Following on from last week’s Workload Wednesday on class sizes, some members have asked for clarification on what constitutes an exceptional circumstance.
Under the new certified agreement, class sizes should not exceed the specified targets, except in exceptional circumstances. If we are to do anything about workload creep, we must ensure that this clause is rigorously enforced.
But what exactly is an “exceptional circumstance”? The agreement defines it as “rare, unusual, atypical or unexpected”.
Examples of exceptional circumstances could include:
- enrolments late in the year
- availability of suitable facilities
- the need to continue the curriculum
- health and safety issues
- failure to recruit a teacher (this list is not exhaustive).
If that is the situation at your school, the agreement requires that the class arrangements should be the subject of a “timely, collaborative and consultative process with staff” including “through the local consultative committee (LCC) in schools required to have one”,
Here’s an idea of what timely consultation should look like
- Principal and Union Reps meet to discuss the possibility of classes in excess of the relevant targets.
- Options are developed and contingencies are planned for, if, in the event, a class exceeds the target.
- Feedback is sought from staff and proposals adapted.
- The model is presented to the LCC.
- Review and further consultation if circumstances change.
Uploaded 12 February 2020