The crucial role of the educator
Educators share a significant responsibility in preparing young people to lead successful and productive lives. The Professional Standards for Educators (the Standards) reflect and build on national and international evidence that an educator’s effectiveness has a powerful impact on children’s wellbeing and development. Effective educators can be a source of inspiration and, equally importantly, provide a dependable and consistent influence on young people as they make choices about matters that affect them.
Professional standards for educators
Developing professional standards for educators that can guide professional learning, practice and engagement facilitates the improvement of educator quality and contributes positively to the public standing of the profession. The key elements of a quality educator are described in the Standards. They articulate what educators are expected to know and be able to do at four career stages: Foundation, Developing, Proficient and Lead.
The language used to describe each of the career stages has been thoughtfully approached. As many educators in OSHC do not hold formal qualifications when they begin their career in OSHC, the standards articulate the essential knowledge, practice and engagement foundations. The next level describes educator’s progress as developing and complements the formal qualifications that educators may be working towards. At the proficient and lead levels, educators may have completed and obtained a relevant qualification.
The Standards and their descriptors represent an analysis of effective, contemporary practice by educators throughout Australia. Their development included a synthesis of the descriptions of educators’ knowledge, practice and professional engagement used by accreditation and training authorities, employers and professional associations. Each descriptor has been informed by educators’ understanding of what is required at different stages of their careers. A sector specific validation process ensured that each descriptor was shaped by the OSHC profession.
Purpose of the Standards
The Professional Standards for Educators are a public statement of what constitutes educator quality. They define the work of educators and make explicit the elements of high-quality, effective Outside School Hours Care provision in quality services that will contribute to enhancing outcomes for children. The Standards do this by providing a framework which makes clear the knowledge, practice and professional engagement required across educators’ careers. They present a common understanding and language for discourse between educators, educational leaders, nominated supervisors, governing organisations, professional associations and the public.
Educator standards also inform the development of professional learning goals, provide a framework by which educators can judge the success of their work and assist self-reflection and self- assessment. Educators can use the Standards to recognise their current and developing capabilities, professional aspirations and achievements. Standards contribute to the professionalisation of education and care services including Outside School Hours Care and raise the status of the profession. They could also be used as the basis for a performance evaluation, helping to ensure that educators can demonstrate appropriate levels of professional knowledge, professional practice and professional engagement.
The Professional Standards for Educators are organised into four career stages and guide the preparation, support and development of educators. The stages reflect the continuum of an educator’s developing professional expertise from training and prevocational preparation through to being an exemplary practitioner and a leader in the profession.
The Foundation Standards will underpin the initial induction and training of educators. The Developing Standards demonstrate progress as educators move beyond the Foundation level towards Proficiency. The Proficient Standards will be used to underpin processes for full recognition as an experienced educator and to support the requirements of nationally consistent approach to educator practice.
The Standards at the career stage of Lead will inform the effective delegation of a suitably qualified and experienced educator to the role of Educational Leader.
Effective implementation of the Professional Standards supports OSHC services to meet Element 4.2.2 of the National Quality Standard ‘Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships’.
Organisation of the Professional Standards for Educators
OSHC Professional Standards for Management and Leadership
OSHC Professional Standards for Educators
OSHC Code of Ethical Practice Resource
The Australian Curriculum's seven general capabilities:
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Nature Play sources quality resources, workshops and inspiration for educators.
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Providing Quality Feedback: A Good Practice Guide
Feedback is a powerful motivator, and an integral part of continuous learning. This valuable tool for workplace mentors covers self-reflection, building positive relationships and dealing with resistance to change. Practical techniques for maximizing positive outcomes are discussed.
The Professional Standards for Educators comprise seven Standards which outline what educators should know and be able to do. The Standards are interconnected, interdependent and overlapping. The Standards are grouped into three domains; Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement. In practice, the role of the educator in Outside School Hours Care settings draws on aspects of all three domains.
Within each Standard focus areas provide further illustration of educator knowledge, practice and professional engagement. These are then separated into Descriptors at four professional career stages: Foundation, Developing, Proficient and Lead.
Supporting young children’s rights: Statement of Intent (2015 - 2018):
AHRC & ECA
This document examines five key areas for action in relation to children’s rights, including; The right to be heard, Freedom from violence, abuse and neglect, The opportunity to thrive, Engaged civics and citizenship, and Action and accountability.
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We have found the Professional Standards beneficial in discovering educator's hidden strengths and developing their confidence when they realise they are progressing. It is also providing us with an understanding of any knowledge gaps we may need to fill.
The Professional Standards have been a terrific tool for us in acknowledging where staff excel and where they need further training. This has allowed us to focus on each educator’s professional development in a more streamlined manner and also utilize each staff member’s strengths in a much more productive way for the service as a whole. Engagement with the Professional Standards has really empowered our staff to improve themselves in a professional capacity. We love it!
P&C Assoc. OSHC
The Professional Standards are great! It's giving us the tools to train our staff and in doing so covering all aspects for working with school age children. It gives clear knowledge of each person’s knowledge, practice and professional engagement allowing us to use our staff in ways best suited to their capabilities.
Coordinator, Mt Crosby OSHC
The Professional Standards have from a service delivery aspect, increased the confidence of all our educators. The resource, filled with sector specific information, has assisted in acknowledging educators strengths and knowledge. It has generated many conversations which have enhanced our professionalism as a team. This has made it easy to encourage and build on skills and strengths to promote best outcomes for educators, children and families in a practical on the job training program
— Susie, Payne Rd OSHC