New staffing model for students with disability
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 6, 12 August 2022, page no. 14
Since Term 4 2021, the department has been reviewing what the QTU refers to as the students with disability (SWD) staffing model. This is the model that allocates teacher FTE and teacher-aide hours to special schools, special education programs (SEPs), early childhood development programs (ECDPs), and primary/secondary schools (without SEPs).
In late 2021, as part of the review, the department announced that education adjustment programs (EAP)/verification would cease in 2022, except for students with an intellectual disability (ID) seeking special school enrolment. This decision was made in recognition that the new model would use NCCD data instead of EAP.
2022 State Budget
The announcement of the new model was delayed until after the State Budget, which included an additional $80.6 million to provide extra teachers and teacher-aides in the two-year transition to the full implementation of the new model in 2025. In 2023 and 2024, no school or SEP will have a SWD staffing allocation less than their 2022 allocation. The new model will be fully implemented in 2025.
These are the details of the new model.
- The evidence/data to inform the model will be from NCCD.
- EAP/verification has not been used in 2022, except for ID students seeking special school enrolment. This will continue into 2023.
- Funding/staffing will be allocated to the following three NCCD adjustment categories: supplementary adjustments, substantial adjustments, and extensive adjustments. Please note, the lowest level of adjustment (quality differentiated teaching practice) does not attract resourcing from either the state or the Commonwealth. The QTU argued the new model should allocate resourcing for all four levels. The DoE did not support this position.
- The DoE will introduce an additional level of adjustment called Extensive Plus. This category will be applicable to many/most special school students and those students in other schools with multiple disabilities or a disability requiring very intensive support. Schools will apply for this adjustment category using a OneSchool template, which will not incur much workload (certainly much less than EAP/verification). These students will still be identified in NCCD as requiring extensive adjustment. Also, for most of these students, the Extensive Plus category will not require reviews every two years, as was the case with EAP. The Extensive Plus template form will be available from the beginning of Term 3 for schools to complete.
- Although the SWD staffing will primarily be determined by the data submitted on the NCCD August census date, the new staffing model allows for anticipative adjustment data for new students and prep students not captured in August. This is another improvement on the former model.
- There will be a two-year transition phase to the full implementation of the model in 2025.
- The 2022 State Budget included an allocation of an additional $80.6 million over two calendar years/three financial years to support schools in the transition to the new model. This funding will be used to ensure that no special school/school/SEP receives less staffing in 2023 and 2024 than it did in 2022. Schools receiving enhanced staffing under the new model will receive 25 per cent of the additional staffing in 2023, 50 per cent in 2024 and 100 per cent in 2025.
The QTU will be closely monitoring the implementation of the new staffing model over the next couple of years and welcomes member feedback.