The Grey Area- Can you create resources for sale, when you are teaching?
This is a question that is frequently asked in selling groups, and it is one that I recently posed in a group of Australian sellers.
The responses were varied, but the underlying feedback was that you MUST refer to the code of conduct in you State in order to make that decision for yourself.
Below are the Links for each state (They will take you to a PDF download or a link to the relevant information for your relevant state):
- NSW Education Department –Code of Conduct
- Victorian Education Department- Code of Conduct
- Queensland Education Department – Code of Conduct
- Western Australian Education Department – Code of Conduct
- Northern Territory Education Department – Code of Conduct
- Tasmanian Education Department – Code of Conduct
- South Australian Education Department – Code of Conduct
Within each state you will have Independent schools, and Non Government schools who will each have their own Code of conduct by which you must abide.
From an article in the Courier Mail in Queensland
“Education Queensland assistant director-general Tom Barlow said teaching staff must notify their supervisor or manager about any potential conflicts of interest.
He also warned staff that they could not use “public resources, intellectual property, or their position as a public official, to benefit their private interests”.”
There are some very clear ground rules that must be abided by in all States and Territories.
It is important that you notify your principal that you are selling resources if you employed on a full time basis or on a temporary contract.
Casual-relief teachers are in a slightly different situation as they are not on contracts.
Things that you MAY NOT DO
If you have downloaded software from your department portal i.e. Adobe software, Office Microsoft software, SMART software, you are not permitted to use these to create resources. You will need to buy your own personal copies of each of these if you intend to use them in your resource creation.
You may not sell any resources that are created by you in your current role e.g. if you create a unit of work, or worksheets for your class, they are considered to be made while under contract and therefore are owned by the Department in your State or Territory.
You may not sell any work that you have created while employed full time or on a contract. An example of this might be, you have been asked to create a school planning overview, a planning notebook or series of presentations to be used with staff.
You must not use your classroom time or RFF to work on your business.
You may not use images of children in your school using your products , nor must you use your classroom as a photo shoot opportunity to promote your business on any social media platforms, or in your products.
These are some tips from long time sellers
Get advice from your accountant so that you can pay the correct amount of tax “I pay tax for my store income. I list all expenses and show my accountant at the end of the financial year.”
“I’m in a private school in QLD. Currently I work casual but when I worked permanent, everyone new about my little business and what it involved including the principal. I was free to keep the business up on the side. No one asked questions. I was very respectful of the school though so lines of business and school weren’t crossed. I.e. work done on my own laptop at home, never at school. I didn’t even take photos with the school resources or children in the background. I didn’t have written permission to do this so didn’t want to presume.”
“It is an ‘at your own risk’ issue..I would just say discuss this with your principal first and read up on your state’s code of conduct before considering selling.
Hopefully these tips will clear up some misconceptions around selling resources, be sure to contact us if you have any questions.