2022 teacher transfer process
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 2, 11 March 2022, page no.14
Although we are still in term one, it is timely to discuss the transfer process as communication with teachers begins later this term.
An email will be distributed later in the year to teachers in transfer rating 1 and 2 schools to encourage rural and remote service. The QTU supports the distribution of this email as it is an attempt by the department to communicate with teachers who have not undertaken rural and/or remote service and it is part of a strategy to ensure the department can staff schools across the state. Although the email will also be received by teachers who have undertaken rural and/or remote service, these teachers should ignore it unless they are interested in undertaking another rural and/or remote posting. The primary aim of the communication is to invite teachers who have not undertaken rural and/or remote service to consider doing so and to engage with case managers and regional staffing officers to discuss a transfer and a guaranteed right of return to one of two or three geographic areas of preference.
In 2022, the department is increasing the number of teachers who are eligible for a guaranteed transfer. Teachers who have undertaken the minimum service in 4-7 rating schools will be guaranteed a transfer to either two or three geographic areas. Teachers with more than 20 transfer points or who work in AMP centres will only be required to nominate two geographic area preferences. Teachers with less than 20 transfer points will be required to nominate three geographic area preferences. The QTU continues to negotiate with the department to reduce the number of geographic areas teachers must identify. The department has acknowledged that since the inception of guaranteed return transfers, about 95 per cent of applicants (who had 20 transfer points or above) received their first preference, which supports the QTU’s position. The Union notes that in 2022 some guaranteed transfer applicants will only have to nominate two geographic areas, a slight improvement on past requirements.
Change from annual to continuous process
From this year, the teacher transfer process will be cyclic rather than a continuous application and placement process. Teachers can apply for a transfer at any time of the year (after 26 April) and will be notified at the time their transfer is confirmed. Transfer applications will remain active until a placement is made. Prior to their placement confirmation, teachers also have the option to withdraw their transfer application if their circumstances change. Teachers wishing to transfer for the following year should submit their application as soon as possible to be considered as part of the teacher transfer pool when vacancies arise.
The QTU has been advocating for this change for some time and it is hoped more vacancies in preferred areas will be filled more quickly by teachers on transfer, thereby reducing the number of temporary teacher engagements that have been required to date to preserve vacancies for transfers at the beginning of the next year.
The QTU recommends that members who are interested in undertaking rural and/or remote service engage with the department and respond to the email referred to earlier. Members interested in the guaranteed transfer process and wishing to return to a specific region or geographic area, e.g., the Sunshine Coast, should obtain clear advice from departmental officers about what service will deliver a transfer to their preferred area or areas. For example, three years in a four-point school will not usually guarantee a transfer to the Sunshine Coast. Members who are currently in rural/remote areas and are applying for transfer should note that, as in 2021, they will only apply for geographic areas. Teachers who prefer particular schools in a geographic area are advised to list these schools in their application and to contact these schools.
In 2022, a teacher’s application for transfer will be considered by the regional officers and all the principals in the nominated preferred geographic areas. There will be no preference in school selection based on IPS or any other status.
Members applying for transfer in 2022 who have questions about the process can contact the Queensland Teacher Assist Desk (QTAD) on 1300 11 7823 in the first instance.