QTAD Q & A
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 5, 8 July 2022, page no.25
I am a part-time teacher. Are staff meetings pro-rata?
Staff meetings are not pro-rata based on your fraction. You should only attend staff meetings or other work-related meetings if they are held on a day on which you are rostered to work.
For example, if your staff meeting is held on Tuesday and you work on Tuesday, you would be expected to attend. Should a part-time teacher not work on a Tuesday, there is no requirement for that teacher to attend as they are not rostered to work. Of course, as a professional, a teacher not rostered to work on a day the staff meeting is held should be encouraged to read minutes of the meeting to ensure they are not missing out on anything important.
Should teachers be expected to follow up student absences?
The collection and management of data on student absences falls under the Joint Statement on the Purpose and Use of Data in Queensland Schools (http://www.qtu.asn.au/js-data
There are three critical statements to note in the joint statement).
- The School Performance Policy indicates that schools should develop an annual data plan, in collaboration with the local consultative committee (LCC), which dictates how data will be used to inform practice, aligned with student learning and wellbeing, school improvement and strategic planning.
- A school’s data plan should recognise the professionalism of teachers and school leaders and manage workload demands associated with generating, accessing, entering, interpreting, communicating and responding to data. As determined by the Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016, non-contact time is to be used for preparation and correction.
- DoE and the QTU expect workload considerations to be assessed at each school and addressed
In addition to the joint statement, the QTU has adopted a specific position statement on this issue, particularly with regard to following up on unexplained absences. The Union’s position is that the teacher’s role is limited to monitoring attendance via class roll marking. Classroom teachers should not be required to call parents/caregivers seeking an explanation for periods of unexplained student absence.
In accordance with the department’s Roll Marking in State Schools Procedure (https://ppr.qed.qld.gov.au/attachment/roll-marking-in-state-schools-procedure.pdf), when marking the roll, teachers must use visual and verbal confirmation if recording whether a student is present or absent (i.e. call each student’s name, await a verbal response from the student and sight the student who provided the response).
Where a student is absent from a class, the absence should be reported as soon as practicable, in accordance with the school’s procedures.
It is the QTU’s view that other staff, teacher-aides, office admin staff and even guidance officers where appropriate, may be requested to follow up on unexplained student absences. There should be consultation with these employees through the relevant consultative mechanisms prior to these duties being assigned.