President's Message

President's Report December 2015

“This Must Stop” as media support school principals.

The Riley Report on principal health and wellbeing has gathered considerable interest around the country and in Tasmania. The banner headline in The Mercury on 3 December was “This Must Stop” in response to the bullying and violence data in the report. The article was based around an interview with the TPA. Other interviews have happened with ABC Mornings, Launceston FM, The Australian Financial Review and The Examiner. The Mercury headline was included in the newspaper overview on ABC News 24. The full report is now available from this link: www.principalhealth.org/au/reports

Important and timely AGPPA paper gets the public education discussion under way.

The paper Nation building through public education commissioned by AGPPA (of which all primary school principals are members through the TPA)  and written by Professor Alan Reid (Uni of South Australia) was released in Canberra on Monday 30 November. Go to  http://www.agppa.asn.au/ for details, summary, brochure and media release. The launch was attended by educators from around the country (including TPA Vice President Primary, Brett Youd) and federal opposition education spokesperson Kate Ellis. The author, and AGPPA President Gabrielle Leigh, will be in Tasmania early next year as part of this very important campaign to “get it right” for our students and our country. The paper has gathered some national media attention with, I am sure, more to come.

State Budget advice forwarded

The TPA state budget advice was submitted on 3 December. It was developed and ratified by our State Executive.

Tasmanian Principals Association

Tasmanian State Government Budget Submission

2016

 

In making this submission the Tasmanian Principals Association restates its support for a multi-partite, intergovernmentally depoliticised approach to education strategy and funding in Tasmania and for the nation as a whole.

The Tasmanian Principals Association welcomes the continuation of close engagement with the recommendations of the Riley Report into principal health and wellbeing:

a) improving the wellbeing of principals/deputy principals through professional support;

b) differentiated professional learning including strategies to address the “emotional labour” of the principalship;

c) on-going review of the work practices of principals and deputy principals in light of the “job-demands resources model” of organisational health; 

d) addressing bullying and violence towards principals and deputy principals.

These should also be considered in light of the 2015 report and recommendations to be released on December 3.

The TPA welcomes equity based funding approaches mooted in 2015 for implementation in 2016 and advocates an equitably based funding strategy that delivers, beyond 2016, a “no school loses” resource guarantee pertaining to the new staffing formula.

The TPA welcomes the allocation of funding for increased senior staffing for Tasmania’s public primary schools in 2016.

The TPA warmly welcomes the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to funding all of the “Gonski” years and strongly advocates for a collaboratively developed strategy “beyond the horizon” of the Gonski period. This strategy should be based, we urge, on the tenets that public education be free, compulsory and secular; well-resourced; thoroughly, efficiently and effectively networked via contemporary, well-supported information technologies; and accessible to all people of school age.

The TPA therefore urges a net increase in public school funding of approximately 3% beyond inflation for 2016 and that the “inflation plus 3%, equitably-distributed” model be sustained as an initiative of current and subsequent Tasmanian governments in ensuing years. This strategy should be continued until there is community satisfaction that public education in Tasmania is well-resourced. Funding increases for non-government schools should be capped at inflation rates. Further, the TPA advocates that all schools in receipt of government funding be required to meet the same levels of accountability.

The Tasmanian Principals Association urges the following strategic actions:

  • Funding allocations to the non-government sectors are dependent on full, “public system” accountability measures;
  • Multi-year School Resource Package (SRP) funding guarantees to be made to schools, and collaborative groups of schools, to support strategic development arising from School Improvement Plans and to allow agile response to contextual changes within schools and their communities;
  • Multi-year funding guarantees regarding joint SRP for schools amalgamating ie. the SRP’s of the schools to be joined and applied to the new entity for three or more years to facilitate and encourage amalgamation;
  • There is strong support for increases to SRP via the Fairer Funding model but these had been lost against diminished staffing in most schools following the politically/industrially driven change to staffing levels for 2015. This should be redressed immediately.
  • An end to bus subsidies beyond the local school gate as part of a strategic approach to end the residualisation of the public school system;
  • Predictability in capital works prioritisation and time frames;
  • A government directive for a review and re-drafting of staffing policies to ensure equity and fairness in staffing of all public schools and to further counter residualisation.

Principals Australia Institute John Laing Professional Development Awards 2015

This year’s awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor on Friday, December 4th. The awards were presented by Principals Australia Institute deputy chair, Rob Nairn, with PAI Programmes Manager Melanie Dancer also attending. Principals past and present and past President of the TPA Dr Rob Banfield made up a distinguished audience. Many thanks to TPA Business Manager, Tamara Clark for her work in organising and overseeing the function. Included below are the testimonials for recipients Dr Greg Morgan and Judy Pill.

Dr Greg Morgan

Greg’s 11 years’ experience as a principal spans all school sectors, with students as young as 6 months to 73 years, in schools from 250 students to 1500. Greg incorporates coaching into his work and is an accredited coach with Growth Coaching International, having graduated also in Advanced Cognitive Coaching from the Centre for Cognitive Coaching (USA).

Greg holds a PhD in leadership from Curtin University. His ongoing research inquires through the 'what' and 'how' of leadership, and deeply into the 'who'. He believes this is more vital than ever in a world of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

The John Laing Award recognises Greg’s work, study and dialogue.  Greg believes the energy released from the combination of shared visioning, surfacing shared, core values, and from building-in aligned systems can be phenomenal. He is currently synthesising findings from leading international research to shape 'tools' and strategies for building improved leverage in supporting the growth of other leaders.

Greg has presented papers and workshops in national education conferences across Australia as well as at leadership conferences in Europe and the USA. He has been invited regularly by the Tasmanian Principals’ Association to lead professional learning for its state Executive, school leaders and aspiring school leaders. He regularly supports Principal colleagues on aspects of their practice.

Greg is principal of Riverside High School.

Judy Pill

The John Laing Award recognises Judy’s deep commitment to professional learning in a number of leadership roles over many years and in a range of contexts including the principalship in primary and high schools; as a Principal Leader; and as Chair of the Tasmanian Principals Institute.

Throughout her career as a principal Judy has had a very strong focus on professional learning as a critical component in the capacity building of teachers. She has supported professional learning that is differentiated, always collaborative, and which is designed by teachers, for teachers, and with teachers. Judy has said that this hard and complex work cannot be done without principals and other leaders who understand the complexities of leadership and can build powerful learning communities.

Judy believes that principals must grow in their understanding of themselves and the disposition required to lead learning communities. She says that the degree to which principals take on this bold work of understanding themselves in order to lead others must continue to be the focus of principal learning. Judy devoted herself to this work and has set an outstanding example in the design, delivery and promotion of differentiated, collaborative professional learning at the heart of continuously improving teacher practice and outcomes for children.

Judy retired as principal of East Launceston Primary School in 2014.



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