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Home > News > 2020 > May > Waiving of A-E mid-year reporting welcome

Waiving of A-E mid-year reporting welcome

Topics : COVID-19

Teacher_marking_at_desk.jpgOur union has welcomed the decision to waive the controversial rule requiring teachers to grade students from A to E for each subject in their mid-yearly reports. 

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan wrote to education authorities last week to exempt them from the rule which is a condition of Commonwealth funding. 

He told The Sydney Morning Herald that schools would “still need to include an assessment of the student’s achievement against any available national standards and relative to the performance of the student’s peer group.”

Adjustments should be made to mid-year reports 

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said non-government employers needed to adjust their individual reporting requirements due to the significant disruption caused to schooling due to COVID-19.

“Term 2 reporting should be adjusted to compensate for the reduced face-to-face teaching time and additional workload intensification caused by the switch to remote learning due to public health directions,” Mr Burke said.

“During an ordinary year, reporting requirements increase the workload of teachers, with many teachers starting to plan and gather data for reports early in Term 2. 

“Because teachers have had limited face-to-face contact time with students, it will be harder for them to gather the necessary data they need to measure against the normal criteria.

“It would also not accurately account for or reflect the resilience and adaptability shown by students during this global crisis. 

“It would be unfair and unreasonable on both teachers and students to carry our Term 2 reports in the ordinary manner and to the normal standards,” he said.

Some employers using their discretion 

Our union is aware of some employers already indicating their expectations regarding Term 2 reporting.

Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) has advised that BCE schools are required to report against the Education Act 2013 and, in the case of Years 11 and 12, against specific QCAA requirements.  

However, for years P-10, and in the context of COVID-19, measures to support schools will include:

  • adding a statement to the existing disclaimer section outlining alternative education provisions that took place;
  • allowing timelines for publishing and distributing reports to be adjusted; and 
  • letting schools determine which subjects can be reported on subject to availability of evidence of learning across Terms 1 and 2. 

Union action 

Employers and schools need to clearly communicate to staff and the wider school community their guidelines for Term 2 reports. 

Schools should consult with their staff about what are reasonable expectations for reports in light of the disruption to on-site face-to-face learning and extra workload associated with delivery mode changes. 

If members are concerned about reporting requirements, they should in the first instance raise this with their IEU School Chapter for action. 

For any major issues, members should contact our union for support.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.