Teacher transfers: new accountability processes agreed

A new process for the identification of teachers for required transfer is in place for this year’s cycle.

As part of this new process, you may receive a pro-forma to complete (teacher service profile) which asks you to self assess your eligibility for a transfer against your previous service history in schools with ratings from 1-7. This self-assessment tool allows you to determine whether you are eligible for an “away from home” posting or for a transfer within 50 minutes of your home location.

You may query why such a self-assessment tool is necessary, given that all of your service history is on record. Well, according to the department, while details of service history are indeed kept on the statewide database, the system is not designed for easy extraction of information on subsets of employees within a regional cohort.

The teacher service profile also allows teachers to update their personal circumstances, which may change from one year to the next.

While the use of various iterations of this pro-forma has created some angst for members in the past, the Union and the department have agreed that, as an option (completion of the form is not compulsory), it can help teachers who have never undertaken away-from-home service or service in non-preferred locations understand the basis upon which required transfer decisions are made.

The new process will require all regions to use a standard process guide to initiate required transfers, in an attempt to ensure that required transfers are in line with the school’s strategic workforce plan and that decision making at the school and regional level is transparent and accountable.

While use of the process guide is not obligatory (because it is designed for rating 1 and 2 schools and some regions have very few of these), the fact that there is now a standard statewide process for the identification of teachers for required transfer means that regions can no longer create their own pro-formas in relation to the transfer cycle.

The process guide is similar to that used for downsizing when school enrolments fall after Day 8. It follows a number of steps to identify teachers eligible for transfer as per the teacher service profile (those with limited or no service in away-from-home or non-preferred locations), starting with those interested in volunteering for a transfer and then looking to those whose year level/curriculum expertise/subject area no longer aligns with the school’s workforce plan.  All schools are required to renew their workforce plans on an annual basis so that staffing decisions for the following year can be made to reflect workforce needs.

The Union and the department have also agreed to the formalisation of the Country Area Relieving Scheme (CARS), which had been trialed during the previous two transfer cycles, to encourage teachers to take up a rural/remote posting for a minimum of two, three or four years with a guarantee of a return to their geographic area of choice or preferred school, depending on the length of service in the remote location.

The transfer cycle for this year will again be an online process and those interested in applying for a transfer can apply now.  The closing date for applications is 13 July.

Louise Comino
Industrial/Services Officer

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 117 No 4, 1 June 2012, p23