The Teachers Are Blowing Their Whistles!



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Poor children do better at selective high schools.

Posted on December 13, 2016 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

British Department of Education figures show-

71 per cent of poor sixth-form children at English grammar schools (selective high schools) go on to University.

29 per cent of these poor grammar school children go on to the elite Russell Group universities.

While -

Only 56 per cent of similarly poor sixth-form children at comprehensive (mixed ability) schools go on to university.

Only 9 per cent of these poor comprehensive school children go on to the Elite Russell Group universities.

And only 15 per cent of better-off children at comprehensive schools go on to the elite Russell Group univestities.

Which all suggests that intelligent children from both rich and poor families will do MUCH better at a selective high school than at a comprehensive school.

Our most intelligent Australian children are underperforming.

And our selective high schools are largely full of Asian students whose parents care enough about education to pay for them to receive private coaching.

We need more selective high schools in Australia so that our intelligent Australian children - rich and poor - can have access to the education that they deserve.

Proof grammar schools boost poorer pupils : Twice as likely to go to top universities as rich children at comprehensives, Eleanor Harding, P.31, Daily Mail, 14 October 2016

Vale Elizabeth Hastings, my childhood friend - dead after teaching in classrooms infested with asbestos.

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Elizabeth Belt was my childhood friend.

Her maiden name was Elizabeth Hastings.

We went to Brigg Preparatory School together.

We walked to our first day of High School together.

Elizabeth was a very pretty child with long, wavy brown hair.

She was very loved - her parents ran a service station and were well-off by the standards of our small town.

Elizabeth was always beautifully dressed.

Her parents had paid for her to have piano lessons - quite a luxury in those days - and when they gave her a birthday party we had to sit and listen while Elizabeth played the piano.

But however well your parents look after you, however much they love you, they can't protect you from an asbestos-riddled workplace.

Elizabeth became a teacher - as almost all Brigg Girls High School girls seemed to do in those days.

She died of mesothelioma in September 2015.

An inquest has found that she died of an "industrial disease" caught from pinning her students' work to asbestos pin boards.

She had inhaled a lethal dose of asbestos during her 27-year teaching career.

Elizabeth's daughter, Charlotte Shearwood, wants to raise awareness about mesothelioma.

She said: "I have no doubt that Mum contracted malignant mesothelioma as a result of ingesting asbestos while working as a teacher at various schools in north Lincolnshire between 1968 and 1995".

"It is a horrible, horrible disease. There is obviously a generation that worked with her in the same places. I suppose we are all angry, but I just think our sadness outweighs it."

The inquest was advised that North Lincolnshire insurers have accepted a claim with Elizabeth's family.

Rob Wiltshire, who was once the Workplace health and Safety Officer at Indooroopilly State High School, has been battling for years to raise awareness of asbestos issues in Queensland schools.

Primary school teacher dies after being exposed to asbestos for almost three decades, Oli Smith, The Express (UK) 22 January 2016

Teacher died from cancer after decades of exposure to asbestos, Matthew Weaver, The Guardian (UK), 22 January 2016

Why don't Queensland men want to be teachers?

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (2)

Queensland College of Teachers director John Ryan says the QCT has involved a university in launching a review into the factors that influence the choice of teaching as a first career.


The QCT wants to find out the reasons why men are not choosing to be teachers.

In 2015, fewer than 25 per cent of Queensland teachers are male.

Ten years ago 28 per cent of Queensland teachers were male.


Robina Cosser says : I would think that the fear of a false allegation being made against them by a child, parent or principal would be the greatest concern of male teachers.





What do you think?


Kevin Donnelly : the education revolution has failed.

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Kevin Donnelly has published a brilliant article in the Australian this weekend -


In the lead-up to the 2007 election Kevin Rudd promised us an education revolution.

Six years later the penny has finally dropped and the education establishment is admitting that our students, especially talented ones, underperform.


Our children are the victims of a cultural-left, lowest-common-denominator view of education.

Funding and resources are directed at the usual victim groups, in the mistaken belief such groups are always disadvantaged and that disadvantage is the main cause of students underperforming.


The needs of gifted children are ignored.


The reasons Australian students underperform and why standards have declined or flatlined are not hard to find.

Those responsible for the education system, including teacher educators, the Australian Education Union and subject associations such as the Australian Association for the Teaching of English, have long argued against competitive assessment, the rewarding of merit and a rigorous, academic curriculum.

The philosophy is an egalitarian one, where all achieve success and all are celebrated.


Cultural-left critics also argue that the traditional, academic curriculum, where not all can do as well, is elitist, socially unjust and guilty of reinforcing capitalist hierarchies.


Robina Cosser says : and they also argue that teachers who have better qualifications only have them because they are 'privileged' and that all teachers, two-year-trained, three-year-trained, degree-trained, post degree-trained, Master's degree trained, all should be paid the same.

Remember when the QTU gave away the extra pay for teachers with a Master's Degree in about 1990?

Remember the QTU president coming around Queensland schools and telling teachers that they only had a Master's degree in Education because they were privileged?


I certainly remember her telling me that at Cairns North State School.


No wonder most of our universities have bridging courses and remedial classes in basic algebra and essay writing.

In Singapore classes are streamed in terms of ability and students face high-risk tests and examinations.

Australian schools embrace mixed-ability classrooms.


It is impossible for teachers to cope with the range of students in the ability spectrum; more gifted students are ignored as teachers concentrate on those less able.


One needs only to see the consternation and public outpourings of recrimination when we lose to New Zealand in rugby or the English in cricket to appreciate the significance Australians place on success in sport.

The same intensity to win and to support and reward excellence needs to be given to our education system.


This is a really brilliant article. And at the same time it is simple common sense.

But unfortunately education in Queensland (and maybe in the rest of Australia) has long been based on 'beliefs' and 'philosophies' rather than common sense.


Read the article in full :

It's high time to foster meritocracy in education, Kevin Donnelly, The Australian, 17 August 2013 :

Amy Remeikis comments on the review of the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission.

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Amy Remeikis of The Brisbane Times has written an interesting article about the recent review of the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission -


"The release of the Crime and Misconduct review, albeit with some information redacted, provides clarity on how former High Court judge Ian Callinan and Professor Nicholas Aroney came to make the 17 recommendations they believe will reform the Crime and Misconduct Commission.


But it also shows two intellectual titans engaged in battle; carefully worded correspondence their weapon.


In a letter dated November 28, 2012, Mr Callinan and Professor Aroney discussed vexatious and frivolous complaints and asked Mr Martin to expand on why, given the thousands of complaints received by the CMC (5303 involving 12,559 complaints in 2011-2012 alone), and the small number of proceeding investigations (about 100), (Editor's Note : Amy Remeikis seems to have missed out the word no here) vexatious complainants were prosecuted.


"Your response (during a preceding conversation) was that some would indeed have met the condition for a prosecution under the [Crime and Misconduct] Act but that the expense of prosecution may not have been justified in such cases.


You were then informed that expense was certainly not the most relevant consideration: as a former prosecutor you would well know that many prosecutions are brought at very considerable expense and that deterrence is a highly relevant factor in the exercise of a prosecutorial discretion.


There are other factors which, as you would know, are relevant.


One in particular which needs consideration, is the stress to a person the subject of an unfounded complaint.


We would add to that the expense which the subject of such a complaint may also incur in dealing with it and employing lawyers to give legal advice about it. ..."


The current legislation [section 216] allows for prosecution for vexatious or frivolous complaints, if the complainant has been warned their complaint has been classified as such, and they attempt to resubmit it or another complaint of a similar nature.


Among the first recommendations included in the report is one to amend the Crime and Misconduct Act to "enable and ensure" the prosecution of "baseless complaints", which should be defined to mean those which are malicious, vexatious, reckless or exclusively vindictive.


The government is considering the recommendations now. Time will tell whose words ultimately have the bigger impact."



Robina Cosser says : 

My understanding is that the CMC have a 'devolution' policy of returning 98% of disclosures concerning Queensland government departments to the senior officers of the department concerned.


The CMC allow these senior officers to investigate / very tightly control investigations into complaints about their own behaviour and to 'find no evidence' of their own corruption/ incompetence.


My own experience suggests to me that this is the real reason why so few disclosures to the Queensland CMC are actually investigated by the CMC.


I am sure these senior departmental officers would accuse whistleblowers of being 'malicious, vexatious, reckless or vindictive'.


That seems to be part of the 'payback' that Queensland public service whistleblowers usually experience.


The first priority of the Queensland CMC should be to demonstrate that Queensland public service investigations are of a professional standard.


Then, and only then, the CMC can begin to allege that public servants who make disclosures to the CMC are malicious or vindictive.



CMC review an eloquent battle, Amy Remeikis, Brisbane Times, 19 April 2013

Campbell Newman plans to remove Queensland Teachers' Union representatives from the principal selection process.

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (3)

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman plans to "allow the school community to play a greater role in the principal selection process by removing union representatives from selection panels.’’



Robina Cosser says - removing the QTU representative from promotion selection panels is probably a good move.


I have often wondered if the QTU representative introduced a conflict of interest into the selection process.


Would the QTU representative tend to favour Labor party or QTU 'activists'?




But a greater community role in the selection panels?


I have some doubts about allowing local communities more control over their school.


If the local community valued education and were educated themselves, they would be able to make good decisions for their school.


But what if the school was in a less advantaged area where most people were not engaged in work?


Wouldn't the 'disadvantaged' children at that school be doubly-disadvantaged because decisions concerning their education were being made by people who had no experience of education and no experience of work?




I noticed that some Queensland school P and C's were largely run by the school office staff - who were employed by the principal.


So 'the community' consisted of a small group of people who needed to keep the principal happy.


In effect, 'the community' was the school principal.


Who might not him/her self be particularly intelligent or literate.


So - I have some doubts about local community control of schools.



Teacher bonuses part of Newman-led education overhaul, AAP, 8 April 2013 :

Des Houghton thinks we are wasting taxpayers money investigating trivial transgressions.

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Des Houghton is a writer who has been very supportive of Queensland teachers, and I usually find his comments make a lot of sense.


But his comment this weekend  "There are simply too many nanny-state tribunals, courts, ethical standards units, equity police and busy-body commissions spending vast sums investigating trivial transgressions". is worrying.


Yes, of course, taxpayers money is being wasted.


But it is being wasted on 'investigations' that have been 'set up' to fail to find out the facts.


And to make the transgressions appear to be trivial.


Investigations are 'set up' to fail when the Terms of Reference are chosen by the person being investigated.


And when the actual disclosure is edited out of the Terms of Reference.


And when the 'investigator' is not allowed to 'find' or 'consider' certain documents.


Or to speak to certain people.


And then more money is wasted writing up new policies based on the findings of these faux investigations.



The problem is not that Queenslanders are making trivial complaints.


The problem seems to be that the corruption is so all-pervasive, and the official processes are so dysfunctional, that the lives of good, decent people are being drained away, explaining the misconduct over and over again to Queensland public servants who will not, dare not 'understand'.


I think Kylie Lang is more 'on the mark' with her observations concerning the Broken Windows theory.


Kylie explains that the theory was "coined in the US in the 1980's, ... championed as New York's answer to cleaning up crime.


Those leading the charge to restore order started with the small stuff : the broken window in a derelict building, graffiti on subway walls, public drinking and urinating.


By cracking down hard on acts considered trifling by some, they were able to stem the tide of larger-scale crime.


Central Park became a safer place to be."


I think the Queensland government need to crack down on the small incidents of misconduct.


To demonstrate that they will not tolerate abuse of Queensland teachers and principals.


To deal with a few of the abusers.


Because I have the impression that at the moment there is so much dysfunction, so much corruption, so much incompetence in the Queensland public service, that workplace bullies feel confident that a blind eye will be turned to their abuse.


Nothing will improve for Queensland teachers till the Queensland government, the Directors-General - and the senior public servants of the Department of Education in particular - demonstrate that they are willing to deal with the trivial abusers.


Insight, Des Houghton, p. 53, The Courier-Mail, April 6-7 2013

Always time for civility, Kylie Lang on Sunday, P. 8, The Sunday Mail, 7 April 2013.


Ian Callinan - his 17 recommendations to reform the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission.

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The Queensland LNP government asked former High Court judge Ian Callinan to review the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC), claiming the CMC had allowed itself to be used by those with an axe to grind.

Mr Callinan's 17 recommendations include overhauling the CMC's administrative structure and complaints process.


Robina Cosser says : This is a really good recommendation for Queensland teachers.

Based on my own experience, the CMC complaints process is useless because the policy of 'devolution' is being abused.

Your disclosure is just sent back to the people concerned in your disclosure.

They investigate themselves - or 'set up' an 'independent investigation' to fail at great public expense - and find no evidence of their own corruption.


Some of the more controversial recommendations would allow the government to deny Right to Information requests for nine months without a reason.



Surely this would facilitate the falsification of documents and 'records', 'losing' of documentary evidence, etc ?


Ethical standards units within government departments would disappear or be greatly reduced.


This is a great recommendation.

The Education Queensland Ethical Standards Unit should be the first to go.


Investigations would be centralised through the Public Service Commission.



Why not send the Ethical Conduct department staff (or the staff numbers) to work at the CMC?


Mr Callinan wants the CMC to free up its limited resources by canning all research, unless it's approved by the government.

No more educational material should be produced, such as codes of conduct for state and local governments, which were labelled "unremarkable".


Unremarkable, unread and uncomprehended.

Time spent writing these useless 'departmental codes of conduct' seems to be an avoidance strategy.

Especially as the changes seem to be based on the findings of investigations that have been 'set up' to fail.

A total waste of public money, just a 'ceremony' to create the illusion that something was being done about the corruption - when it wasn't.


Mr Callinan describes the CMC as being bogged down with bureaucracy.

In one year, it received 5000 complaints, but fewer than 100 needed to be pursued.


Based on my own experience, I would say that many more complaints needed to be pursued, but the only ones that actually were being pursued were the wild geese that Peter Beattie continually sent to the CMC to be chased.


Mr Callinan says to reduce the avalanche of complaints, those who make "baseless, vexatious, reckless, or malicious" claims could be prosecuted and fined.


I think the problem has not really been the volume of complaints, it has been the volume of corruption.

And this recommendation may make it easier for public service departments to 'pay back' whistleblowers by 'finding' that their disclosures are vexatious.


Complaints would only be made public if investigations led to criminal proceedings or proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.


I am not sure I agree with this change.

Based on my own experience, many of the disclosures that I sent to government departments were immediately 'lost' or falsified.

'Losing' your written disclosure - or 'misunderstanding' your verbal disclosure - seemed to me to be the main CMC / Education Queensland investigative strategy.

So I had to publish my disclosures so that they could not be "lost' or "misunderstood'.

Teachers should have the right to publish disclosures if they find that their documents and their verbal disclosures are being falsified.

How can an investigation be properly conducted if the documentation and the verbal disclosures have been extensively falsified?


Premier Campbell Newman believes the CMC needs significant reform.

"We need to ensure that the CMC is not used to settle personal or political scores," he said.

"We need reforms to ensure the organisation focuses on the big issues of corruption and official misconduct, but particularly on organised criminal gangs that have unfortunately started infiltrating Queensland.


And, hopefully, on the workplace-bullying-friendly mobs that seem to have infiltrated the Queensland public service.



Qld watchdog bogged down, review says, Kym Agius, AAP, 3 April 2013 :

Some disgusting people are making a good living out of the bullying of teachers.

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)

I was just reading the Victorian teacher's submission again -


137.B.C (PDF 1,536KB)

137.1 Supplementary Submission B.C (PDF 956KB)

137.2 Supplementary Submission B.C (PDF 964KB)


In her last submission 137.2 she writes about the ex-policemen making huge sums of money out of 'investigations' into workplace bullying.

This is a disgusting industry.

It must be really obvious to the ex-policemen and psychologists who are employed by the department that huge numbers of teachers are being bullied.

And that they are being employed to contribute to the abuse.

What a disgusting way to make your living.

In Australia.

In 2012.

Is this how democracy is supposed to work?


Is this what our Anzacs fought and died for?


These people are living disgusting lives.

Why can't I get a teaching job in Queensland?

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (4)

This morning I noticed somebody in Brisbane plaintively googling, "Why can't I get a teaching job in Queensland?

To my mind the question this person should be googling is "Why have I just realised that I can't get a teaching job in Queensland?"

Why would a person enrol in an education degree when the chances of getting permanent work at the end of the course are only one in ten?

I am wondering if the Queensland Labor government, in giving high school students computers, managed to capture their brains?

Are Queensland high school students only allowed to access sites that mislead them into thinking that there is a shortage of teachers in Queensland?

Or are the students being misled by their lecturers at uni?

Or are they simply so illiterate - or so busy with part-time work - that they do not read newspapers?

What is going on here?

Why are newly-qualified teachers so surprised to find that they can't get teaching jobs in Queensland?