Rural and Remote
Education Inquiry Briefing Paper
12. Career structures
While the turnover
of rural and remote staff is still high compared to metropolitan schools,
there has been some slowing in teacher turnover since the recent economic
downturn and the tightening of the employment market (Boyan & Bandy 1998,
page 153). The consequence of teachers staying for longer periods in rural
and remote schools means that their access to professional development
is reduced. Some States and Territories provide a points scheme (see table
above, 'Comparison of Australian State and Territory Teacher Allowances
and Incentives') whereby career enhancement is possible through a rural
or remote appointment. In Western Australia however, Level 111 (management)
positions are determined through 'merit based selection'. In this instance,
an appointment in a rural or remote school can actually impede career
enhancement because merit is determined to some extent by training and
professional development. Whilst additional points were once allocated
to Level 111 staff in rural and remote schools, they must now compete
with their metropolitan counterparts for transfer positions. Remote schools
may become the posts of 'last resort' making it more difficult for incumbent
staff to transfer back to metropolitan schools (Butorac 1998, page 4).
111 positions (management) are all promotions on merit. Country teachers
have difficulty accessing professional development and their lack of connectedness
means that it is more difficult to obtain promotion (Michelle White,
Australian Education Union (WA), oral submission, 1999). The level
111 teacher concept is meritorious however rural teachers have an additional
hoop and hurdle to address in overcoming the vigorous selection process.
The whole ritual impacts on their teaching time and time spent with students
and detracts from the education program. The criteria for application
are unreasonable (Butorac 1998, page 4).
updated 2 December 2001.