Not long to go now until the school holidays are upon us. Make sure you take some time to rest, recharge and recover after what has been an extremely busy start to the 2023 school year.
As noted by SSTUWA Vice President Sharmila Nagar on the previous page, the deadline for submissions to the independent review into public education is drawing near.
Whether you are a principal, deputy, head of learning area, senior teacher or Level 3 Classroom Teacher, you are in a unique position to offer insight into the challenges public educators face on a daily and long-term basis.
It is vital the panel capture what the critical issues facing public education are and explore possible solutions. As such, I would implore all school leaders and senior staff to take this invaluable opportunity to provide the panel with your input on the state of the sector.
The results of the review will help to inform and educate the broader community and government about what needs to be done to deliver a top-class education system – and the best way for you to assist is to get involved, as you see more than most, the really pressing issues affecting public education.
The latest results from the Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Well-being Survey (see here) further underline the urgency for reform for school leaders in terms of their workplace conditions and career pathways.
The panel would love to hear from any school leaders who have feedback in those areas, too.
Visit sstuwa.org.au/review for more information and for the opportunity to have your say. Submissions close 21 April.
Dealing with incidents that affect schools such as floods and fires can consume many hours of a school leader’s time, but if you ever find yourself in that situation, the SSTUWA has secured some relief for you.
One of the major achievements from the last Schools General Agreement was winning compensatory leave for principals.
Under GA 2021 Clause 17.8:
a) The intention of compensatory leave for principals is to provide recognition of work required to be undertaken outside of normal school hours to manage catastrophic emergencies and events.
b) Compensatory leave for principals is not for circumstances normally met by other forms of leave.
c) Compensatory leave for principals is not approved for work done on tasks that are normally completed by others.
d) The Department will credit Directors of Education with 320 days of compensatory leave across all regions for Principals over two years.
e) Compensatory leave for principals can be approved for part of a day.
Applications for compensatory leave for principals need to be made to the Director of Education as soon as practicable, and if approved, will be taken at a mutually convenient time.
This was a national first and a core achievement from the GA 2021 that you, by being part of a powerful collective that is the SSTUWA, helped to achieve.
By Natalie Blewitt
Senior Vice President