Message for the Queensland Teachers Union:

Minister clarifies school autonomy

Queensland Education Minister, Cameron Dick has reaffirmed that under a Labor government no changes will be made to school-based management and school autonomy in Queensland until after the completion of consultation over the Local Decisions: Stronger Schools Community discussion paper and after negotiation of employment arrangements with the QTU and other unions.

This follows reports in a Sydney newspaper and in The Courier-Mail on Saturday that gave the impression that Queensland and New South Wales had signed up to a national partnership agreement giving principals the right to “hire and fire” teachers.
In responding to the QTU’s call for clarification, the Minister reiterated that:
• there is already a high level of decision-making in Queensland schools
• any change to school autonomy must ensure the maintenance of the teacher transfer system, essential to staffing schools all over the state
• the government wants the main role of principals to be instructional leaders rather than business managers
• any changes must ensure that small schools, of which there are many in Queensland, are not disadvantaged.

Any changes would also require a change to the certified agreement and legislation. Members Newsflash, 12 Feb 2012

From MOUNT COOTHA ALP CANDIDATE
ANDREW FRASER
Dear Ms Leigh
Thank you for your letter dated 24 February 2012 regarding the role of teacher-librarians in Queensland schools.
A re-elected Bligh Labor Government will continue to recognise and values the profession teacher librarianship in schools.
The Queensland Government's school improvement agenda depends on the contribution of teacher-librarians and school libraries.
This is demonstrated through an allocation of teacher-librarian resources to all Queensland state primary and secondary schools based on student enrolment numbers. In 2011, for example, 960 primary, 182 secondary, 47 P-10 and 15 P-12 school sites had a teacher librarian allocation..
A re-elected Bl.igh Labor Government remains committed to providing specialist services, including teacher-librarians, to state schools under the Department of Education and Training Teachers' Certified Agreement 2010.
Within these parameters, it is then left for each school's principal to determine how to best utilise teacher librarians in schools.
Your letter refers, in error, to diminishing library services in schools. In fact, the number of teacher librarians allocated to schools has increased by 4.6 FTEs (from 899 FTEs to 903.6 FTEs) between the 2008 school year and the 2011 school year.
We consider that that the role of teacher-librarians becomes more relevant in the face of new technology. That is why a re-elected Bligh Labor Government will continue to provide tertiary training courses to assist teacher-librarians in maintaining specialised skills.
For example, the Bligh Government funds 50 per cent of the cost to registered training organisations to deliver traineeship courses for Certificates It and III in Library/Information Services under the `User Choice' program.
We subsidise TAFE institutions 88 per cent for Certificates II, lll and IV in Library/information services and Diploma of Library /Information Services.
Only a Bligh Labor Government is committed to the important role that these play in our schools and will deliver the services to support them.
A re-elected Bligh Government has an exciting vision for the future of education that is unmatched anywhere in Australia. Only Labor has committed to the Queensland Education Trust, a futuristic initiative that will take the wealth from our mines and invest it into the minds of our children. More than $2..5 billion additional funding in the first ten years will provide Queensland schools teachers and students with a competitive edge, and our state with an. outstanding new economic base.
Yours
ANDREW FRASER MP
DEPUTY PREMIER OF QUEENSLAND

From IPSWICH WEST ALP CANDIDATE
WAYNE WENDT
Dear Ms Leigh
Thank you for your correspondence dated 8 March 2012, seeking my support for the principle of employing teacher-librarians in charge of school libraries and for adequate funding of school libraries.
I have received advice an official response is being prepared by the Premier's Office, which will be forwarded to you in due course.
I appreciate you bringing the concerns of the association to my attention. If I can be of any further assistance, please contact my office on the above number.
Yours
Wayne Wendt MP
State Member for Ipswich West


From CLEVELAND ALP CANIDIDATE
JO BRISKEY
Dear Ms Leigh,
Thank you for your recent letter regarding the employment of teacher-librarians and funding for school libraries.
As a trained educational and developmental psychologist, I completely agree with your assessment that reading ability is a crucial factor in the education of children and their success in later life.
It's particularly important that as a community we all do more in the National Year of Reading (NYR) to promote reading among children in our community.
Education is in my blood. Both of my parents are trained primary school teachers. Also, my Mother-In-Law has been a TAFE librarian for over 20 years. I often hear firsthand the difference that teachers and librarians can make in the lives of their students.
I've also had the privilege of working with many of the dedicated parents involved with Parents and Citizens Associations in the Cleveland electorate. I can assure you that I will continue to work with them to ensure that children in our schools are not disadvantaged when it comes to teachers, facilities and resources.
In an age where information is readily available to many children, I believe we need to provide our children with the skills they need to: navigate the information superhighway; critically analyse the sources they choose; and synthesise these sources to develop the big ideas for the future.
That's why I'd be interested in talking with you further about the role that teacher-librarians can play in equipping
Thank you for taking the time to write to me on this issue. I look forward to speaking with you further about the role that teacher-librarians can play in our schools.
Yours sincerely,
Labor Candidatefor Cleveland
PO Box 958, CLEVELAND Q. 4163 • PHONE: 07 3459 1330 EMAIL: jo.briskey@queenslandlabor.org.au


From MACKAY ALP CANDIDATE
TIM MULHERIN
Dear Toni,
Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to respond to your letter regarding the role of teacher librarians.
I attach a copy of a response from Hon Andrew Fraser MP, Deputy Premier on behalf of Queensland Labor.
Tim Mulherin MP
State Member for Mackay

(See above for copy of letter)

From MURRUMBA ALP CANDIDATE
DEAN WELLS
Hello Toni,
Thanks for your letter of 8 march enquiring as to my views on several issues. Being (as I am) someone who has published books, you can be sure that I am on your side in respect of all the issues you raised. The quality of our libraries will continue to predict the quality of our minds. Please contact me if I can assist in a specific respect.
Cheers
Dean Wells
Member for Murrumba