Accreditation for NSW teachers not checked in three years, inquiry hears – Sydney Morning Herald

Posted: October 12, 2019 at 10:45 am

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However, since 2017, none of these decisions have been reviewed by the agency with oversight of accreditations, the NSW Education Standards Authority, its director of teaching standards Lyn Kirkby told a parliamentary inquiry this week.

If teachers treated students the way they're treated by NESA, they would be sacked.

"Unfortunately we had a problem with our online system and applications then moved offline and so during the whole of 2017 and 2018 and to this day ... we've been doing a lot of compliance checks rather than quality checks," Ms Kirkby told the inquiry into measurement and outcome-based funding in NSW schools.

Ms Kirkby said the system "will be moving back online shortly" and NESA will resume doing random quality checks on decisions by the thousands of individual principals and school bodies.

She said NESA will also go back and randomly audit decisions made in the past three years.

John Quessy, secretary of the independent education union in NSW and the ACT, said that the lack of quality checks meant there was no real understanding of the minimum teaching standard that was being implemented across different schools and sectors.


"It's fair to say that NESA for the past three years have done no monitoring for quality or consistency in the process," Mr Quessy said.

"Nobody knows what the standard is. What happens in school X for somebody to be able to satisfy the requirements, there's no evidence that that would satisfy requirements in school Y.

"You can compare it to something like the HSC; we have a panel who set the standard and train everyone else to mark at the standard and then check for consistency in marking every single night.

"If teachers treated students the way they're treated by NESA, they would be sacked."

A spokeswoman for NESA said that it is currently only checking whether applications comply with the requirements of the application process.

"In addition to checking process and policy compliance, NESA previously reviewed alignment of the evidence provided in applicationswith the proficient teacher standards," the spokeswoman told theHerald.

The spokeswoman said that NESA does not have any authority to overrule decisions made by principals and school bodies.


Ms Kirkby also told the inquiry that NESA's quality checks going forward will not include any visits to schools to review teaching practices.

"What we're relying on is the judgement of senior teachers in the school who have been given the responsibility for making judgements about teachers' practice," she said.

Ms Kirkby said that the existing processes for teachers to achieve a voluntary highly accomplished or lead teacher accreditation, under which only 10 teachers received the accreditations last year, is also "of great concern to us".

"We're designing a new application process to support teachers, further to that there's been a lot of complexity across the system, duplication across the system," Ms Kirkby said.

President of the NSW Teachers Federation Maurie Mulheron said there are "teachers in every school who would be deserving of the recognition" but are not applying because the process is time-consuming and "onerous".

Education reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald

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Accreditation for NSW teachers not checked in three years, inquiry hears - Sydney Morning Herald

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October 12th, 2019 at 10:45 am

Posted in Online Education