4 November 2019
Playground duty before and after school
We all know that we can be required to undertake playground duty in breaks during the school day. But what about after school?
There is no requirement for a teacher to undertake playground duty supervision before or after school – the only after school supervision required under the current certified agreement is bus duty.
Your rostered duty time should only consist of face to face teaching, associated professional functions (e.g. assembly/form class), the daily rest pause and non-contact time – it should not include before or after school playground/classroom supervision.
Rosters for playground supervision and bus duty must be subject to consultation and agreement through the LCC (in schools required to have one) or through the consultation processes established for small schools.
Schools should not encourage an expectation that playground supervision will occur before or after school. This applies to establishing a process where teachers are directed to open classroom doors prior to the commencement of the school day or a school bell is sounded to encourage students to enter classrooms, despite the standard hours of instruction commencing at a later time.
Setting up a roster for before or after school supervision where none has existed previously may cause the courts to determine, in the event of litigation, that a duty of care has been established and that teachers and school leaders are liable in the event of negligence. Once a duty of care has been established, it becomes an expectation, and hence it may be an obligation from which teachers and administrators may not be able to extricate themselves without liability at a later date.
Industrially, you are required to be in attendance at school during rostered duty time, for bus supervision or as required to attend staff meetings. You cannot be directed to commence school early for the purposes of supervision unless this forms part of your rostered duty time.
More information can be found in:
- QTU advice brochure: "Meal breaks and bus and playground supervision" www.qtu.asn.au/bradmealbreaks
- QTU guide: "Timetabling issues for teachers in Queensland state schools" www.qtu.asn.au/qtuguide-timetabling
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064