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THE PROFESSIONAL AND INDUSTRIAL VOICE OF QUEENSLAND’S TEACHERS AND SCHOOL LEADERS IN STATE SCHOOLS AND TAFE FOR MORE THAN 130 YEARS.

FAQs : COVID-19

FAQs as PDF

30 March 2020 - updated

QTU Members' only document (as PDF):

The FAQs below have the same content as the PDF document linked above and will be visible to members if you are logged in via myQTU.

DISCLAIMER: This information is issued for general guidance only. It does not constitute professional advice. The issues with which it deals are complex and the document necessarily deals only with general principles. No reader should rely on this document for the purpose of making a decision as to action but should seek the appropriate advice from the Union on the particular circumstances of that reader. The Union accepts no responsibility for the consequences should any person act in reliance on this document without obtaining the appropriate advice from the Union. This information is based on advice provided by the Union’s lawyers, Holding Redlich.

School operations (updated 30 March 2020 from DoE responses to QTU questions)

Are staff who are not sick and not vulnerable required to present at school, or can they work from home e.g. teachers with children?

Staff who are not sick, and who are not considered vulnerable, are required to present at school (please see HR information on One Portal for information about vulnerable staff: https://intranet.qed.qld.gov.au/Services/CommunicationMarketing/coronavirus/Pages/HR-information-for-principals-and-managers.aspx)

To what degree can the principal direct the teacher in terms of the activities they are undertaking on the SFDs in preparing for Term 2?

The Director-General’s message on 27 March provided very clear direction that the student free days are to be used for the purpose for which they have been designated. This means planning for the continuity of student learning in the event that the education sector needs to move to flexible and remote learning. The student free days should therefore focus on this task as much as possible, and not on other work that might have been planned by schools for future student free days.

The work of teachers can be directed in terms of planning and preparation for remote and flexible learning for their own students or cooperatively planning for a cohort, year level and subject.  They can also be directed in terms of supervising the students of essential workers. In addition, principals determine the class allocations of teachers. When restructuring/collapsing programs/classes for face-to-face delivery purposes next term, consideration should be given to the workload of teachers in continuing to provide learning experiences for their students via virtual or other platforms.

How do we manage students (children of essential workers) who are at school, as well as the online teaching?

All students who are enrolled at a school will learn the same curriculum and programs, whether they are at school, learning online or from paper copies of the curriculum. This may mean that schools combine classes or redistribute students to classes to provide release time for teachers to work with students who are learning at home.

How do we identify/define who is genuinely a vulnerable child?

For COVID-19 arrangements, vulnerable students could include students who are receiving services from Child Safety, including children who are subject to a child protection order or are subject to a youth justice order. This information is also available on OnePortal https://intranet.qed.qld.gov.au/Students/studentprotection/Pages/Supportingvulnerablestudentsandfamilies.aspx

What is an essential worker and how do we ensure only essential workers are sending their children to school?

“Essential workers” refers to anyone who must continue to attend their workplace. This includes early childhood educators, teachers and other school-based staff.

For workers who provide essential services and are required to attend their workplace, schools will remain open to offer supervision for their children.

If the workplace is the home, careful consideration should be given as to whether it is necessary to send their children to school.

What is the expectation regarding roll marking/record keeping when students are working from home and are not technically absent?

For the student free days, schools should record absences using the reason code ‘B – Attendance not required’. This can be done in bulk – refer to Help Materials in OneSchool.

The attendance of children of essential workers and vulnerable children at school during this time should be recorded in OneSchool, with same day notification to occur if a child who was expected to attend has not arrived.

Who supervises the students of essential workers and those required to attend their regular place of work next week?

Principals are encouraged to use all staff flexibly to ensure appropriate supervision for students, while also ensuring teachers have time to plan for alternate education delivery from term two.

If additional teaching staff are required, schools should follow their normal processes for employing casual teachers.

TRACER will be operating and can be used by schools to book replacement teachers for casual and short-term temporary vacancies.

What procedure should school leaders use to ensure young students have an operational MIS user name and password?

Should a student need a password reset for their MIS account, they should continue to contact their teacher, who can reset it for them. The IT Branch has made an adjustment to password expiry, adding 120 days to the existing timeframe to ensure no passwords expire over the coming months.

If there are IT issues, where does the school/individual go for assistance next week and during term two?

The IT Service Centre will retain normal operating hours: 7:30am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. The Service Centre can be contacted via Services Catalogue Online (https://qlddet.service-now.com/sco), where staff can search for solutions, log a request for support or access the chat feature, using the icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page. The page also has information on current IT outages and forthcoming IT maintenance.

The Service Centre can also be contacted by phone on 1800 680 445. The Service Centre is handling many more calls than usual, and wait times are longer as a result.

Staff are being reallocated to the Service Desk to assist with volumes.

Continuity of learning (added 30 March from DoE responses to QTU questions)

Must state school staff follow the C2C materials? (If they are using C2C do they continue to adapt them?)

Schools continue to do what they already do with C2C materials in terms of adopting or adapting.

The department has made a suite of materials available on the learning@home website for parents to use as a resource alongside learning programs provided by schools. They are a resource – you do not need to use them. Schools, however, do need to continue to provide learning materials for the P-10 subjects English, maths, science, HASS and digital technologies

If schools have programs in place that do not follow C2C, can they continue to use them by agreement with teachers?

Yes, schools should continue to follow their school curriculum plans.  The online, paper or school-delivered materials should meet the learning needs of the students.  This is necessary to provide equity in learning to students, regardless of whether they have access to devices at home or need to access paper-based learning.

If digital technologies are a priority, what are we doing with children who do not have technology or internet capabilities? The other subjects can be taught on paper but it is impossible to teach digital technologies on paper?

In the event of prolonged school closures or student absences, the departmental priority to implement digital technologies can be supported for students who do not have access to the internet or ICT devices.

The Queensland Coding Academy and the department’s C2C resources have a selection of “pen and paper” learning activities that students can complete to build their understanding of the concepts important for learning digital technologies.

What resources are to be provided to teachers and school leaders, e.g. the learning@home site?

A list of resources that teachers and school leaders can access:

  • C2C – the extensive suite of resources
  • Curriculum support for continuity of learning – a suite of curriculum resources is available providing learning opportunities for students to continue their learning
  • two-week units of work – these have been developed for prep to year 10 in English, mathematics, science, digital technologies, design and technologies and HASS subjects geography and history
  • ILMs – a teacher-directed eLearn (Blackboard) course is available that contains curriculum into the classroom independent learning materials and supporting resources from prep to year 10 in English, mathematics, science and HASS (history and geography)
  • the learning@home site – a range of resources and materials, including a parent version of the two-week units of work (NB these are a slightly modified version of the resources provided to teachers).

Has the department considered setting up a helpline and/or email address for students and parents who are struggling with technology?

The department is investigating the possibility of engaging a third party tech service to support IT requirements.

Years 11 and 12 (updated 30 March 2020 from DoE responses to QTU questions)

How will year 11 and 12 students do exams and assessment that require IT?

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority will provide advice to schools in the next couple of weeks around expectations for assessment going forward. 

Schools should await QCAA advice before making any changes to their teaching, learning and assessment programs for senior secondary students.

How will students complete required exams from home without compromising the integrity?

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority will provide advice to schools in the next couple of weeks around expectations for assessment going forward. 

Schools should await QCAA advice before making any changes to their teaching, learning and assessment programs for senior secondary students.

Can students in year 11 and 12 access a program for their technology requirements?

To be advised - further clarity required regarding this question.

How will schools monitor and register attendance for students who access learning@home?

If learning from home arrangements are required, Arrangements for attendance reporting/monitoring in term two are being decided and further advice will follow.

What work should schools be doing this week?

The department has developed an “advice for school leaders” document that recommends activities that schools can undertake as part of planning for continuity of learning, including the approach to curriculum delivery and range of suggested tasks for principals, teachers and support staff (some of which are suitable for flexible work).

What about senior schooling?

After considering a range of scenarios and possible responses, along with feedback from students, parents, teachers and the wider school community, the QCAA Board resolved that an immediate response is required to alleviate the stresses being felt in school communities.

One internal assessment has been removed from the total of four prescribed in each syllabus. This will provide some relief for students as they contend with uncertainty and disruption while working towards their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) in 2020. It will also support teachers to manage reduced classroom time.

In the next few weeks, the QCAA will provide schools with direction on how they should adjust what is taught and the nature and timing of other assessments. There will be some flexibility to accommodate the specific needs of subjects — both general and applied — but across-the-board adjustment is necessary to ensure the assessment experience is as equitable as it can be for all students.

The various subjects offered by the relevant school will still need to be taught and developed for online or other learning. The provision of this content to students will be through the relevant platforms the school uses.

What does Week 10 (30 March - 3 April) look like for .... ?

What does Week 10 look like part time teachers and SFDs?

Part time teachers should attend the Week 10 SFDs as per their regular fraction arrangements.  Part time teachers might like to remind their line manager of their days of work in preparation for Week 10.

What does Week 10 look like for ALL Itinerant Teachers?

As communicated in the Newsflash of 24 March it has been negotiated that Specialist staff who travel between schools are required to stay at their base school/office (or another school/office as agreed by the principals in the cluster). This requirement is a risk management protocol and needs to be adhered to. It is not business as usual. 

This includes all specialist teachers in primary and special schools, instrumental music teachers and instructors, itinerant teachers and district relieving teachers (DRTs); and guidance officers and AVTs servicing more than one school.  (This is not an exhaustive list).

There is advice for specialist teachers below and district relieving teachers are likely to be assisting in the same way as specialist teachers will be. For other itinerant staff, the focus of work should be negotiated with you and your line managers and prioritised to essential and key tasks.  What is negotiated should be designed to mitigate the risk of acquiring Covid-19. Senior guidance officers, guidance officers, AVTs  and principals, in partnership with region, will work together during week 10, to plan and prepare for the flexible provision of services to schools.

What does week 10 look like for specialist teachers?

During week 10, specialist teachers should undertake work as instructed by their base school principal including planning, preparation and supervision.  As the continuation of learning materials being created will be for the identified key learning areas, specialist teachers may be involved in planning, preparing resources for these key learning areas and NOT for their specialist teaching area at this time. The focus of all teachers and principals will be the delivery of a program in English, Maths, Science, HASS and Digital Technologies.

Specialist teachers may be involved in supervision of students of essential workers who will be present at school.

Learning and teaching as we know it is changing; it is not business as usual. As a result of this national emergency the wide range of programs and initiatives undertaken in schools in normal times are no longer the primary focus. Specialist subjects will not be included in the content for continuation of learning at this time. The primary focus of all teachers will be that of working together to ensure students have essential materials for their learning to continue.

What does week 10 look like for instrumental music teachers and instructors

As members were advised in the 24 March QTU Newsflash, Instrumental Music Teachers and Instructors should now be at their base school and remain there.  If their base school is not a high school and they have students at the high school doing instrumental music, the teacher/instructor should negotiate with their base school principal to attend the high school in order to focus on delivery of senior instrumental music to those studying it as part of the new QCE.  Instrumental Music Teachers and Instructors should either be at their base school or at the school on their circuit where the senior subject is taught. There should be no further movement on circuits.

Instrumental music teachers and instructors should NOT be teaching group music lessons or conducting choirs or ensembles.

What is expected of teachers and principals?

On Monday 30 March, all teachers and principals will attend their usual school workplace, unless they are designated as a vulnerable worker or caring for a vulnerable person, in which case they will be directed to work from home.

All teachers will undertake planning and preparation for remote and flexible learning, to be delivered if normal school operations are suspended by the government in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

To be clear, the cessation of business as usual in this national emergency means that the wide range of programs and initiatives undertaken in schools in normal times are no longer our primary focus. The work of teachers must be directed only to planning and preparation for remote and flexible learning for their own students or cooperatively planning for a cohort, year level and subject.

In addition to these measures, the QTU has negotiated:

  • a clear statement from the Chief Health Officer of Queensland on management of sick children being sent to school or becoming ill at school
  • a responsive approach to provision of sanitation products and cleaning services.

What about students?

Schools will continue to provide supervision for children of essential services workers and vulnerable children (i.e. children in care; and children for whom no appropriate care arrangements can be maintained).

For the period up until the Easter break, the agreed definition of essential services worker is workers who are required to be at work in their normal workplace. ​​​​​

How do we keep continuity of learning?

The focus of all teachers and principals will be the delivery of a program in English, maths, science, HASS and digital technologies.

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority Board met on Wednesday 25 March and will send a communiqué about year 12 arrangements.

What about the Easter break?

Schools will close as planned on Friday 3 April for the Easter break.

Teachers and principals will return to work on Monday 20 April – this return to work will be at a school or working from home, subject to direction.

State schools will reopen on Monday 20 April unless health advice recommends that other arrangements are required.

School operations (earlier advice)

What can be done to secure more cleaning supplies at our school if necessary?

The department has established a number of arrangements with suppliers of cleaning and hygiene products, including soap, paper hand towels, hand sanitiser and toilet paper.

If you have insufficient supplies, or no supplies at all, you should contact Procurement Services on 1300 366 612 or by email Procurement.OCPO@qed.qld.gov.au.

If you are unable to secure the necessary materials for your school through these means, register it as a health and safety issue in MyHR and contact your QTU Organiser for advice.

What do I do if a child comes to school but is unwell?

The CHO has issued a health directive to empower principals to send students who are presenting with flu-like symptoms home. 

Students who present as unwell will have to be placed in a separate location until parents or caregivers collect them or arrangements are made for them to leave school. They will be required to stay at home until they are well.

Failure of parents/caregivers to follow this directive may result in fines.

If a student goes into self-isolation as a precaution prior to a school closure, am I required to provide them with schoolwork to undertake during this period?

There is no requirement to provide work for students who are not absent for an authorised illness.

In accordance with department policy, parents should notify the school if students are absent from school. If students are absent for an extended period of time for medical reasons, schools can require parents to provide a statement from their medical practitioner to this effect. If parents are keeping students home for other reasons, they may be requested to complete department documentation that advises of this decision.

What will happen to senior secondary students if schools close?

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) is currently preparing for disruption to student learning as a consequence of COVID-19.  Schools have been requested to ensure that the enrolment details of senior secondary students are up-to-date. The QCAA is providing updated advice on its website https://www.qcaa.qld.edu.au/coronavirus-updates. Members can subscribe to updates to receive QCAA memos as they are released.

Are schools required to advise staff and the school community if students are self-isolating at home because of parents or siblings etc with COVID-19?

Schools are only required to provide advice should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school community (i.e. member of staff/student). Decisions on whether schools will close and other mechanisms required in these circumstances will be made on the basis of advice from the department and health professionals.

General COVID-19 advice

Members should check the Australian Government health advice for updates

Health insight: COVID-19

What precautions should I take to reduce my risk of contracting COVID-19?

Transmission of COVID-19 most likely occurs through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before symptoms appear
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes
  • touching objects or surfaces contaminated by an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.

A number of simple personal actions can reduce the risk of transmission. These include:

  • staying at home if you are sick
  • washing your hands regularly with soap and water
  • using hand sanitiser where it is available
  • covering your nose and mouth when sneezing
  • using a tissue and throwing it away after use
  • staying one to 1.5 metres away from people coughing or sneezing
  • avoiding touching your eyes, face and mouth
  • washing down/cleaning your workspace daily and sanitising any shared work resources (e.g. phones, keyboards)
  • avoiding unnecessary physical contact with people.
  •  

What do I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have symptoms, stay at home.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of colds and flus and include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • fatigue
  • difficulty breathing.

While most people displaying these symptoms are suffering from a cold or another respiratory illness – not COVID-19 – you should stay at home if you display these symptoms.

Contact your school and advise of your absence and the reason.

Whether you should go to the doctor or be tested for COVID-19 is set out in the FAQs provided by the Australian Government. You could also contact 13HEALTH for advice (13 43 25 84).

If you are diagnosed with COVID–19, you should contact the school as soon as you are able so that your colleagues and students can be advised, and appropriate action taken.

When is self-isolation necessary?

In addition to the requirement to self-quarantine for overseas arrivals, teachers may consider self-isolation if they have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

The need to self-isolate applies WHETHER YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OR NOT.

The advice from the Australian Government distinguishes between casual contact with someone with COVID–19 and close contact.

Casual contact is;

  • less than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with a confirmed case in the 24 hours prior to them developing symptoms; or
  • sharing a closed space with a confirmed case for less than two hours in the 24 hours prior to them developing symptoms.

Any greater contact would be regarded as close contact requiring self-quarantine.

NOTE: Self-isolation is only required for close contact with a confirmed case. People living in the same house as a quarantined person are not themselves quarantined (though one would expect additional precautions) unless or until the quarantined person becomes a confirmed case.

A person in self-isolation who develops symptoms of COVID–19 should immediately seek medical attention.

If you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, you should advise your school as soon as you are able.

If you are subsequently tested and diagnosed with COVID-19, you should contact your school as soon as you are able so that your colleagues and students can be advised, and appropriate action taken.

A member who has self-isolated for 14 days without developing symptoms can return to work.

Ongoing employment

I am a supply teacher. What would I be entitled to moving forward re school closures? Not sure that I qualify for special pandemic leave?

The department has advised that if you are on unpaid leave you do not get paid in the event schools close. We are seeking further advice from the department regarding how they will manage TRS teachers not being utilised during both a stand down and school closures.

I am on contract, but it is due to be terminated at the end of Term 1. Do I get paid if the school is closed?

In the event of school closures, you will continue to be paid for the length of your contract engagement. HR in central office has asked principals to review temporary engagements expiring prior to 30 April 2020 to determine whether the engagement should cease in accordance with the current term or be extended. The advice is provided below:

“It may be appropriate to extend the engagement in circumstances where:

  • the employee has been engaged for a period of two years or more without a break in their continuity of service; or

  • there is an ongoing need for the person to be engaged in the role (or an alternative role); or

  • if the COVID-19 health pandemic had not occurred, there was a reasonable expectation of ongoing work following conclusion of the engagement

Engagements that meet these circumstances, should be extended as soon as possible for a minimum of eight weeks (and longer if appropriate).

It is the department’s position that principals and managers should extend temporary engagements wherever possible, in keeping with the intent of the Employment Arrangements in the Event of a Health Pandemic Directive, which states: “Government will make every effort to ensure that the employment conditions of its employees are not adversely affected during a health pandemic.”

It may be appropriate for the engagement to cease in circumstances where:

  • the employee was engaged in a genuine backfill arrangement and the substantive employee is returning from leave at a specified date

  • the employee was engaged for a specified task (e.g. a project) and the task has come to an end (note: the ending of the task is not as a result of COVID-19); or

  • regardless of the COVID-19 health pandemic, there was no reasonable expectation of ongoing work following conclusion of the engagement.

Principals and managers are required to confirm the temporary engagement arrangements with staff as soon as possible to ensure that no arrangements unintentionally lapse during a workplace disruption.”

Member wellbeing

I have an auto-immune deficiency/other medical condition/am pregnant. What should I do?

If you are concerned about your health and wellbeing, you should seek advice from your doctor to determine what measures you should take.

If the doctor advises you should not attend work due to your vulnerability to COVID-19, you should access your sick leave in the first instance.

In the event that medical advice indicates that you are able to undertake flexible work arrangements, or work from home, you should speak with your school management about what that looks like.  When work from home or flexible work arrangements have been negotiated, there is no debit to your leave accounts. 

Click here to view the leave flowcart (Employment arrangements in the event of a health pandemic)

I am a vulnerable worker. Do I need to attend school?

No. The Director-General of Education provided advice to principals (23 March) that vulnerable workers should be offered the opportunity to work from home.

I am very aware that some staff in our schools have medical conditions which may cause them to be concerned about coming to school at this time. Staff who fit into this category should discuss their concerns with their supervisor and be offered the opportunity to work from home where possible. If normal duties cannot be undertaken, consideration should be given to alternative duties and/or professional development, planning and preparation activities while working remotely.”

The following list, developed from advice provided by Queensland Health, identifies that those most at risk of serious COVID-19 infection are:

  • people with compromised immune systems (such as people who have cancer)
  • people over 60, particularly when combined with a chronic medical condition
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (as they have higher rates of chronic illness)
  • people with chronic medical conditions.

Consequently, if one or more of these applies to you, you should work from home. If normal duties cannot be undertaken, consideration should be given to alternative duties and/or professional development, planning and preparation activities while working remotely. To facilitate these arrangements, you should advise your school principal or supervisor (in the same way you would for any leave) that you fall into one of these categories. Contact the QTU if your request to work from home is unreasonably denied.

If you are the primary carer of someone who falls into the vulnerable person category, and have a medical certificate to this effect, you will be able to access paid special leave.

I am pregnant and worried about going to school. Can I stay home?

Advice from the Queensland Government is that there haven’t yet been any comprehensive studies of the effect COVID-19 on pregnant women and their babies. If you are pregnant, you should continue to take good care of your health and, just like everyone else, wash your hands and keep your distance from people who are coughing or sneezing or who you know to be sick. Seek medical attention if you experience any signs of illness at any time during your pregnancy. Contact your obstetrician if you require further advice.

If you are pregnant and take sick leave, you may be required to commence your paid parental leave if you are within the six-week period prior to your estimated date of confinement. For more information, please see our brochure on parental leave.

I am the primary caregiver for my elderly parent(s). I understand that elderly people are more vulnerable to the virus than younger people. What do I do to minimise the chance of infecting them with the virus if I have to go to school and have social cont

You should discuss your concerns with your school and consult your parent’s doctor for advice on how best to care for your relative.  If the doctor advises that you should not be at work due to your vulnerability to COVID-19 and the impact on your parent, you will be able to access sick leave for family purposes to care for your relative. You should also take the personal precautions previously outlined.

Leave

What do I do if my children’s school closes and mine stays open?

In the first instance, you would see if you could find some care for them either in emergency day care or an outside school hours care program. If not, you can ask for a felixible work arrangement to work from home so that you can look after your children and work from home. If your child is sick, you can access your sick leave for family illness purposes in which case, you would need to notify your employer that you were not working from home but on carer’s leave. 

If I need to self-isolate, will there be leave available?

Yes. The department has the capacity to approve special leave for someone who is required to self-isolate for reasons arising from their work. Complete information about what leave is available can be found in the government’s pandemic directive.

I have decided to self-isolate my children and I am required to stay home to care for them. What leave can I access?

If your children are being isolated for medical reasons, you should advise your school of this requirement and access sick leave for family purposes. A school may request advice from your children’s medical practitioner that they are required to be home due to a medical condition.

If your children are required to be isolated after coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you may be able to access pandemic leave.

If you are keeping your children at home without a medical reason for doing so (either from your doctor or 13HEALTH), the department may require you to take special leave without pay.

If I am on recreation or long service leave and my school closes, can I change to discretionary special leave?

No. In previous situations, teachers who were on approved leave, e.g. long service leave, have been unable to convert this to special leave in the event of a forced school closure. It may only be transferable to sick leave should you yourself be unwell and provide medical documentation (if more than three days’ duration).

Other

Teachers have been told to return home if they have come to work wearing masks/gloves as a precaution for themselves. They are currently not sick. Can the school do this?

Advice from the Department of Health is that you do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like COVID-19. Consequently, schools can request employees to remove face masks etc if they are well. If members are concerned for their wellbeing they should consult their medical practitioner or contact 13HEALTH.

Do I still have to complete the Queensland College of Teachers’ annual requirement of 20 hours of CPD if I can no longer attend face-to-face PD?

Advice from the QCT is as follows:

“When a fully registered teacher completes their renewal application, they will be asked if they have met their continuing professional development (CPD) requirement (20 hours) for each year in which they have taught for 20 days or more. We encourage all teachers to attempt to satisfy their professional development requirement where possible and engage in online learning opportunities where possible.

“If a fully registered teacher has not satisfied their CPD requirement for a particular year (e.g. this year), they are required to provide reasons for not satisfying their requirement in their renewal application. The QCT acknowledges that this is an unprecedented time which is having a major impact on all our teachers. The impact of the current crisis on Queensland teachers will be a major consideration as renewal applications are assessed.

“If members have any questions, they can contact the Professional Standards team on (07) 3377 4777 or ProfessionalStandardsShared@qct.edu.au

Do I still need to complete the mandatory staff training by the end of term 1?

Teachers should be able to use time during the student free days next week to complete the mandatory PD. The original purpose of the student free days was to accommodate mandatory PD.

Teachers can also negotiate for any mandatory training done outside of school hours to be designated to the SFD in term three, however we are unclear if schools will be returning in term two.

What is happening with 2020 teacher transfers?

The department has delayed the implementation of the 2020 teacher transfer process as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As soon as the QTU is provided with the new timelines, they will be provided to members.

Instrumental music teachers

What are the implications for year 11 and 12 instrumental music (IM) programs and how will this be resourced?

Where members are working with senior IM, this is the priority. If this is not offered at their base schools, they should discuss the need to be based with the senior secondary students with their base school principal.

Will IM teachers be expected to be involved in some sort of distance education?

For senior secondary students studying IM, IM teachers will be required to support this learning through both platforms, although IM is not one of the priorities for the continuity of education for P-10 – the subjects they are focused on are English, maths, HASS, science and digital tech.

Will IM teachers join our internal relief pool?

If they are teachers, they may be asked to be used to support internal relief (it’s not business as usual), however instructors cannot supervise a class as they do not have a teaching qualification.

Will base schools be debited with the costs for other schools to replace their lost non-contact time?

Schools in the cluster should discuss how this is addressed. They may negotiate for their specialist teachers to report to three different schools to provide for NCT coverage. This measure is about minimising the potential spread of COVID-19.

QTU activities

I’m booked to attend QTU training/QuEST PD/a legal seminar/Area Council/State Council etc. Will these go ahead?

The QTU has determined to cancel all non-essential events. If an event that you have registered to attend is cancelled, we will advise you of the cancellation.

Organisers and Officers have also been advised that they should limit their attendance at workplaces to essential activities only.

If meetings are deemed essential and are to proceed, members will be provided with teleconference or videoconference details to enable their participation.

At its meeting on 23 March, QTU Executive determined to cancel May State Council 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frequently asked Questions for parents (from DoE)

Click here for Departmental answers to such questions as:

 

Back to main COVID-19 information page

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