Class sizes should not be in excess of the specified targets outlined in the 2019 Department of Education State School Teachers’ Certified Agreement. The workload of teachers and education leaders matters and this clause from the agreement must be enforced.
Prep-year 3 and years 11-12 = Max 25 students per class
Years 4-10 = Max 28 students per class
The 2019 Certified Agreement states: “Classes in excess of these maximum target sizes should only occur in exceptional circumstances.” An exceptional circumstance is described as “rare, unusual, atypical or unexpected”. It does not include a new enrolment post Day 8 and, at this stage of the year, there should be no exceptional circumstances preventing the class size provisions of the Certified Agreement being met.
Where there are such exceptional circumstances, there should a timely, collaborative and consultative process with staff in accordance with the consultative principles contained in the agreement. During this consultation phase, members are able to negotiate additional resources to accommodate the extra workload due to the increase in class size. For example, additional teacher-aide time, additional time at reporting periods, additional non-contact time (this is not an exhaustive list).
If this does not occur, the concern should be raised at a workplace meeting or by engaging in the dispute resolution procedures. Members requiring support should contact QTAD or their regional organiser.
Where composite classes exist across cohorts (e.g. year 3/4), the class size target would be the lower cohort target.
The health and safety provisions of the 2019 Certified Agreement also commit the department to ensuring that class sizes for practical subjects take into account any risks that accompany the activity, and that curriculum activity risk assessments (CARAs) are in place for all practical subjects. “Each workplace will take all reasonable steps to identify, prevent, manage and respond to workplace health, safety and wellbeing matters including the consideration of infrastructure capacity to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for curriculum delivery particularly for practical subject. Curriculum Activity Risk Assessments play a key role in informing health and safety considerations, including class sizes, for the delivery of these subjects”.
For advice or assistance with matters relating to class sizes, please contact our Queensland Teachers’ Assist desk on 1300 11 7823 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Uploaded 24 February 2021