"It takes a whole school to raise a teacher": examining executive staff support and perception of casual relief teachers in Australian schools

Minami Uchida*, Rod Lane, Michael Cavanagh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Casual relief teachers (CRTs) are a significant part of the Australian education system. This paper reports how executive staff, such as principals, deputy principals, and head teachers, support CRTs, and the perceptions that executive staff have about CRTs who work at their schools. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with a self-selected sample of 10 executive staff in Australian primary and secondary schools who responded to information about the study posted on social media platforms. The interview transcripts were analysed according to the three elements of practice architecture theory: the sayings (cultural-discursive dimension), the doings (material-economic dimension), and the relatings (social-political dimension). Results indicate that executive staff value the contributions of CRTs in ensuring minimal disruption to school routines despite staff absences. Support is provided to CRTs through access to technological and physical resources to conduct their lessons. However, the transient nature of work for some CRTs means that access to support for accreditation, professional learning and mentoring can be limited. This study has implications for further research about the role and impact of executive staff on experiences of CRTs working at their schools. In addition, this paper contributes to the existing literature on the experiences of CRTs by examining the role of executive staff using practice architectures as a theoretical framework.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
Early online date9 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • school leadership
  • sasual relief teachers
  • primary schools
  • secondary schools

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