South Australian Area School Leader’s Association

    President –Pat Maloney–MountCompassAreaSchool

       Vice President – Chris Roberts – StreakyBayAreaSchool

Vice President –Robyn Wohling –KimbaAreaSchool

Treasurer –Leonie Falland –MannumCommunity   College

 

 

 

TERM 1, 2013, NEWSLETTER

 

SAASLA Newsletter – President’s Report

We had some minor victories in the EB. As a result of our lobbying along with the Coalition, the work of Principals in schools has been recognised through a “bonus” payment (about $6000 for PC05 level). We are still working to recognise the complexity of running an R-12 school through the development of an Index of Complexity which includes R-12 as one dimension of this index. This is happening as part of a review of the Index of Educational Disadvantage-I am a member of this group.

 

The increased flexibility of leadership positions through the EB will also be an advantage. In particular, doing away with Co-ordinator 2 for Primary Co-ordinators makes a great deal of sense especially in Area Schools. The fact we will be funded for the increased pay of Co-ordinator 2 to convert to Band B-1 is an added advantage.

 

The increase of 3% as a country incentive, allowances for the cost of commuting and adversity component goes some way to meeting our demands to attract and retain country teachers. Clearly there is still a lot of work to do in this area.

 

I have been part of a review looking at adolescent learners in the Middle Years of schooling-in particular, the implications of moving Year 7 students into secondary schools (or not). The group, chaired by Brenton Semmens, has looked at three issues of the subject-Policy, Educational Issues and Structural Issues. I have been on the structural sub-group. We have looked at the national picture, International Studies, Resource allocation and Human Resource issues, impact on smaller schools and issues such as Facilities and Industrial Relations.

A paper on the three components is being developed for the Chief Executive, who will use this to consider the best future for Middle Schooling in South Australia.

 

Chris Roberts and I are meeting with Garry Costello on April 10. This will be just after the Brighter Futures announcement and will allow us to discuss implications of the new structure for Area Schools. The SAASLA Executive are meeting by telephone on April 9 to develop our response.

We then have a meeting with the Minister, Jennifer Rankine. The focus of this meeting is to make her aware of our association and issues particular to Area Schools such as attraction and retention of leaders and teachers, provision of Senior Secondary Schooling and the issues of being the hub of many communities. I have sent out the SAPPA and SASPA Recruitment and Selection paper for member comment. Please send in your thoughts or discuss ideas with your executive member.

Lesley Murray has resigned as a member of our executive. We thank Lesley for her wonderful work over many years, particularly in Finance and our Professional Development group. Lesley’s position has been taken by Jim Michalanney, who is a welcome addition to our team.

 

 

Your Contact on Executive

  • This year we have allocated a member of Executive to a particular area of the state.
  • Hopefully many of you have had a phone call or email from one of us just to touch base and to let you know that we are your contact person on Exec.
  • A number of us are planning ‘road trips’ in term 2 to just pop in and put faces to names. I’m sure there will be plenty to talk about and share. We look forward to seeing you, learning all the great things you are doing and to gather any issues you would like us to take up on your behalf.
  • Allocations are:
  • Far North –  Chris Roberts and Ray Marino
  • South East – Steve Bennett and Ian Kent
  • Yorke and Mid North – Robyn Wohling and Kylie Eggers
  • Eyre and Western – Jim Michaelanney (and Chris, Ray and Robyn)
  • Fluerieu and Kangaroo Island – Pat Maloney
  • Murray and Mallee – Lesley Falland
  • Prue will be allocated an area at our next face to face meeting.

 

Issues Currently Being Discussed with the Coalition

Brighter Futures and New Structure

  • Pat and Chris attended the ‘Big Day In’ on our behalf on December 6th last year.
  • The focus of this day was similar to the Brighter Futures forums and focused on the merging of education with Families SA and CAHFS.
  • We expected some discussion on the new structure (clustering, independent schools etc) and prepared information for that. We also expected this to be part of the Brighter Futures events.
  • This issue will be raised by Pat and Chris when they meet with Garry Costello to get some clarification about plans for this and put forward our ideas on our current thinking about the implications for our schools.

National Partnerships Funding Group

  • Our support for retaining the Regional Leadership Consultants was successful

Red Tape Review

  • This group continues to meet
  • Has been asked to compile a summary of what red tape has been reduced.
  • Your feedback to us on this issue would be helpful

Index of Disadvantage

  • We have been pushing for this to be an Index of Complexity that acknowledges the issues of complexity in R-12 rural and isolated sites.
  • Conversations about including the educational level of students’ mothers has taken place given that research shows that this is the biggest indicator of student success.

Best Practice Awards

  • Feedback from all of you is being sought about the criteria for these awards.
  • We feel that currently they are quite narrow and are looking for suggestions on ways to open them up a bit more.

Coalition News (with SAPPA and SASPA)

  • South Australia expected to sign off on Gonski soon
  • Pre-service teacher training – early discussions with all universities about this issue.
  • DECD central office – massive movements of staff
  • Leadership Institute – no further developments  on this
  • High levels of confidentiality in DECD head office raised with the CE by the Coalition. Garry Costello working on new communication strategy to schools.

Breakdown Maintenance

  • Could you please let your Exec member know if you have or have not received reimbursement for 2012 expenditure – we want to follow this up through the Coalition.
  • Seems to be ongoing grey areas in relation to Preventative Maintenance – any issues, concerns or stories about this would be useful too.

Cleaning

  • Again – ongoing saga
  • Any information about issues with cleaning would strengthen our case for major reform in this area.
  • Concerns around – capacity, standard of outcomes cleaning, hours of work, insufficient time allowances, funding.

Disability Support

  • Continuity of support for students from Kindy to schools an ongoing issue.
  • Inadequate funding for high level needs students – is this an issue in other sites? Please let us know.

Portfolio Reports

Treasurer’s Report

  • The Association is currently in a sound financial position.
  • Work is being done to formalise our arrangements with our sponsors.
  • Current sponsors are KW Wholesalers, Teachers Health, Credit Union SA, Shadeport, Vectra and Devon Clothing.
  • Any suggestions of new sponsors or ways in which to acknowledge their contributions can be sent through to Leonie Falland at Mannum Community College.

 

Principal’s Australia

  • PALNET – social media for Principals
  • John Laing Awards and Mind Matters emanate from this association.
  • Feedback on the John Laing Award being sought.

 

Adolescent Middle Years of Schooling Working Party – Pat Maloney

  • This group has been meeting quite regularly.
  • They have been asked by Keith Bartley to look into the possibility of moving Year 7 into Secondary schools.
  • Will affect the way Year 7s are funded in our Area Schools.
  • This group’s timeline currently spans to the middle of the year.
  • Chaired by Brendan Semmens.

Senior Secondary Working Party (SACE) – Pat Maloney

  • Formed late last year by Helen Wildash
  • Has been looking at the SACE review and implications of the Australian Curriculum in Senior Secondary
  • Support for new principals of Area schools who have a primary background was raised as an issue.
  • Your Executive is currently exploring ways in which we may be able to provide support for such people – if you are one of these please contact your Exec support person in the first instance.
  • Pat will raise this at the next meeting to ensure that DECD and the SACE board are aware of the need for this extra support.

HR – Steve Bennett and Kylie Eggers

  • Issues around the holding of vacancies being discussed – holding back the appointments of teachers until January.
  • Teachers accepting a position and then reneging on that offer later raised as an issue to be worked through.
  • Performance management of underperforming teachers still raising concerns.
  • FIR does not exist as a separate entity in the RES – still confusion around this.
  • Questions have been raised about the process and criteria for selection of Country Scholarships.
  • Concerns about country schools ability to cover teachers taking retention leave – either in large chunks or a number of people all wanting to take it at the same time.

Curriculum

Primary – Prue Hunter

Secondary – Robyn Wohling

  • Most of the support for this has been through the Australian Curriculum implementation strategy.
  • Ros Shepherd is a useful contact for implementation of primary maths.
  • Still the dilemma that there has been funding provided for primary and not secondary. A lot of Area Schools have now tagged this funding for whole school A/C implementation.

ICT / Learning Technologies – Chris Roberts and Ian Kent

  • Two key people involved in supporting video conferencing have left DECD
  • No information about who now has responsibility for this.
  • Chris has been involved in a panel looking at how to procure ICT tech support in schools.
  • The group has asked for tenders from large IT companies.
  • Further information expected by the end of this term.

Literacy and Numeracy – Robyn Wohling, Steve Bennett and Ray Marino

  • The Literacy Secretariat has been disbanded
  • To be replaced by a body responsible for Literacy and Numeracy
  • Very little information available – seems to be waiting on direction from the new Minister.
  • An update will be sought when Pat and Chris meet with Garry Costello

 

 

Conference –  PUT THESE DATES IN YOUR DIARY NOW!!!

Theme –‘Independent Schools – What’s in it for us?’

  • This is scheduled for Sunday the 4th to Tuesday 6th August at The Lakes Resort, Westlakes.
  • We will be joined by members of the Small Schools Association for our dinner on Sunday evening and the Monday’s program. We hope that this will combine the voice of those of us working in rural schools.
  • Guest speakers include:
  • Phil Brown – Executive officer of Country Education Project Victoria.
  • Alan Smith – President W.A. District High Schools Association
  •  Fiona Yeats – Secretary of W.A. District High  Schools Association Principal of Bruce Rock District High School
  • John Boylan – immediate past principal of Lake Grace District High School (W.A.)
  • Keith Bartley – CE DECD
  • Garry Costello – Head of Schools DECD
  • Prof John Halsey – Sidney Myer Chair of Rural Education Future Meetings
  • Your association will cover conference costs including meals and drinks. We only ask that you pay for your accommodation
  • Rooms have been reserved at The Lakes for members – please ring and book your own rooms.
  • We will be calling for nomination for our ‘Best Practice Awards’ and for schools to share some success stories on the Tuesday morning.  So please, tell us about the good work that you are all doing in our Area schools.
  • The full program and registration forms will be sent to schools early in term 2.