education.vic.gov.au

Policy and Guidelines

Teacher class

A full time teacher will be in attendance for a minimum of 7 hours daily commencing no less than 10 minutes before the morning pupil instructional session, unless otherwise agreed between the principal and a teacher.

In addition to the attendance requirements above, teachers may be required to undertake other duties for up to 3 hours, including attendance at meetings provided that not more than 2 hours of the 3 hours can be used for meetings. Any meetings held beyond the 7 hours of daily attendance will be adjacent to the 7 hours of daily attendance and not exceed 1 hour unless otherwise agreed using the consultative arrangements.

When scheduling meetings and other duties, the principal should be cognisant of the workload implications. Parent-teacher meetings should be scheduled in a manner that not only provides the maximum opportunity for all parents to attend, but also takes into account the needs of the teachers concerned, especially those teachers employed on a part-time basis.

A teacher is entitled to a paid lunch break of not less than 30 minutes free from assigned duties between the hours 11:30am to 2:30pm.

Education support class

The ordinary hours of attendance for a full time education support class employee will be for a minimum of 7.6 hours daily between 7:00am and 6:00pm from Monday to Friday unless otherwise agreed.

The principal and the employee may agree on an arrangement of ordinary hours of attendance, including, but not limited to:

  • daily starting and finishing times
  • the time and duration of the lunch break
  • attendance at school meetings and meetings with parents
  • in the case of part-time employment, the number of hours worked per fortnight
  • flexible work arrangements

The principal and employee may agree to vary these arrangements at any time.

An education support class employee cannot be required to work more than 5 hours without a lunch break of a minimum duration of 30 minutes. The lunch break is unpaid and free from assigned duties between the hours 11:30am to 2:30pm unless otherwise agreed between the principal and employee as set out above.

Common Start Date (Beginning of School Year)

The Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 provides that all school employees will commence duty on the same day as determined by DET, other than in circumstances by clause 24(5)(a)(ii) of the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 (Agreement). Employees with insufficient leave credits to cover through to the common start date are able to access up to 5 days (38 hours fulltime) of leave credit which will be acquitted over subsequent term breaks. Employees may also request to access other leave including long service leave or have accrued time in lieu balances acquitted from the previous year.

An education support class employee can be required to attend for duty and/or professional development up to a maximum of 6 days of the additional paid leave specified in clause 26(1)(b). Attendance can only be required during one or two school vacation periods in a year at the commencement or conclusion of a school vacation period and the employee must be provided with reasonable notice, being not later than four weeks into the preceding term.

Attendance during additional paid leave period

An education support class employee can be required to attend for duty or professional development during their period of additional paid leave, up to a maximum of 6 days per year subject to the following:

  • attendance can only be required at the commencement or conclusion of a school vacation period
  • attendance can only be required during one or two school vacation periods
  • reasonable notice is provided, being not later than 4 weeks into the preceding term
  • an employee at education support class level 1, salary ranges 1 and 2, cannot be required to work in isolated circumstances or to attend unless a responsible manager is present
  • an employee can only be required to perform duties consistent with their role(s)

In addition to the 6 days, an education support class employee and their principal may agree on attendance for duty or professional development for any or all of the remaining additional paid leave.

The maximum period of attendance in any year under the above provisions is 30 days. Where an employee attends for duty or professional development, they will be paid the leave purchase allowance and the additional paid leave entitlement will be reduced accordingly.

An education support class employee who was employed at 52/52, 51/52, 50/52 or 49/52 immediately prior to translation to the new education support class structure on the date the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2013 commenced to operate (10 July 2013) will maintain the attendance requirements that applied to them immediately prior to that date. The employee will be paid the leave purchase allowance to reflect their attendance requirements which can only be changed by written agreement between the principal and the employee.

Where an employee has accepted employment that requires attendance during a school vacation period, that attendance requirement forms part of the employee’s terms of employment.

Where an education support class employee has an attendance requirement of more than 6 days:

  • the limitations set out in subclause 24(5)(a)(ii) of the Agreement do not apply, and
  • the requirement under subclause 24(5)(a)(v) of the Agreement to reach agreement on attendance during any of the additional leave period does not apply

Common start date

The date Education Support Class employees return to duty will be aligned with the commencement of the school year, so that all employees have a common start date other than in circumstances by clause 24(5)(a)(ii) of the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 (Agreement).

If an education support class employee has exhausted their additional paid leave days during any vacation period, the employee may apply for paid or unpaid leave (such as long service leave or leave without pay) or request access to accrued time in lieu. Alternatively, an employee may request to return to duty during that vacation period. Any request to return to duty will be considered having regard to the employee’s circumstances and the operational needs of the school. Attendance during a vacation period on any day where an employee has exhausted their additional paid leave credits available, will be considered an ordinary day of attendance for remuneration purposes and will not attract a leave purchase allowance.

Education support class employees who have exhausted their additional paid leave and are not required or are unable to attend for duty during a vacation period may access further additional paid leave credits, which would later accrue up to a maximum of 38 hours for full time employees (pro rata for part time employees).

From 1 February 2023, employees with a negative additional paid leave balance of 38 hours (pro rata for part time employees) will be placed on leave without pay for the duration of a vacation period unless other arrangements are agreed.

Information about additional paid leave is available on the Annual Leave — Teaching Service page in the Schools Policy and Advisory Library and information about the leave purchase allowance is available on the Allowances — Teaching Service page.

Department policy and guidelines on attendance at work including parent teacher meetings and other issues

Reviewed 30 January 2023

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