The AEU has discussions with both the Government and DET about the performance and development process, in the context of the election commitments received from Labor. The AEU and most principals have consistently opposed - the four-point rating scale, weightings and the separate student outcomes domain. They are focusing on the 2014-15 cycle at present, given the need for DET to finalise any changes and provide advice to schools as soon as possible, as well as trying to minimise disruption. The union is aware that some schools are already developing their plans for the next 12 months, in accordance with the current guidelines. Their advice to members is to progress slowly, pending any further changes to the model.
Meetings with Merlino
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino attended the Joint Primary & Secondary AEU Sector Council meeting on February 13 to outline the Government's priorities for education. Council was particularly pleased to hear the Minister thank principals teachers and ES for the important work that they do and to confirm his promise to scrap the four-point scale as part of the revised P&D model for school staff. He also announced that there would be a specific line item in budgets for 2016 to indicate additional money as part of the Gonski schools funding agreement; and a restructure of regional offices to deliver more support to schools and principals. In response to questions about the loss of the Education Maintenance Allowance, Minister Merlino said that entitlement for its new targeted payments - to assist disadvantaged families with the cost of excursions and other school activities - would be the same as for the former EMA and paid directly to schools for each eligible child. The Minister said he would endeavour to have some of these funds reach schools before the end of the year.