[Offtopic] O/T Fwd: Points to consider including in VIT Review Response

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Aug 26 23:02:57 EST 2007

At 10:58 AM 26/08/2007, Stephen Digby writes:

To: <offtopic at edulists.com.au>
Subject: Points to consider including in VIT Review Response 

Needs to be emailed to (VIT Review, Mr Frank King) vit at hlbvic.com.au
prior to 5pm on Tuesday, 18 September 2007. 

Feedback and Recommendations

I. the appropriate objectives for the Institute in the light of government 
polices and changes in all educational sectors since its establishment;

Create new structures:

VERB – Victorian educational Regulatory Board: Registration of Teachers, 
Approves and accredits pre-service teacher education courses, Misconduct 
Investigations. Run by government. Paid from general revenue. 

VEI- Victorian Educational Institute: Promotion of the profession, Works 
with teachers. Paid from voluntary membership. Run by members elected by 

II. the effectiveness of the Institute in achieving its original 

VIT has destroyed the little goodwill it has at its inception through its 
unwillingness to represent “the profession” in any real sense: 

VIT made no protest re. the imposition of registration fees and criminal 
record checks on teachers, revealing itself to be a government cipher 
the manner and timing of its demands for money have alienated teachers 
the wasteful style of practice most prominently in relation to its 
expensive and self promoting “communication” expenditure further alienated 

VIT made insignificant contributions to public debates re. educational 
issues where “promotion of the teaching profession” is needed. e.g. VELs 
reporting and assessment systems, new curriculum structure, teacher 
stress, assaults on teachers etc 

It thus reveals itself o be another arm of government rather than a body 
representing the profession – an arm of government that teachers 
substantively pay for ! 

VIT has irreversibly lost support from teachers and nothing short of a 
major re-organisation in terms of structure, purpose and personnel could 
begin its recovery

VIT Purposes:

Registration of all teachers: Achieved but only at the cost of near 
universal alienation of teachers due to: 

the timing and manner that registration was organised, 
the high level of charges, 
the use of fees collected for purposes considered by teachers to be 
wasteful and unnecessary (e.g. glossy publications, ineffective “promotion 
of he profession etc etc) and 
the absence of any attempt by the VIT to pressure the government to pay 
for functions that are clearly the employers responsibility (e.g. 
registration, police checks, pre-service course evaluation etc etc) 

Promotion of the profession: Pitiful performance on most issues 
reinforcing the strongly held conviction that the institute only parrots 
the policy of the employers and the government. 

Virtually no worthwhile contribution to important community debates on 
such issues as assessment and reporting, teacher stress and safety from 
assault, curriculum changes under VELs etc etc 

Works with teachers: Documents produce supposedly to “work” with teachers 
were verbose and full of jargon (“edu-speak”) and looked and smelt like a 
fait accompli.

Importantly, VIT made NO attempt to provide any shared communication with 
the profession.

One would think, after spending unknown sums on a website that there would 
be a discussion forum (as seen on so many news and community sites !!) 
where teachers could share responses and communicate to VIT and with each 

NO ! As befits an organisation that gives consultation only “lip service”, 
responses to feedback go into a magical black hole which generates an 
invented consensus view.

People attending public hearings have no idea what becomes of their 
contributions. The website contains no record of what was said. 

Supports teachers in their first year of teaching with a structured 
induction program: Done. BUT the people who actually make it work are in 
schools. The contribution of the bureaucratic and verbose “support” 
materials to the success of the program is very small. Why not provide 
funding direct to schools to support induction activities !! 

Approves and accredits pre-service teacher education courses that prepare 
teachers: No idea what has been achieved. Annual report mentions the 
organisation of a conference and cyclical review of 6 courses which were 
all approved.

The process described seems to be just another paper shuffle (2007 Annual 
Report p.20). If the VIT was really serious about this role, it would have 
implemented or required some real review procedures such as direct 
feedback from teachers trained by the institutions and/or from the schools 
where they work. Accreditation of new courses should presumably be built 
on objective data about the performance of existing courses so that 
improvements can be targeted at existing and emerging needs rather 
than “ivory tower” fads unrelated to the real world of classroom practice.

Experienced teachers who have worked with beginning teachers have a 
distinct impression that the skills provided in pre-service training are 
not well matched to the demands of actual classroom teaching. Reports on 
individual teachers do not elicit this as they are heavily weighted 
towards supportive suggestions about the individual teachers practice 
rather then the pre-service course itself.

The VIT should provide (or insist on) opportunities for all beginning 
teachers to evaluate on the adequacy of their pre-service courses at 6 
months, and 18 months after commencement of teaching. This could easily be 
conducted at zero (YES zero !) cost through online an questionnaire and 
open forum for teachers to share impressions and experiences. 

Investigate and make findings on serious misconduct, incompetence or lack 
of fitness to teach: No idea of how well the VIT is performing this task. 

III. the most appropriate structures for achieving the objectives 
identified under point I;

Regulatory functions such as registration of teachers and investigation of 
misconduct as well pre-service course review should be conducted by a 
government department at no cost to teachers. 

Promotion of the profession and development of recommendations regarding 
professional practice should be undertaken by an organisation with 
voluntary membership.

Most teachers already have the option of membership of such an 
organisations in the form of their union and voluntarily pay considerable 
membership fees. 

IV. whether the Institute or a successor body has a role to play in this 
future environment; changes that may be required to its functions, 
structure and legislative mandate; and

VIT, in its present form and with its present management, should be 
scrapped because it has no credibility with teachers in relation to its 
independence, its management of registration and police checks, or its 
promotion of the profession 

V. the appropriateness of the fee structures and operating costs of the 

As the dominant purpose of the institute is to regulate teachers rather 
than to assist them, the costs of the institute should be born by the 
employers and the state. 

IF the government insists on passing on the cost of regulation to 
teachers, then the organisation should be run as an efficient 
administrative structure devoid of the fat of self promotion and the 
pretence that it is serving any other purposes 

The VIT Budget Report for 2005-6 
(http://www.vit.vic.edu.au/retrievemedia.asp?Media_ID=1061) indicates that 
the organisation can’t even remain within it’s income of about $8 mill and 
overspent by $253000 
the organisation makes no attempt to separate expenditure relating to its 
separate functions – registration, promotion, standards development, 
induction, teachers course approval, misconduct investigations.

It is highly likely that this conceals the fact that the organisation 
spends the vast bulk of its funds merely administering itself as a 
sinecure for fat cats. This is certainly the near universal belief of 
teachers in schools. 

The expenditure on communications is identified 1.5 mill but not explained 
in terms of publication types purpose, web site etc.

Virtually all teachers would assume that the lions share of this 
expenditure falls under the umbrella of self-promotion rather than 
fulfilling any of the VIT aims

On receiving expensively produced VIT communications in schools, teachers 
universally sigh with exasperation in the realisation that the pamphlet 
has been produced mainly at their own expense – and then consign it to the 

If the government decides NOT to listen to teachers and to scrap the VIT 
in its present form, it could AT LEAST par the organisation back to its 
bones so that the registration cost is minimised and “optional” activities 
such as promotion and communication are eliminated. 

It would be far better to remove the confusion of purposes, the secret 
cross subsidy of activities, and the huge legacy of antipathy developed by 
the current VIT, and create new structures:

VERB – Victorian educational Regulatory Board: Registration of Teachers, 
Approves and accredits pre-service teacher education courses, Misconduct 
Investigations. Run by government. Paid from general revenue. 

VEI- Victorian Educational Institute: Promotion of the profession, Works 
with teachers. Paid from voluntary membership. Run by members elected by 

Stephen Digby, Learning Technology Manager
mailto: admin at cheltsec.vic.edu.au
Cheltenham Secondary College www.cheltsec.vic.edu.au
Ph: 613 955 55 955  Fx: 9555 8617 Mb: 0431-701-028
Universities are of course hostile to geniuses, which, seeing and using 
ways of their own, discredit the routine: as churches and monasteries 
persecute youthful saints.   Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Important - This email and any attachments may be confidential. If 
received in error, please contact us and delete all copies. Before opening 
or using attachments check them for viruses and defects. Regardless of any 
loss, damage or consequence, whether caused by the negligence of the 
sender or not, resulting directly or indirectly from the use of any 
attached files our liability is limited to resupplying any affected 
attachments. Any representations or opinions expressed are those of the 
individual sender, and not necessarily those of the Department of 
Education and Early Childhood Development.

Cheers, Stephen
Stephen Loosley
Victoria Australia

More information about the offtopic mailing list