School based vacancies are managed through the Recruitment Online system.
Principals should initially determine whether the vacancy is within the school’s workforce plan and that funding is available and will continue to be available for the duration of the vacancy. In addition, consideration should also be given to:
- projected student enrolments
- the duties, classification, range and time fraction of the position
- the expected duration of the position
Principals may also consider the assignment of higher duties or the use of available funds for other purposes, such as special payments, as an effective method of ensuring the duties of a vacant position are performed and, at the same time, provide opportunities for the continued development of employees.
All employment decisions must be able to be funded by the Student Resource Package (SRP). Supplementary funds are not available to schools to employ staff outside the SRP.
Classification and work value
Positions must be classified within the appropriate class (principal class, teacher class, paraprofessional class or education support class). When classifying a position, it is important to identify the tasks, the skill levels required and accountability requirements of the position to fulfil effectively the requirements of the position. This is known as determining the work value of a position. The work value of a position arises from an assessment of the total worth of a position in comparison to other positions within the class.
When determining the classification level (and range where relevant) of positions, the following should be considered:
- the volume of work does not determine the classification level of a position. Job complexity and levels of responsibility are the main areas for consideration
- the position should be classified, not the person. Classification decisions are based on the work requirements of a position not the qualities of current occupants or potential applicants
- the work requirements of a position must have changed to justify the reclassification of a position. A position should not be classified at a higher level simply because the current occupant has the skills and ability to work at a higher level
- classifying a position should involve a comparison of all levels that encompass the range of work
- all classification levels can be expected to undertake duties applicable to that of a lower classification
- where employment in a regulated profession requires a mandatory qualification (such as psychology, nursing or physiotherapy) the classification of such positions must be at least education support class level 1 range 3
Duration of a vacancy
The Department is committed to the standard mode of employment in schools being ongoing.
It is recognised that for some classroom teacher and education support class positions fixed term or casual employment is necessary. Consistent with the requirements of the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 vacant classroom teacher and education support class positions should be filled on an ongoing basis other than in the following circumstances:
- when a person is employed for a fixed period of time to replace an employee who is absent on leave of 12 months or less other than a parental absence
- when a person is employed for a fixed period of 7 years to replace an employee on a parental absence.
- when the employer has good reason to believe that, should a person not be employed fixed term, an excess staff situation will arise. This may include predicted enrolment decline determined by the enrolment predictions of the Department
- when a person is employed for a fixed period of time to undertake a specific project for which funding has been made available for a specified period of time provided that the vacancy is to be advertised for the duration of that funding
- where a teacher with full or provisional registration is not available and a person with permission to teach is employed for a fixed period of time not exceeding 3 years
- when a person is employed for a fixed period of time to replace an ongoing employee who is on temporary transfer or secondment
- a temporary visa holder is employed
The Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 requires the Department to implement proactive processes to ensure fixed term vacancies satisfy the fixed term criteria set out above. To meet this requirement, the Department will actively monitor fixed term vacancy trends and identify those schools that appear to have a larger number of fixed term vacancies than the school’s circumstances would indicate.
Principals are required to identify which of the above reason(s) apply in relation to each fixed term position that is to be filled. Where the principal considers a classroom teacher or education support class position should be filled on a fixed term basis in circumstances other than those identified in (a) to (g) above, the principal must contact the Schools Recruitment Unit for advice.
Fixed term classroom teacher and education support class positions can be offered for periods of more than 30 working days up to 5 years other than when a person is employed for a fixed period of 7 years to replace an employee on a parental absence. Principals should offer fixed term positions for the expected period of the vacancy rather than for artificially created shorter periods of time. Constant re-advertisement of short-term positions for the same vacancy does not contribute to stability and continuity either within the school, or for fixed term employees.
In relation to fixed term classroom teacher vacancies the duration of the vacancy must include relevant school vacation periods as follows.
Employment for a complete school year
The end date of employment for a teacher or paraprofessional employed on a fixed term basis in one or more fixed periods for a complete school year (that is, the first day of the school year to the last day of the school year) will be the day before the commencement of the next school year. This ensures that a teacher or paraprofessional employed for a complete school year is paid during all school vacation periods.
Employment for less than a complete school year (other than Term 4)
The end date of employment for a teacher or paraprofessional employed on a fixed term basis for 1, 2 or 3 complete terms (other than Term 4) will be the day before the commencement of the next school term (for example, the employment of a teacher or paraprofessional employed for Terms 1 and 2 would conclude on the day before Term 3 commences). This ensures that a teacher or paraprofessional employed for one or more complete school terms is paid during the relevant school vacation periods.
Employment for less than a complete school year (concluding at the end of Term 4)
The end date of employment for a teacher or paraprofessional employed on a fixed term basis for less than a complete school year that concludes at the end of Term 4 will be determined based on the number of complete school terms that period of employment spans. On this basis the end date of employment will be as follows:
- for a teacher or paraprofessional employed for all of Term 4 — ¼ of the Christmas school vacation period,
- for a teacher or paraprofessional employed for all of Terms 3 and 4 — ½ of the Christmas school vacation period,
- for a teacher or paraprofessional employed for all of Terms 2, 3 and 4 — ¾ of the Christmas school vacation period
This ensures that a teacher or paraprofessional employed for one or more complete school terms concluding at the end of Term 4, is paid during the appropriate component of the Christmas school vacation period.
Employment for less than a complete term
The end date of employment for a teacher or paraprofessional employed on a fixed term basis for less than a complete school term is extended by the amount of accrued annual leave (1⅔ days for each complete month of employment).
A fixed term ready reckoner has been developed to assist schools in establishing the appropriate end date of employment.
Student support funded positions
All education support class vacancies linked to Student Support Funding (SSF) are to be advertised as ongoing. A term of the ongoing employment for vacancies linked to SSF is that employment can be ended within the first 7 years of that person’s ongoing employment where:
- the SSF or comparable funding reduces or ceases, and
- not less than 12 weeks’ notice of termination is provided to the employee
Reviewed 28 November 2021