Important changes to NESA accreditation in New South Wales
Professional development (PD) for New South Wales teachers, including early childhood teachers (ECTs) will have to meet new, more rigorous standards, and focus on priority areas in order to be accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) from 2021.
The changes were announced recently by the NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell, and follow NESA’s review of the process for endorsing professional development providers and their courses.
Effective immediately from the announcement, NESA’s endorsement of more than 750 providers, and 42,000 courses for teachers has been cancelled. This, Ms Mitchell said, was to ensure that teachers start with “a clean slate” and will allow NESA to guarantee the quality and value of the courses they accredit.
ECTs will still need to undertake 100 hours of professional development for over five years to maintain their accreditation. However, the 50 hours of NESA accredited courses will now be undertaken in (new) priority areas, while courses in the other 50 hours will need to meet an approved list of elective areas (yet to be announced).
NESA’s (new) accredited priority areas are:
- delivery and assessment of NSW Curriculum/Early Years Learning Framework (as applicable)
- student/child mental health
- students/children with disability
- Aboriginal education and supporting Aboriginal students/children.
Elective Professional Development (PD) may include activities completed in or outside an ECTs service that contribute to the ECT’s ongoing professional learning and meet NESA’s criteria for effective professional learning. NESA will publish information on the activities that may be recorded as Elective PD and the criteria for effective professional learning by Term 1, 2021.
“Teachers do an outstanding job when it comes to professional development, many completing more than double the required hours,” Ms Mitchell said.
“This change will ensure that everything on offer is of a standard that will benefit them and their students in areas where we know additional support is needed.
As a result of the changes, NSW will be the first jurisdiction in the country to mandate professional development for all teachers in supporting students with disabilities, managing mental health and education for Aboriginal students.
Further information is available on the NESA website.