Teacher-librarians and the additional NCT for primary and special school teachers
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 8, 12 November 2021, page no.14
From the start of the 2022 school year, an additional 30 minutes of non-contact time (NCT) will be provided to primary classroom teachers, including teachers working in special schools, special education programs (SEPs) and specific purpose sites.
This increase was achieved by the QTU during enterprise bargaining negotiations in 2019 and is reflected in the Department of Education State School Teachers’ Certified Agreement 2019.
In 2020, the department advised the QTU that the additional NCT will be resourced through an increase in a school’s support allocation and a portion of the teacher-librarian (TL) allocation. A school’s support allocation consists of provisions for curriculum coordination time, NCT relief, specialist music, health and physical education (PE), language teachers, and TLs. The additional hours of NCT relief provided by the TL allocation will only partially cover the requirement for the additional NCT.
The department has determined that the TL allocation should be used in different ways in schools across the state. There are approximately 1,019 FTE primary TL positions in the system, yet only 238 are presently employed as TLs. Further, the department has advised that in existing situations where schools, via their local consultative committee, have chosen to convert the TL into another position when the TL position becomes substantive, the school is required to ensure the additional NCT is resourced. A school may choose to purchase additional positions or to reinstate the TL position.
Additional full-time specialist teachers must receive 250 minutes of NCT and specialist preparation and correction time per week. The additional non-contact time will need to be delivered continuously on a weekly basis, as is the case now for PE, music and/or languages.
The proportion of the TL allocation to schools that will contribute to NCT relief is 40 per cent. One full-time equivalent TL is 25 hours per week, so 40 per cent equates to 10 hours or 600 minutes per week (i.e. 25 hours x 0.4 = 10 hours or 600 min/week). The QTU has produced a sliding scale of the additional NCT a TL provides when applying the 40 per cent of their FTE. Members can access more information on this topic and the scale in the QTU brochure “Additional primary and special school non-contact time” (https://www.qtu.asn.au/bra-addnct).
Schools with a traditional TL may choose to continue to provide library lessons in a traditional form, without the classroom teacher in attendance, to provide the additional NCT. Alternatively, a TL could be responsible for a key learning area (KLA).
Consultation with the TL should occur prior to determining the key learning area or the component of the teaching and learning cycle the TL will be responsible for. The school could utilise the TL to plan, teach, assess and report on a KLA in a particular year level or across a learning band. Best practice is for a TL to work in a subject area they feel confident and trained in, across year levels that they also have prior experience with.