The Department of Education (DoE) Teacher Transfer Guidelines state that a condition of teacher employment is that a permanent teacher may be required to teach at any school location in the state. The legislative authority for the Director-General of the Department of Education to transfer a teacher or education leader is derived from section 133 of the Public Service Act 2008, which states: “The chief executive of a department may transfer or redeploy a public service officer of the department within the department.”
The power to transfer a departmental officer, including a teacher, is not an absolute power and has a test of reasonableness associated with it. Section 134 of the Public Service Act 2008 states: “If a public service officer is transferred under section 133, the transfer has effect unless the officer establishes reasonable grounds for refusing the transfer to the satisfaction of the officer’s chief executive.”
Teacher transfers are the subject of an appeal process, and it is this appeal process which establishes whether or not the transfer is reasonable pursuant to section 134 of the Public Service Act 2008. Transfer appeal information and advice is available elsewhere on the QTU website.