Alloway SS feels benefits of new EB

Each year, Day 8 continues to be a difficult time in many schools, with many gaining, or more challengingly, losing teacher allocation.

This year, Alloway State School was one of the schools identified to lose a teacher number following Day 8. The school’s enrolment at Day 8 was 51, but to retain its existing teacher numbers it needed 53. It seemed highly likely that the school would lose its third teacher as, despite the principal’s best efforts, the region’s view was that grounds didn’t exist to provide Alloway with an over-allocation for 2017.

QTU members from the school made contact with the Union to discuss the complexity of the school’s enrolment and how year three students might have to be timetabled into the two existing classes, as more than half of the students at the school were enrolled in prep to 3. It was then that we realised that, under the conditions of the new EB, it would, in fact, be impossible to timetable classes within the class size targets - the new EB stipulates that composite class sizes must meet the lower target if cohorts include prep to 3 enrolments.

This essentially identified a flaw in the department’s allocative methodology, under which it could, and did in this particular case, resource a school in a way that made it impossible for it to meet the agreed industrial conditions surrounding class sizes. There was no capacity in this case to ensure that all students in prep to 3 were taught in classes that met the industrial conditions of teachers.

Both the school’s leadership and the QTU took the opportunity to communicate the issue and the industrial implications to the region.

The region resolved the issue by providing the school with an over-allocation of staff, retaining the third teacher to ensure that all classes could be formed within the class size targets. This outcome has had significant positive effects for the QTU members, students and community members at Alloway SS.

The region must be acknowledged for its very sensible response to the issues of staffing that arose at Alloway SS, and congratulations to the QTU members at the school for their willingness to act to get a better outcome in terms of their working conditions and the learning conditions of the students they teach.

Scott Welch                                                                                                                       Wide Bay Organiser

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 3, 14 April 2017, p12