Preferred staffing profile

Effective workforce planning produces a simple and meaningful tool to assist decision making and to implement good staff management practices. A key element of a school’s workforce plan is its preferred staffing profile which underpins all recruitment, transfer and promotion decisions made within the school. The preferred staffing profile is determined taking into account the school strategic plan, legislative requirements, state-wide curriculum or other guidelines, and funding available in the Student Resource Package (SRP).

The profile should reflect goals and priorities as described in the school strategic plan and may change as goals and priorities alter. The staffing profile must be able to be fully funded within the SRP and will outline the:

  • leadership profile, including assistant principal and leading teacher positions
  • learning specialist profile
  • mix of full and part-time positions having regard to the needs of employees and students
  • mix of ongoing and fixed term employment
  • mix of teaching and non-teaching staff

As vacancies arise staffing decisions should be made in the context of the school’s preferred staffing profile. The duties of a position may be redesigned on vacancy or by agreement with the incumbent or when establishing new positions or working arrangements within the school. When doing so, a principal must ensure that the classification level (and range where relevant) of a position is fixed at a level appropriate to the roles and responsibilities of the position.

Where it is proposed to vary the duties of existing employees, local consultation will need to occur within the context of the terms and conditions of employment of the employees affected by the proposed variation.

For guidance on workforce planning, visit Workforce Planning for Schools.

Learning specialists

The learning specialist role is aimed at building excellence in teaching and learning within the teaching service. Learning specialists are highly skilled classroom practitioners who continue to spend the majority of their time in the classroom.

Given the importance of these roles in building excellence in teaching and learning, schools will be required to establish learning specialist positions based on the number of classroom teacher positions in a school’s workforce profile. This requirement will apply to schools with more than 80 students based on a ratio of 1 learning specialist position for every 18 full-time equivalent classroom teachers as set out below:

Number of classroom teachers (FTE) Number of learning specialists
1–18 1
19–36 2
37–54 3
55–72 4
73–90 5
91–108 6
109–126 7
127–144 8
145–162 9
163–180 10
181–198 11
199–216 12

Schools may choose to have more learning specialist positions in their workforce profile than indicated above. In circumstances where a school is not in a position to advertise a learning specialist vacancy, a higher duties assignment should be considered to enable the school to have a learning specialist in place.

For those schools with 80 or less students, consideration should be given to a shared learning specialist. The Staffing Cooperation Guide provides advice regarding the terms and conditions of employees who work in more than one school. The Professional Practice and Leadership Division has further guidance about access to learning specialists for small schools.

Chapter about preferred staffing profiles and learning specialist positions

Reviewed 13 June 2023

Was this page helpful?