Unpacking the staff meeting clause in the certified agreement

[page added 18 Jan 2017 | download as pdf]

The provision regarding staff meetings was included in the certified agreement in an attempt to address a range of issues that have commonly arisen in schools. The provision acts in conjunction with the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2006 (QLD).

The role of the LCC is not to determine if staff meetings should occur but to clearly outline the purpose, frequency and duration of staff meetings in the school.

Given the uniqueness of each workplace, it is likely that this will differ from school to school.

The following is a suggested process for meeting the certified agreement provision regarding staff meetings.

Step 1

Place “staff meetings” as an agenda item for discussion at the next LCC meeting

Step 2

Discuss how staff meetings currently operate in the school

Step 3

Discuss the purpose of the staff meeting:

  • Is the staff meeting to be used for school operational matters, staff issues, professional development, mandatory training etc.?
  • Are there other ways in which information can be communicated, e.g. emails, staff briefings, staff notices?
  • Is the meeting recognised as a formal meeting, and if so, will it have an agenda, a chairperson, record keeper etc.?
  • Are staff able to contribute items for discussion at staff meetings?
Step 4

Discuss the frequency

  • Should a staff meeting be held every week?
  • Are there other options available, e.g. a meeting every second week with year level or curriculum area meetings on alternate weeks?
Step 5

Discuss the duration

  • Custom and practice is that a weekly staff meeting should not extend beyond one hour.
Step 6

Principal discretion regarding staff meetings

It is important to recognise that the principal maintains some discretion around staff meeting agendas, and that it is not possible nor desirable for the LCC to plan every agenda item for every staff meeting throughout the year. Schools need to be responsive to emerging issues.

Schools should establish an understanding that there is some flexibility around staff meetings. For example, additional staff meetings may be called in exceptional circumstances, such as following critical incidents and for school reviews. Conversely, weekly staff meetings are not mandatory and may be cancelled if there is not a need, or if staff are involved in other school activities, such as parent teacher interviews or report card peer reviews.

Step 7

Provide the proposed purpose, frequency and duration of staff meetings
as discussed at the LCC to all staff for feedback

Step 8

Upon receipt of feedback, confirm the purpose, frequency and duration
of staff meetings at a later LCC and publish the meetings on the school calendar
and LCC minutes.

Some examples.

Staff meeting example 1

Question asked at the start of the year: “Are we still happy to have a weekly staff meeting on a Tuesday between 3:15pm and 4:15pm for the purpose of dissemination of information, raising of issues of importance for discussion relating to students, policy and curriculum?”

Staff meeting example 2

  • Timing of staff meetings: Monday 3:15pm – 4:15pm
  • Even weeks: full school staff meeting run by leadership team for the purpose of information/policy/school procedure updates, important issues, future planning, consultation, collaboration.
  • Odd weeks: faculty meetings run by HODs for the purpose of moderation, data conversations, information/policy/school procedure updates, important issues, future planning, consultation, collaboration.

Staff meeting example 3

  • One staff meeting per fortnight: Monday 3:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Purpose:
    • full staff meeting for 30mins, outlining afternoon working party (i.e. year level groups, lower school/upper school groups, focus groups – extension, support)
    • working parties work together one hour
    • full staff meeting for 30mins for upcoming events and information sharing.

Part-time teachers

Part-time teachers and supply teachers are not required to attend staff meetings
on days on which they do not work. Important information shared in staff
meetings will need to be made available to part-time teachers to enable them to
participate fully and appropriately as staff members

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union