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Inside Teaching : June 2010
Editorial State of the nation New South Wales teachers in government schools can now apply for a new position called a 'Highly Accomplished Teacher.' The new position is linked to the Professional Teaching Standards of the NSW Institute of Teachers at the levels of Professional Accomplishment and Professional Leadership. Undertaking accreditation at Professional Accomplishment or Professional Leadership is a prerequisite for appointment. The new position has been created as part of the Teacher Quality National Partnership so that the best of NSW government school teachers can seek an increase in pay to take their talents and experience into schools in some of the state's most disadvantaged communities. The 'Highly Accomplished Teachers' will work in the classroom but with a reduced teaching load so they'll have time to mentor and support other teachers and take a leadership role at the school without the need to move from the classroom and into administrative roles. The first applicants for the new positions completed online preliminary assessments in March. More positions will arise throughout the year. LINKS www.nswteachers.nsw. edu.au In Tasmania, the controversial post-Year 10 reforms, called 'Tasmania Tomorrow' are 'dead' or 'undergoing refinement,' depending on your point of view. Tasmanian Education Minister Lin Thorp in June announced 'changes to the current model for post-Year 10 education and training following extensive On the table for consultation by all members of the Australasian Teacher Regulatory Authorities (ATRA), teachers and other stakeholders around Australia has been the first draft of the national professional standards for teachers. The consultation ended on 21 May. ATRA has worked with teachers and other stakeholders in each state and territory to coordinate a national response to the draft. The response reflects the feedback of teachers from around the country. The consensus from teachers is that there is quite a bit of work to be done. We must have standards that work for teachers from Bathurst Island to Bruny Island and Byron Bay to Broome. They should be the national common reference point that articulates, celebrates and supports the complex and demanding nature of a teacher's professional life from preparation to the twilight of their career. These standards will be the building blocks of a national profession, and they must be right. consultations.' The Tasmania Tomorrow reforms created a pretertiary Tasmanian Academy, in place of the state's existing senior secondary colleges, and a vocational Tasmanian Polytechnic. The Tasmanian Academy will continue to enrol students aged between 15 and 19 years and will broker with the Polytechnic to provide students access to Polytechnic courses. The Greens, on whom the minority Labor government depends, insisted on the change to the system. According to Thorp, the main change is to bring the Academy and Polytechnic under the control of the Education Department by 2011. The changes also include scrapping the Academy and Polytechnic boards, restoring senior secondary colleges, which each get back their original name and a principal, and moving staff back to the Education Department. A Grattan Institute report using data from the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development claims that teacher management in Australian schools is dysfunctional. According to Ben Jensen, Grattan Institute Program Director of School Education and TALIS coauthor, only eight per cent of Australian teachers believe they'd receive recognition for improving their teaching, while 91 per cent believe they would receive no recognition for innovative teaching and 93 per cent believe their school principal does not take steps to address persistently underperforming teachers.