New Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) Tony Farley has announced a review of compliance and system-generated requirements with the intention of creating efficiencies, the removal of duplication and restoration of time for schools to focus on core business.
The Union has welcomed the review. Members have identified a number of issues that should be a starting point for SCS to consider. These include the following:
Before SCS decides to implement a new approach, it should go through a checking process: who has requested the initiative; is that work already being done? Who will perform the work? Will any existing work be superseded? What funding is available? What is the cost/benefit? Is there any peer reviewed evidence to support this initiative?
SCS should provide template programs, with teachers being able to modify them as required for their students. This already occurs to a limited extent in some subject areas in some dioceses but is not widespread. Where such programs are provided, additional detail should not be required at school level. Where programs are required to be revised to include new resources, such as Google Program, the revisions should be done by diocesan staff, not classroom teachers.
School based initiatives
Individual schools should not mandate an activity or process that is not required by NESA, the funding body nor the employer. An example is the requirement to include Learning Intentions in school programs.
The Union will be meeting to discuss these issues with SCS in coming weeks and with all dioceses in coming months. Delegates to the recent IEU June Council discussed measures to reduce teacher workload and we will also be seeking feedback from chapters.
SCS contract renewals
As part of the review, SCS has decided to suspend for six to 12 months contract renewal processes for principals, assistant principals, RECs, middle leaders and senior SCS head office staff. School based staff other than principals will receive a normal extension of their contract on the renewal date and for principals due for contract renewal in 2019, the process will be deferred until 2020.