A blueprint for change to reduce teacher workload

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

The Independent Education Union (IEU) NSW/ACT Branch welcomes the release of the state government’s Statement of Expectations and its focus on reducing teacher workload. The Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning, Prue Car, provided the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) with the Statement. It sets out the government’s expectations of the education authority.

“It’s about making things better. It’s about getting initial teacher education more closely aligned with the work of schools and it’s about increasing teacher supply.” IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam said.

“The profession welcomes the new approach. Managing change is complex but we now have a way forward.”

Reduce administrative burden

The six points detailed in the Statement of Expectations capture what is necessary to drive change, says the IEU. Key issues to be addressed include reducing the administrative burden on teachers, with recommendations that the rationale and benefits of any administrative task should be clearly communicated to teachers before requiring them to undertake such tasks.

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“The Statement embraces a revised way of thinking, a platform for professional discussions in schools, and importantly, a strong signal to employers that change is desirable,” Mr Northam said.

“Reducing unnecessary workload is a high priority for the Minister. Many such developments have no cost implications and are simply administrative in nature.”

The Statement also foreshadows the possibility of establishing “maximum” requirements, which would provide an upper limit on the work required of teachers and schools.

“The IEU has been making a case for reform and refinement with NESA expectations for many years. We applaud the Minister for Education for listening to the profession.”

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]brandx.live