South Australian Area School Leader’s Association
President – Pat Maloney – Mount Compass Area School
Vice President – Chris Roberts – Streaky Bay Area School
Vice President –Robyn Wohling – Kimba Area School
Treasurer –Leonie Falland –Mannum Community College
SAASLA Newsletter – President’s Report
New Executive and Positions
Thankyou to all members who voted in our recent elections and have entrusted the existing Executive with the task of representing your views and presenting your issues to the system. Your new Executive are:
Pat Maloney – President (Pat has stated his intention that this will be his last year in this role) Mt Compass Area School
Chris Roberts – Vice President – Streaky Bay Area School
Robyn Wohling – Vice President – Kimba Area School
Leonie Falland – Treasurer – Mannum Community College
Ian Kent – Kangaroo Island Community Education
Steve Bennett – Keith Area School
Kylie Eggers – Swan Reach Area School
Prue Hunter – Jamestown Community College
Lesley Murray – Coomandook Area School
Ray Marino – Cleve Area School
Each member of the Executive attends meetings and represents you in a variety of areas with DECD. If you have any specific issues you wish raised please contact either one of us to raise at our meetings or the representatives direct. Our portfolios include:
• Principal’s Australia – Ian Kent and Ray Marino
• HR – Steve Bennett and Kylie Eggers
• Australian Curriculum – Robyn Wohling (secondary), Lesley Murray / Prue Hunter (primary)
• Membership – Kylie Eggers and Kym O’Loughlin (our clerical officer)
• ICT / Learning Technologies – Chris Roberts and Ian Kent
• DIAF – Leonie Falland and Steve Bennett
• Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat – Robyn Wohling, Ray Marino, Steve Bennett (numeracy)
• Professional Support – Ray Marino and Kylie Eggers
• Student Voice – Ray Marino and Leonie Falland
• SACE Principal’s Advisory Committee – Pat Maloney
• Publicity – Robyn Wohling
• Conference Organisation – Robyn Wohling, Leonie Falland, Prue Hunter, Steve Bennett
• Coalition of Associations (SAPPA, SASPA)
Representation on broader issues eg Red Tape Review, Utilities/ Cleaning /Maintenance are conducted through the coalition of Associations.
New DECD Model
There is currently a group of six people putting together a new model for the organisation of DECD. Some of the information we currently have includes:
• Regional executive positions will exist
• Some version of clustering of schools will exist, but how this will look is to be determined. It may well be determined by the regions or the schools themselves.
• 500 jobs from central and regional offices will be cut.
• Families SA and Health will be involved in some way with the new model – may be located in school sites to create a community hub for all services to families.
• This may be trialled on Kangaroo Island as a model for other rural /country regions.
• Concerns were raised about adopting a ‘one size fits all’ model and conversely issues around too much flexibility for leaders to determine their cluster organisation.
• Autonomy has been spoken about, however there is no definition of this at the moment and this has real implications for resourcing.
• Safeguards to ensure that the cluster model does not increase principals’ workloads.
• At this stage there are no forums for feedback.
ACTION: As an association we will develop a position paper on what we would like to see either included or not in the new cluster model.
If you have any thoughts on this please send them through to one of us.
Issues Currently Being Discussed with the Coalition
1. Electricity Costs – there will be an announcement from DECD about the rebasing and new funding allocation for electricity before the end of this year. The new allocation will be in place for next year.
2. Maintenance – there will be a new model and clear definition about what is breakdown maintenance and the process for capital works soon. There will be a review of this after 12 months.
3. Major Capital Works – of the 32 applications presented last year, 2 went forward for feasibility studies and of the 12 feasibility studies conducted, 2 were approved for funding. The Capital Works Group headed by Ross Treadwell stated that the process for applications was sound.
4. EB – all parties are keen to have this resolved quickly
5. SAPPA Recruitment and Selection Paper – recommendations include that all permanent vacancies to go to advertisement, that a list of PATs be developed with skills and previous experience listed so principals can refer to this prior to going to advertisement, aim of the policy is to have all staffing completed before the end of term 4 and that PRTs should be considered in the same way as PATs at the end of their tenures.
6. Some issues raised about the placement of Country Scholarship students being placed in A vacancies – suggestion that they could be considered in the same way as PATs and PRTs
• Jim Davies is now the CEO.
• A request from our group to be put forward that there be greater flexibility of timing (both tenure and advertisement) of internal Coordinator positions.
• Also to challenge the current situation that A vacancies advertised in rural schools are limited in the first instance to a limited pool of Country Scholarship graduates.
• Concerns raised that the support from Implementation Officers has not been as effective as hoped for or needed.
• Vertically grouped classes poses challenges for the implementation of Australian Curriculum.
ICT / Learning Technologies
• 12 – 14 schools have indicated that they would like DECD to negotiate a smaller licence deal for Adobe Photoshop – they are investigating this with these schools.
• Concerns raised re the cost of IT hardware replacement costs if DER is not sustained. Will raise this with DECD to determine what is happening here.
• Chris will investigate the possibility of training with the Learn Link software for schools.
Literacy and Numeracy
• Discussions about the use of School Entry Assessment in schools – the fact that a lot of schools are not using this and the need for improvements in the software if the system still requires this to be done.
• We raised concerns that the criteria for Literacy Mentors and Reading support teachers is limited to schools with low Index of Disadvantage and that many rural schools have high index level but this is not always reflected in the literacy levels of our students.
• Real push now for the inclusion of numeracy as a focus – numeracy achievement levels across the state are decreasing.
• There is a new Action Plan for Literacy and Numeracy out for consultation – please feed back any responses to Robyn Wohling.
• Student conference held on the 25th October in Kimba with students from across Eyre Peninsula – Whyalla, Cowell, Cleve, Kimba, Streaky Bay, Wudinna, Elliston to discuss issues of common concern. Keith Bartley opened the conference and address the students via Skype.
• No recent information regarding the future of the Research Project
Professor John Halsey’s Research Project
• John attended our last face to face meeting to present a draft of a survey that he plans to send to principals of R – 12 schools.
• His research project is around the complexities of the principal ship of R – 12 schools.
• We provided feedback on his questions to date.
• It is hoped that this research will support our argument that the complexity of leading our schools should be considered in the PCO level of such positions.
• We also suggested that it would be useful to ask how leaders are currently solving the difficulties in R – 12 leadership.
• Discussion was held around some of the challenges we as leaders are currently having with the AEUs stance on some issues.
• Suggestion was put forward that a round table discussion between the coalition or even our association with representation from the AEU may be a productive way forward.
• If you have such challenges or issues can you please forward these to any of us or if you are a member of the union to use the communication channels – like their chat line to provide feedback to the union.
• Please put the dates of August 8th and 9th in your diaries for our conference next year.
• It will be held at ‘The Lakes Resort’, Westlakes once again.
• If you have any suggestions for a theme, guest speakers etc please contact Robyn Wohling.
• Face to face meetings are scheduled for Monday of Week 2, every term.
• Teleconference meetings – Wednesday of Week 7 each term.
• If you have anything you would like us to take up on your behalf please contact one of us prior to these dates.
Once again, the members of the Executive thankyou for your confidence in us to represent you and we look forward to hearing from you.