QLD specific HAT and Lead Teacher certification process intensive
- From 1 July 2018, teachers in Catholic schools with more than five years classroom experience will be eligible to apply for voluntary certification as a Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT) or Lead Teacher.
- Intensive four-stage process requires compilation and annotation of a portfolio of evidence of teaching practice – including classroom observation reports – which can take at least two to three school terms to complete.
- New certification aims to recognise the nature of the work performed by experienced teachers with increased remuneration to keep excellent teachers in the classroom.
Teachers in Catholic schools considering an application for Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT) or Lead Teacher certification should be aware that the intensive, four-stage process requires compilation and annotation of a portfolio of evidence of their teaching practice, including classroom observation reports.
Teachers with more than five years classroom experience are soon to become eligible to apply for voluntary certification as HAT or Lead Teacher, with levels of remuneration at $106, 936 for HAT and $116,936 for Lead Teacher.
Certification as HAT or Lead Teacher is made through reference to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, which recognise HAT and Lead Teacher levels of practice as aspirational, rather than automatic, progressions above the Graduate and Proficient levels.
HAT and Lead Teacher certification differs from the former Experienced Teacher 5 and 6 classifications in that it is tied to the Standards and requires renewal every five years.
What is the issue?
While voluntary certification of HAT and Lead Teacher has been established in some states and territories – including the Northern Territory – for several years, Queensland teachers have, until recently, been unable to apply for certification due to the absence of an official certifying authority.
It is now expected that the process will be open to all Queensland teachers by next year, after 2017 saw several significant developments in relation to voluntary certification.
Our union has been actively engaged in discussions with Catholic employing authorities to determine how the process of certification will be implemented in Catholic schools.
Regardless of the sector within which a teacher is teaching, the procedures and processes for certification are expected to adhere to Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) guidelines, which are articulated in the Guide to the Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Australia.
How will this impact teachers?
Reports from the state government pilot trial, and Independent Schools Queensland’s existing certification program, suggest that the process of compiling and annotating evidence that demonstrates practice against all 37 focus areas of the Standards takes at least two to three school terms to complete.
Teachers wanting to submit an application can assess their readiness using AITSL’s preliminary self-assessment tool, prior to commencing work on their professional portfolio.
While industrial provisions relating to HAT and Lead Teacher certification in the Catholic sector take effect from 1 July 2018, a number of details relating to the certification process have yet to be confirmed.
Negotiations with Catholic employers have confirmed that the certifying authority should be cross-sectoral and are, therefore, anticipating that the role will be filled by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT); however, this has not yet been finalised as this requires an Act of Parliament to amend existing legislation.
The AITSL Guide to Certification advises that recourse to appeal is available according to legislation and processes existing in the jurisdiction where the decision is made, with the appeals processes managed by the certifying authority.
While the new certification benefit to teachers includes professional recognition and enhanced remuneration, there are broader and more significant advances to the teaching profession generally.
Previously, teachers who wanted to remain in the classroom teaching progressed automatically through steps in the pay scale, reaching a maximum rate of pay after nine years with little to no incentive for further professional progression through refinement of practice.
The new HAT and Lead Teacher certifications will recognise and acknowledge the nature of the work performed by experienced teachers, aiming to keep excellent teachers in the classroom.
For the latest information on the HAT and Lead Teacher certification, visit www.qieu.asn.au/classificationreview