Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Substandard teacher properly dismissed

The Commission dismissed an unfair dismissal claim by a teacher.  The teacher claimed that her employment was unfairly terminated because her performance was not substandard.  She also argued that the process was unfair because, among other things, she was moved to a different school to be assessed against the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership Standards and she was assessed against all of the Standards rather than just the areas where the employer alleged she was not ‘Proficient’. 

Chief Commissioner Scott found that the dismissal was not unfair because the teacher’s performance was properly assessed as being substandard.  There were significant deficiencies in her lesson planning and implementation, as well as failures to follow instructions and to properly assess students’ work. 

Chief Commissioner Scott also found that the process was not unfair.  At every stage, the teacher had a high level of support available to her and was not required to perform tasks beyond those which any teacher should be able to perform.  While her dismissal was based on an alleged failure to be proficient in three of the Standards, and this was the basis of her dismissal, she was not proficient in any of the seven standards.  And further, all experienced teachers are expected to be ‘Proficient’ in all Standards, and the Standards are interrelated, so it was not unfair for the employer to assess the teacher in all Standards rather than discrete areas of alleged substandard performance. 

The decision can be read here

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