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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 9 > Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment demanding more of supervising teachers

Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment demanding more of supervising teachers

The responsibility of supporting pre-service teachers as they complete assessment requirements is increasingly falling to supervising teachers as the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment trial commences. Supervising teachers are being expected to take on extra responsibilities without receiving an increase in pay. stressed_teacher.jpg

Issue snapshot:

  • A trial of the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA) is to be conducted in 2017. 
  • The assessment task consists of an intensive four-week cycle of lesson planning and implementation, culminating in a 5000 word assessment piece reporting on the pre-service teacher’s experience.
  • The marking of the assessment piece will be performed by teacher educators, but supervising teachers will be required to provide intensive support to pre-service teachers as they undertake the task.
  • Our union believes an increase in the rate of pay for supervising teachers is long overdue. 

In 2014, the then Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne assembled a Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) to advise on improvement of initial teacher education.  

A key recommendation of the TEMAG report was that, at the point of graduation, all pre-service teachers should be “classroom ready”. That is, they must meet the Graduate career stage of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and be “capable of creating learning experiences that support the achievement of all students, able to analyse, interpret and act on data, and confident in engaging with parents, carers and the community”. 

At present, 14 universities from all Australian states and Territories except South Australia, have signed on to participate in the 2017 GTPA trial. 

The task itself consists of an intensive four-week cycle of lesson planning and implementation, culminating in a 5000 word assessment piece reporting on the pre-service teacher’s experience during four component phases: 

  1. Collecting data and evidence related to student learning
  2. Planning and aligning teaching and learning activities and assessment
  3. Collecting and annotating student work examples at three different achievement levels.
  4. Calibration and verification of judgements through professional conversations.

Although marking of the assessment piece will be performed by teacher educators, it is unlikely that teacher educators will be in a position to engage in professional conversations with pre-service teachers, meaning the task of providing intensive support to pre-service teachers will fall to the supervising teacher. This will include providing pre-service teachers with access to student data, and training them in the interpretation and use of that data. 

The payment for supervision of pre-service teachers has been set at just $21.20 per day. The award itself was terminated by Fair Work Australia in 2011, but most universities continue to pay around or slightly above, the 1990 award rate.

Our union strongly believes that an increase in rate of pay for supervising teachers is long overdue. Every day that goes by without this issue being addressed shows a complete disregard for the profession and the importance of the duties performed by supervising teachers. It is unfair to demand supervising teachers take on extra responsibilities without affording them a rightful pay increase. 

Our union has agitated for an increase in payment and successfully achieved enhanced remuneration and time release for mentoring teachers in a number of recently negotiated collective bargaining agreements. 

In 2017, we will be launching a campaign to increase the rate of payment to supervising teachers in Queensland schools.  The first step in this campaign is to seek meetings with the Vice Chancellors of each of the ten universities that offer approved teacher education programmes in Queensland:  The Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, Christian Heritage College, Griffith University, James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology, Southern Cross University (Gold Coast Campus), The University of Queensland, The University of Southern Queensland and The University of the Sunshine Coast.