Workforce Planning — Schools
Workforce management combines effective workforce planning and personnel administration. This makes workforce management and workforce planning a prerequisite for the effective delivery of school strategic plans.
The school strategic plan forms the keystone of the school's curriculum, budget, accountability and workforce plans. Principals have the delegated authority and responsibility within the context of a legislative framework to manage the personnel function in schools.
Key human resource decision-making is located at the school level and resources are provided through the Student Resource Package (SRP). This level of control over key resource allocation decisions means workforce planning is essential to ensure that resource allocation is effective and targeted to the educational needs of the school.
Each day a principal makes a variety of decisions relating to personnel administration such as the approval of leave, the filling of vacancies and the allocation of work. These day-to-day imperatives must be balanced by the consideration of longer term needs in the school.
A 3 to 5 year workforce plan should be developed to ensure that the school’s workforce can be managed within the projected SRP. In particular, every possible effort must be made by the principal to ensure that expenditure in the school does not exceed SRP allocations.
While the principal is primarily responsible for the school’s workforce management, the school council needs to be informed of staffing changes that will impact on the SRP. Principals also have an obligation under the consultative provisions of the industrial agreement to consult about the school’s workforce plan.
Developing a workforce plan
The workforce plan is a tool to inform good decision making and staff management practices. The school workforce plan, as 1 aspect of the school's planning for improvement, flows directly from the school strategic plan and should identify budget allocations and charge-outs for all categories of staff over at least a 3 year period. The plan should also include known or projected student enrolment and staff movements to enable the school to move towards or maintain a staffing profile that is consistent with their strategic objectives.
Workforce planning is a systematic business process which brings together information about workforce segments, the internal and external environments, business objectives, budgets and future workforce needs to inform the development of workforce strategies and actions. It is used to identify factors that are likely to impact on the ability of the school to create the workforce needed to meet its strategic objectives and improve student outcomes.
The School Workforce Plan template (available on the Resources tab) is a resource available to schools to prepare their own school workforce plan. This document assists schools to set out the key workforce priorities and likely factors impacting on workforce supply and demand which may influence the school’s ability to deliver its strategic objectives. It can be used alongside strategic planning, to communicate with staff and the school community about workforce issues and to articulate workforce strategies the school has decided it will implement.
In developing the school workforce plan, principals should ensure all staff attached to the school are included in the plan, including those on leave ( for example, Workers' Compensation or family leave, temporary superannuated ill-health retirees, leave without pay) or those who have been temporarily placed out of the school. Planning should accommodate the potential return of staff from leave and temporary ill-health retirement and allow for a reasonable incidence of leave being taken by staff to be reflected in the school's workforce plan.
The Student Resource Package Staff Budget Planning Tool (SRP Planner) enables principals to model the impact of enrolment variations and other changes on the SRP, and build an overall staff budget plan that acknowledges current salary commitments and consider the affordability of planned changes. It also enables other reports to be generated such as trend analysis report, resource indicators and financial data reports to assist principals with their decision making. The SRP Planner will continue to be used by principals to examine the affordability of any workforce strategies developed during workforce planning.
The school's workforce plan can be reviewed at any time. The principal should review the plan as situations within the school change, as part of the annual reporting cycle or when reviewing the school strategic plan.
Workforce diversity, equity and family friendly arrangements
A key objective of a school’s workforce planning is to ensure the principles of diversity, fairness and equal opportunity are enshrined in building the school’s workforce and future capability.
Diversity policies are at the core of building a modernized school workforce, in keeping with and reflecting the increasing diversity of the community, better engaging our diverse student populations and competitively attracting and retaining the best talent in the labour market to meet current and future school skill requirements.
Schools should strive to reflect the diversity of the community in their workforce and ensure the workplace is free from discrimination and harassment. For further information, refer to Inclusive Workplaces.
The Department is also committed to family friendly work practices and building better workplaces for better outcomes. The Department’s flexible work and leave policies are designed to assist staff to balance their work, family and other personal commitments and ensure staff with family and ‘carer’ responsibilities are not discriminated against or disadvantaged in employment. For further information, refer to Flexible Work.
Policy and Guidelines for Workforce Planning for Schools
Reviewed 01 April 2020