Important Information about Enrolling in and Completing a Professional Experience Placement

Professional Experience

All Initial Teacher Education (ITE) degrees require professional experience in a relevant educational setting for the enrolled course. Teacher education students, i.e. students enrolled in ITE degrees, must check the Course and Units Catalogue for the required number of professional experience days in their degree. Teacher education students must ensure they have allowed for professional experience when creating their study plan by arranging time off work, ensuring care is arranged for children or other dependants etc and other external factors that may affect the quality of placement. Placement must be completed in a block (i.e. one continuous set of days) unless otherwise stated on the Course and Units Catalogue or unless special arrangements have been approved by the Office for Professional Learning.

Before accepting a place at UNE, please consider these important requirements and familiarise yourself with the Professional Experience Policy.

The number of days to be completed for the particular professional experience placement unit in which a teacher education student is enrolled is indicated on the Course and Units Catalogue.

When a teacher education student is enrolled in the unit with professional experience for their degree they will be given access to the Moodle on-line learning site where all information is available relating to the placement. This site is called the PREXUS.

Eligibility to Undertake Professional Experience

The following are required for eligibility to undertake professional experience:

  • teacher education students must be enrolled in a UNE unit containing professional experience before undertaking a placement (to check this, access the Course and Units Catalogue (CAUC) or use the Professional Experience Placement Guide - please note: the CAUC is the most accurate and up to date information);
  • teacher education students must access information about professional experience on the Moodle on-line learning site (PREXUS) and provide the OPL with the required signed forms;
  • no placement may commence until a school/centre has been notified by the Office for Professional Learning that a teacher education student will be attending a placement; and
  • no teacher education student may commence a placement until they have received a confirmation letter from the Office for Professional Learning of their eligibility to do so.

LANCR/LANTITE - Literacy and Numeracy Tests

The NSW State and the Federal Governments have introduced new Literacy and Numeracy tests. It is a requirement that all Initial Teacher Education students including Bachelor of Education Early Childhood/Primary (but not including Early Childhood students studying straight Early Childhood degrees) pass both tests before undertaking their final placement.

It is a teacher education student's responsibility to ensure they meet any additional state/territory requirements for their placement. Please access the Literacy and Numeracy test page for more information.

Overseas Placement and Placement in 'Other Settings'

Overseas School-based placements

UNE Initial Teacher Education (ITE) degrees are accredited with the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA), who state:

Providers require that [the] supervised teaching practice is undertaken mostly in a recognised Australian school setting over a substantial and sustained period that is relevant to an authentic classroom environment.

This means that professional placements must be undertaken in a school in Australia using New South Wales syllabuses or equivalent Australian Curriculum and be assessing teaching proficiency against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

However, NESA acknowledges the benefits of completing placements in settings overseas and has allowed UNE to accept placements overseas if the placements can meet the following:

  • An overseas placement can count towards the minimum required professional experience days but cannot be the final professional experience placement in a program as the final placement must be in an Australian school in Australia.
  • The overseas placement will be part of a well-structured, well-designed professional experience program and is more likely to occur in the early stages of an initial teacher education program.
  • At least 50 percent of the minimum professional experience requirements for program accreditation must be in an Australian school setting, including the final professional experience placement.
  • The NESA Framework for High Quality Professional Experience in Schools and the Professional Experience – Common Report Template contained in it, will provide the basis of assessment in the overseas professional experience placement.

The Office for Professional Learning requires all placements in an overseas setting be in context with the degree of study, for example, a student studying to become a teacher of French completing a placement in France. Information will be required for submission to the Office for Professional Learning who will assess it for validity, acceptability and context to the degree of study.

The 50% rule means the courses requiring 80 days of professional experience can have a maximum of 40 days overseas or a maximum of 30 days overseas for the courses requiring 60 days, as long as the placement setting can meet the above requirements. The number of days completed in an overseas setting must be equivalent to the number of days required in a unit containing professional experience, e.g. a 20 day placement overseas will only be matched to a 20 day placement in a unit; completing 25 days in an overseas setting will not mean the additional five days will be applied to another unit.

Any student permitted to complete placement overseas will be required to meet that country's Working with Children Check equivalent and meet all other requirements for said country. If the country of placement does not have a Working with Children Check equivalent, UNE will require a statutory declaration to be completed.

Overseas Early Childhood-based placements

All professional experience placements in an Early Childhood Education and Care setting must meet the following requirements to be counted for placement.

The Early Childhood Education and Care setting must:

  • be a setting approved by ACECQA that caters for children prior to school age;
  • be using the Early Learning Years Framework.

A placement overseas in a setting that does not meet the above requirements will not be acceptable for a placement.

Placements in Current place of Employment

School

If you are currently working in a school as a teacher with Conditional Accreditation, you may be a candidate for an In-Service placement. This means that rather than shadowing a supervising teacher as per a teacher education student, the school principal or their delegate completes an independent report based on teaching over a specified number of days for the required unit for teacher training. The school would need to verify that the teacher education student take sole responsibility for the planning, teaching and assessment of a class or classes and must work with the In-Service candidate on improving teaching skills and application of pedagogy. They must also verify the independence of the assessor. Considerations will need to be made regarding the two school rule.

Please also note, the final placement of any teaching degree cannot be undertaken as In-Service in your current place of employment. This is in line with the NESA policy Professional Experience in ITE Policy. To adhere to these guidelines, arrangements for placements in other school settings will be required, including leave from current employment. Please visit the NESA site for information regarding the policy.

Approval for In-Service placement is at the discretion of the Office for Professional Learning and will require certain documentation to be assessed. For more information regarding In-Service placements, please contact the Office for Professional Learning through AskUNE or phone (02) 6773 3898.

Early Childhood

Students who are enrolling in an Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree and are currently employed in an Early Childhood Setting may be able to complete placements in their current place of employment, providing: the centre agrees to the placement and it is approved by the Office for Professional Learning.

There are, however, some units where an ECE student will be required to complete placement outside of the centre (including any 'sister' centres) in which they are currently employed. Please use the Professional Experience Placement Guide for assistance when arranging study plans for professional experience and for more information.

Pre-Placement Requirements

After enrolment in to the degree teacher education students will be required to undertake certain requirements, indicated below.

To be eligible for a professional experience placement in a school or centre, it is a requirement that UNE teacehr education students must:

  1. Be enrolled in a unit that contains professional experience as a mandatory component of the unit. To check this, access the Course and Units Catalogue (CAUC) or use the Professional Experience Placement Guide - please note: the CAUC is the most accurate and up to date.
  2. Have completed the online Anaphylaxis Training;
  3. Have completed the online Child Protection Module; and
  4. Have obtained a valid Working With Children Check clearance (pre-service teachers wishing to complete placement outside NSW will need to check their State's or Territory's requirements).
  5. By the final placement have complete the Literacy and Numeracy tests.

All teacher education students given entry into a UNE teaching degree will need to complete all three (3) mandatory requirements (and the Literacy and Numeracy tests before the final placement).

NSW Working with Children Check

A working with children check number is only valid when an application has been processed by the Roads and Maritime Services.  This WWC clearance number will be required on the placement form for each teacher education student.

Any teacher education student who has not completed all of these requirements will not be eligible for placement in a school or centre and will be refused by the Office for Professional Learning to begin placement. Some states have different or extra requirements that must be met. Links have been provided below to assist with clarification.

Please note: some of this information in the table below may not be up to date. Teacher education students must confirm with their state or territory what their requirements are regarding working with children.

Working with Children Check – Other States outside NSW

Requirements for Other States

ACT

The Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP) Act came commenced in 8 November 2012. All pre-service teachers who are wish to complete placement in the ACT will be required to undertake the WWVP check prior to engaging in professional experience activities. 

More information and application forms regarding the WWVP can be found on the Access Canberra ACT Government site.

NT

In the NT the law has recently changed and from 1 March 2011 it will be mandatory for people who have contact or potential contact with children to hold a Working with Children Clearance Notice and an Ochre Card. SAFE NT administers the clearance procedure which involves an employment and criminal history check. People who have previously had a Criminal History Check to work with children will still be required to apply for the Working with Children Clearance if they work certain specified areas of employment. For more information on the requirements visit https://education.nt.gov.au/education/careers-in-education/working-with-children-clearance or contact SAFE NT on 1800 SAFENT (1800 723 368).

QLD

In Queensland people working or volunteering with children need to hold a Blue Card.

Members of the Office for Professional Learning can sign the Blue Card application form after they sight any required identification. If you reside in an area where the Office for Professional Learning members cannot sight your original identification, you will need to complete a supporting form called a Prescribed Person Identification Verification Form (Where an Organisation/Employer Cannot Sight ID). 

Blue Card Forms Page

SA

New regulations regarding Professional Experience in a school or centre setting in South Australia came into effect in 2014. These provisions have been endorsed by the South Australian Government - Department for Education and Child Development, the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia and Catholic Education – South Australia.
 
More information can be found here.

All Education students intending to undertake a professional experience placement in South Australia must:

  1. Complete the Responding to Abuse and Neglect – Education and Care course hosted by accredited course providers (see section four for links to different providers). These certificates are valid for three years and will be the responsibility of the tertiary education student to ensure this is up to date. One provider organisation's training dates can be found here.
  2.  All students who wish to complete placement in South Australia are required to complete a compulsory Criminal History Screening through the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI - SA). "Follow up screening applications after three years is required and is the responsibility of the tertiary student and supervisors."
  3. Should you wish to complete a placement in South Australia at any time in your teaching degree, you must meet these requirements. Any student who does not meet these requirements will not be eligible to begin a placement in a school or centre in South Australia.
  4. Students completing professional experience in South Australia must complete Child Protection Modules and Anaphylaxis e-learning as well as the above. Working with Children Check is replaced by Criminal History Screening through the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion.
TAS

Currently there are no legal requirements for people working with children to undertake a police check in Tasmania, however, organisations which require employees and/or volunteers to work with children may have their own policies in this regard. In 2005 the Commissioner for Children Tasmania released a consultation paper discussing proposals for the Government to introduce screening procedures for Tasmanian organisations who want to employ people to work with children.

VIC

The Victorian Government has introduced the Working with Children Check, which is compulsory for people who wish to work with or volunteer with children. The check seeks to protect children from harm by requiring people to undertake a criminal history check before they start work in an organisation.

WA

In Western Australia a Working with Children Check is compulsory for people who carry out child-related work in Western Australia. The check aims to protect children by deterring people from working with children when they have criminal records that indicate they may harm children; and by preventing people with such records from gaining positions of trust in paid and voluntary work with children.

Providing Certificates to the Office for Professional Learning

All mandatory certificates must be obtained and submitted to the Office for Professional Learning before placement begins. Please submit your forms through InPlace under the my details tab (the person icon).

More Information: -

Working with Children Check (NSW only)

Anaphylaxis e-training

Child Protection and Awareness online Training

National Crime Check - for teacher education students outside of NSW to check the regulations for their State or Territory. Overseas students should check with the regulatory governing body for their country.