Workload Wednesday

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Class sizes in 2020

As thoughts turn towards the 2020 school year, it is important to be vigilant for any increase in class sizes.
Keeping the size of your classes under control is vital, not only because it helps ensure that your students get more of the one-on-one attention they deserve, but because it helps keep a lid on your workload.

Among the many powerful tools maintained within the new agreement are the strict class size targets, which mean that no teacher should have over-sized classes in 2020, except in a few exceptional circumstances, and then only after consultation.

Maximum sizes are 25 students in prep, years 1 to 3 and 11 to 12; and 28 students in years 4 to 10. Remember too that composite classes should adopt the lower target, for example a 3/4 composite class would have a maximum class size of 25 students.

The health and safety provisions of the new 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.

The agreement is clear that classes in excess of the maximum targets should only occur in exceptional circumstances.
Additionally, where there is the possibility of class sizes in excess of the targets, the class arrangements shall be the subject of a timely, collaborative and consultative process with staff in accordance with the consultative principles contained in the agreement, including through the local consultative committee (LCC) in schools required to have one.

During this consultation phase, members can negotiate additional resources to accommodate this workload impost, eg: additional teacher-aide time, additional time at reporting periods, additional non-contact time, etc.

If this does not happen, these concerns need to be raised, whether through a workplace meeting or the dispute resolution procedures.

Teachers and school leaders who have questions about how the class size clause of the certified agreement should be applied in their context should contact their QTU Organiser or QTAD for assistance.

Uploaded 4 December 2019

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