & courses

To register go to

teaching positions.

Work Health and Safety Training for Health and Safety Representatives

Open to: All AEU members

Mon 7 July

Open to: Financial AEU members in non-

8: 21

Council Dates for 2014


Branch Council Meetings

2013 Financial Report

Upcoming dates for 2014 are:

Saturday, May 31 Saturday, August 23 Saturday, November 22

TAFE Divisional Council Meetings Upcoming dates for 2014 are:

Friday, May 23 Friday, August 15 Friday, November 14

Loxton High School

(Class of 1980 – 1984) Did you or a member of your family start high school at Loxton in 1980? A reunion is being organised for the 2014 October long weekend. For further details please contact Susan Eagle (Gibbs) on: phone:

0427 554 926 or email:

Seeking promotion?

The Financial Statements of the Australian Education Union (South Australian Branch) for the year ending 31 December 2013 have been audited in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009. In accordance with the Act and a resolution passed by Branch Executive, the auditors report and financial statements will be published on 26 May 2014 on the AEU (SA Branch) website at:

1800RESPECT National counselling helpline, information and support 24/7 • Are you experiencing sexual assault or domestic and family violence? • Seeking to support someone who is?

Announcing our new



FOR APPLICATION WRITING AND INTERVIEW for all promotion positions in SA government schools Full school site licence $399 Tailored to DECD’s NEW MERIT SELECTION processes, this detailed 65 page booklet and PowerPoint shows you how to develop a dynamic résumé and cover letter, as well as many valuable ideas and hints to help you prepare for a powerful interview performance! Available for immediate download at:


Teachers’ Professional Résumés T: 0411 245 415 E: Serving Australia’s teachers since 1990. ABN: 40 833 718 673

• We can help. Call:

Aspiring Principals, DPs, Senior Leaders, Coordinators

1800 737 732 or

go to: and connect to a councillor online


Conference 1–3 October

AEU Journal is carbon neutral

Crowne Plaza, Adelaide

The theme for this year’s Conference is:

Walking the tightrope – Getting the balance right: Issues and challenges in education law ANZELA is the Australia and New Zealand Law Association. Its aims are to promote the study discussion of law relating to education and to advance knowledge and research about the law in education at all levels. The Conference provides the opportunity to learn more about the legal challenges facing schools, families, communities and government as well as recent developments in education law and policy across Australia and New Zealand.

If you’re interested in attending the

2014 ANZELA Conference, please email an expression of interest to AEU Legal Officer Anne Walker:



follow the AEU at:

If you currently receive a hard copy of the Journal and would prefer to read the Journal online, please let us know by emailing:

The AEU Journal is online at:

Are you up-to-date Online? We need your preferred

email address


Email to

or call Membership on: 8272



Member’s Market In order to cater for extra editorial space, the AEU Members Market now has a reduced space allocation in the Journal. Advertisements will be printed at the discretion of the Editor and will not run in more than three issues in succession. Kensington Town House: Quiet, private, comfortable 2 BR with QB’s. 5-min stroll to historic Rising Sun, Robin Hood, short walk to Parade and great parks. BBQ, fully equipped, all linen supplied. From $130/night. T: 0407 744820 E:

SECOND VALLEY HOLIDAY HSE: 4 BR brand new 2-story house – sleeps 9 plus 2 fold out couches. 5-min. walk to the jetty. Relax for wkend or longer. T: 0407654464 E:

GOOLWA HOLIDAY HOUSE 15-mins from beach, shops and river. Sleeps 9, in-ground pool, decking with BBQ, fully equipped, A/C, etc. $100 night. T: 0403 841 031 E:


3 BRs in Elliston, Eyre Peninsula. Walking distance to shops, school and beach $220,000 o.n.o. T: 8687 9178 or M: 0428 879178

STRESS, WEIGHT, HABITS?– RELAX! Hypnotherapy, Counsel-

ling, NLP, Relationships, Career, Smoking, Anxiety, Performance, etc. 15% Discount AEU Members. Reg Chapman: T: 0419 829 378 E: for sale: House on Esplanade at Elliston - great town on west coast. T: 0435 489 429


5-min walk to beach, in town, close to shops. Sleeps 13. Fish & boat facilities. New bath & kit; BBQ entertaining area and private spa suite avail. Starting rate $140 p/ night. T: (08) 8626 1539 E:

SAIT Conveyancers

We offer AEU members: Free advice on real estate queries. Expert advice and professional experience with: • Mortgages, • Private Contract Transfers, • Strata Plan and Plan of Division Lodgments, • Caveats, Discharges of Mortgages, • All facets of conveyancing work. If you are buying or selling or are involved in any real estate matter, either through a land agent or privately, consult us.

Contact us on:

Anne Walker

(: (08) 8410 6788

Simon Willcox

8410 6799 Email: SAIT Conveyancers

Fax: (08)

located at Credit Union SA

Level 3, 400 King William Street, Adelaide, SA 5000

The Mobile Muso Mechanic

Kingston Near Robe:

The long break is looming, I’ll come to you – and setup/repair, restring your guitar/bass and even tackle simple amp maintenance. This new service is also available for school music rooms. Frank Lang: T: 8248 0824


Victor Harbor Getaways: 2 fully self-contained homes. Sleeps up to 8. One with private beach/lake! 10% discount to AEU members. T: 0419 868 143 E: W: www.victorharborgetaways.

2-story on 22 kms of stunning beach stretching down to wineries. Sleeps 8, 2 bathrooms. Or Balcony Suite, 5 RMs. Special from $70/ double, mid-week, off peak, min. 4-nights. T: 0402 922 445 (Judy) Guided tours in your 4 wheel drive, with your gear loaded on the ‘Big Red Truck’. Hassle Free Outback Touring. Book now for our Spring Tour – Innaminka Races, Coward Springs, Warren Gorge. T: David Connell – 02 8885 4620 or Lyn Rowe – 0403 594 406 W:

Victor Harbor Holiday Hse: Giveaway: New, 4 BR, 2 bath, (2 x Qu, 2 x singles, 1 dble bunk), sleeps 8, 3 living areas, 2 balconies, views of hills & Granite Island, A/C, D/W, BBQ, C’pt, 2-storey, quiet location. T: 0400 303 300 (Ian) E:

Children’s Book Sale Hundreds of novels to suit 6-16 non-fiction books, picture books, a complete Wildlife Fact File set & more. Most titles are advertised on Gumtree, or will be soon (located at Marino). For more info call Chris on T: 0408 689 235

Classic children’s swing set with slide. Suit ages 3-7. Easy assembly. T: 0413 408 772 Looking to buy: Plastic toy soldiers made in England, Germany etc from 1940’s – 60’s. They are about 2.5” tall (1/32 scale). T: 0407 773 554 (Debbie)

Advertise in Members’ Market for FREE! Rent, sell, buy or offer goods and services. Send ads to:

AN INVITATION TO RETIRED OR RETIRING TEACHERS & SSOs Have you retired or are about to retire? Are you seeking opportunities to maintain or increase your level of fitness and want to learn more about your city and surrounding hills and bushland? Are you seeking companionship with other retired teachers and their partners as well as other walkers from a range of backgrounds (not just teaching!)? Walks are organised at several levels. Rovers walk from 14–18 kms, Walkers from 8–10 kms, Ramblers from 6–7 kms and Amblers up to 5 kms. The R.T.A. Walking Group is a sub-group of the Retired Teachers Association and is affiliated with The Walking Federation of SA. We walk in conservation parks, national parks and forestry reserves within the Mount Lofty Ranges and Fleurieu Peninsula, suburban beaches and along the six creeks of the Adelaide Plains, the River Torrens Linear Park and other suburban trails. It’s a great way to get to know your city and surroundings! A camp is also organised each year in country areas within South Australia or Victoria.

If you are interested in finding out more about our walking group, you are invited to contact: our Secretary, Roger Tagg email: or our Convener: Tony Nichol T: 8396 1682


. .


AEU Journal Volume 46 - No. 3 | May 2014  

Independent Public Schools: What the evidence reveals, Federal Budget 2014: an attack on public education, National TAFE Day: support public...

AEU Journal Volume 46 - No. 3 | May 2014  

Independent Public Schools: What the evidence reveals, Federal Budget 2014: an attack on public education, National TAFE Day: support public...