4 September 2015      No. 16-15
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Allocation of 875 teachers announced

One of the new Queensland Government’s major policy commitments in education is the employment of an additional 875 teachers over three years over and above those required for enrolment growth. On Wednesday, the Minister advised schools of the additional entitlements that would be received and the timing of those entitlements, subject to the usual variations as a result of enrolment fluctuations.

Over the three years, the additional staffing will more than replace the 519 full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching positions cut by the previous LNP government from the start of 2013.

The QTU has been involved in very detailed discussions with the department concerning the implementation of the government’s commitment, with a view to rectifying problems created by the previous government’s cuts, such as class size increases, while also keeping an eye to the future. The main elements of the plan are:

  • restoration of the rounding benefit for primary schools with more than 176 students, abolished in 2013 (2016 185 FTE)
  • new specialist teacher positions in secondary schools to replace resource teacher cut in 2013 (2016 92 FTE, 2017 90 FTE, 2018 32 FTE)
  • additional curriculum coordination time in primary schools (2017 146 FTE, 2018 142 FTE)
  • additional curriculum coordination time for special schools (2018 23 FTE)
  • additional release time for teaching principals (2017 31 FTE)
  • additional heads of department (HODS) in secondary schools (2017 23 FTE)
  • additional deputy principal positions (2016 13 FTE special, 2018 60 FTE primary, 33 FTE secondary)
  • additional 3.5 FTE for curriculum coordination time and HOD positions for schools of distance education
  • additional five FTE guidance officer positions in secondary to supplement the 45 additional contained in another government policy commitment to ensure that every school with more than 500 secondary students has a full-time guidance officer.

The restoration of the rounding benefit and the specialist teachers acknowledge the impact of previous staffing cuts on class sizes. The specialist teacher numbers will be phased in over three years with priority to schools with lower ICSEA ratings. The range of options for specialist teacher positions is broad.

Additional curriculum coordination is welcome support for collaboration at a school level and the wide curriculum responsibility of primary teachers.

The additional promotional positions smooth some anomalies in allocations, but most importantly acknowledge the growing size of schools and the inadequacy of promotion position allocations set when schools were smaller.

The government’s pre-election policy commitment and its fulfilment is a very clear sign of the priority of education in the government’s thinking. By 2018, it will represent a recurrent financial commitment of more than $87.5 million per year.

QCT Board Election

Vote for QTU endorsed candidates Alota Lima and Natalie Clarke in the election for practicing teachers on the Queensland College of Teachers Board. The ballot closes 18 September. For more information see Newsflash No. 12-15.

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union