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Working hours

Myth :  Teachers work from 9am to 3pm. 

Fact : Anyone who has been a teacher, or known a teacher, realises that the “9-3 working day” is a myth. Lesson-planning, marking, extra-curricular activities, professional reflection and many other responsibilities are taking up an increasing amount of teachers’ “own time”.

While that is a fact, there must be a limit or teachers’ work/life balance will collapse, with consequences for their health and the wellbeing of their lives and relationships outside school.

As a professional, each teacher will make his or her own decisions on workload, but the following information provides a guide to required attendance time at the workplace.

Rostered duty time: 25 hours (1,500 minutes) per week for full-time teachers; 30 hours (1,800 minutes) for an instrumental music teacher/instructor. Rostered duty time includes face-to-face teaching duties, associated professional duties (such as assembly supervision and form classes), non-contact time and the mid-morning rest pause.

Hours of instruction: standard hours in schools are between 8:30am and 3:30pm. Staff meetings outside school hours must have a purpose, and cannot be used to make professional development compulsory. QTU policy is that it is reasonable for a staff meeting to run for one hour past the formal end of the school day; attendance is voluntary for any longer period, for “twilight PD” for example.


Clause 15.8 of the Teaching in State Education Award  - State 2016 allows schools to change their start and finish times to fall between 7am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.  These changes can only be made following consultation and agreement by consensus at the LCC.  It is important to note that a day can be no shorter than 3 hours and no longer than 7 hours. The maximum time a full-time teacher is required to be at school each week is 25 hours. Additionally the time a teacher is required at school must be continuous – i.e. it cannot be scheduled as two blocks of time in one day.

Changes to the spread of school hours: schools cannot change the hours to include delivery on a Saturday and in changing these hours must ensure that teachers still have access to their meal break and rest/pause each day.

Clause 2.8 of the DET State School Teachers' CA 2016 allows rostered duty time to exceed 7 hours for student free days only.

Any other variation to hours should be made only after consultation with the local consultative committee, taking into account staff’s family responsibilities. In any arrangement, teachers’ rostered duty time remains at 25 hours per week, and a full-time teacher’s daily maximum rostered duty time must not exceed 7 hours, or be less than 3 hours.

More information:

[Information updated 17 Feb 2017]