Before and after school supervision
According to the certified agreement and the award, a teacher may be required to undertake playground duty in breaks during the school day and after school bus duty.
There is no requirement for a teacher to undertake playground duty supervision before or after school – the only after school supervision required under the certified agreement is bus duty.
The rostered duty time of a teacher is made up of face to face teaching, associated professional functions (e.g. assembly/form class), the daily rest pause and non-contact time – it does 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 are strongly advised to not establish an expectation that playground supervision will occur before or after school. This includes 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.
Teachers and administrators should note that in setting up a roster for before or after school supervision where none has existed previously, the courts may, in the event of litigation, determine that they have set up a duty of care and that they 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, teachers are required to be in attendance at school during rostered duty time, for bus supervision or as required to attend staff meetings. Consequently, they cannot be directed to commence school early for the purposes of supervision unless this forms part of their rostered duty time.
More information can be found in:
• QTU Advice Brochure Meal breaks and bus and playground supervision
• A QTU Guide: Timetabling Issues for teachers in Queensland state schools
Uploaded 20 February 2019