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EXPLAINED: Why teachers need a pupil-free day

The need for pupil-free day has been explained.
The need for pupil-free day has been explained. Che Chapman

THE State Government has explained why teachers need to take a pupil-free day during the school term.

The Daily sent the Education Department questions on Monday morning looking for an understanding into what the pupil-free day on October 17 entailed.

Midday Tuesday, a day after a soapbox on the subject generated lots of comment online, and the Department responded.

It explained there were six staff professional development days a year and only occurred during the school term.

"The one student-free day which occurs during the school term in October is used for state-wide student moderation, an essential part of Queensland's system of school-based assessment for Year 11 and 12 students,” the Education and Training spokeswoman said.

"Teacher judgment about the standards achieved by their students are moderated by expert panels of practising teachers throughout the state who review a representative sample of student work from each school.”

The other five professional development days occurred in the holiday calendar with two days at the end of the summer holiday and three days during the Easter holiday, or taken flexibly within holiday periods or after hours.

"Dedicated principals, teachers and support staff across Queensland make the difference to the quality of learning in our schools,” she said.

"Ongoing professional development is an essential component of supporting high quality teaching and is a requirement of teacher registration in Queensland.”

Comments were largely divided on the Daily's website and Facebook page with many arguing the day was worthwhile.

"I don't understand why more parents don't just embrace it,” wrote Jurusha Green.

"So nice getting an extra day with your kids. They are only little for such a short time. Enjoy it. You can become rich any other day and family should always be number one.”

But Fearless Fred had a different view.

"They never had them when I was at school, and they don't need them now,” he said.

"Teachers should only get four weeks annual leave like everyone else, the rest of mid-term breaks are for teacher meetings and training.”

Topics:  education department pupil-free day soapbox teachers


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