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.

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.

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

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

  1. Be enrolled in a unit that contains professional experience as a mandatory component of the unit.
  2. Have completed the online Anaphylaxis Training (expires 2 years after obtaining);
  3. Have completed the online Child Protection Module; and
  4. Have obtained a Working with Children Check or equivalent, as per the below state or territory requirements.
  5. By the final placement have complete the Literacy and Numeracy tests.

Working with Children Check

Teacher Education Students are required to obtain a Working With Children Check (WWCC),  or equivalent for the state in which they will be undertaking placement. Prior to undertaking your final placement you will need to hold a paid employment Working with Children Check.

Things to remember:

  • Once you have obtained your WWCC you will need to upload a copy of your card/letter to InPlace along with the number;
  • If your WWCC will expire before you have completed your placement, you will need to renew and re-upload the number and a copy of your card/letter to InPlace;
  • If you change from a volunteer to a paid WWCC, you will need to re-upload the amended number and a copy of your card/letter to InPlace.

ACT

The ACT Government administers Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP) registration. For further information and to apply, visit the Access Canberra website.

NSW

The NSW Government administers Working With Children Checks. For further information and to apply, visit the Office of the Children's Guardian website.

NT

The Northern Territory Government administers Working With Children Clearance, otherwise known as an Ochre Card. For further information and to apply, visit their Community Safety website.

QLD

The Queensland Government administers working with children and young people checks, otherwise known as Blue Cards. For further information and to apply, visit their Blue Cards Services website.

Please note, you will be required to submit your form to the Office for Professional Learning via AskUNE as part of the application process. Details are at the above website.

SA

The South Australian government administers background screening checks. To apply for a South Australian Screening Check you will need the Office for Professional Learning to initiate your application. Please submit your request for a South Australian Screening check via AskUNE.

TAS

The Tasmanian Government administers the Work with Vulnerable People check. For further information and to apply, visit the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services website.

VIC

The Victorian Government administers Working with Children Checks. For further information and to apply, visit their Working with Children Check website.

WA

The Western Australian Government administers Working with Children Checks.  For further information and to apply, visit the Working with Children Check website.

Please note you will need the Office for Professional Learning to complete a section of the form after you begin your application. For us to complete this section you will need to submit the form as a query via AskUNE.

Overseas

Students undertaking their placement overseas will need to check with the regulatory governing body for the country in which they are undertaking placement.

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).

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