Multi-school staffing model

In some circumstances improvement in education outcomes in particular schools is enhanced where 2 or more schools co-operatively manage the movement of staff between schools to better meet the curriculum and workforce needs of each school.

The multi-school staffing model has been developed to enable the movement of staff between schools to enhance workforce capability and flexibility and provide greater opportunity to facilitate stated education provision objectives and other student learning outcome initiatives.

The objective of the multi-school staffing model is improvement in education outcomes through increased workforce capability and flexibility. The multi-school staffing model enables 2 or more schools to temporarily transfer staff between the schools on an annual basis to better meet the education program needs of each school having regard to the workforce requirements of the schools (including the management of potential excess without the need to formally identify excess staff), the professional learning needs of staff and the career aspirations of staff. The principles that underpin the model are:

  • the education program needs of each school, including curriculum continuity for students, remain the key driver of workforce decisions
  • responsibility and accountability for all staffing decisions remains with the principal of each school
  • workforce decisions must be accommodated within each school’s Student Resource Package and workforce plan
  • the movement of staff between schools is temporary and is facilitated using the administrative transfer powers without the need to advertise

The key feature of the multi-school staffing model is an annual joint workforce allocation process that allows the movement of staff to any of the participating schools for the following school year without the requirement to advertise vacancies. The joint workforce allocation process operates as part of the workforce planning processes in Term 4 of each year and must be concluded no later than the end of Term 4.

The joint workforce allocation procedures to be used by the participating schools will be determined using the consultative arrangements agreed at each school and must include the following elements:

  • opportunity for staff to express interest in a location in the year following
  • allocation of staff to each school location for the following year having regard to the education program and workforce needs of each school (including the management of potential excess), the professional learning needs of staff and the preferences of staff, and
  • a local grievance resolution process

It should be noted that a staff member has the right to seek a review with the Merit Protection Boards of a staffing decision affecting them arising from the joint workforce allocation process. In respect of a request for review, a Merit Protection Board will inquire into the claims of the employee who lodged the request and may:

  • if it is satisfied that the grounds for review have been established, make an order requiring the person or body which made the decision to reconsider the decision, or
  • confirm the decision

At all times, the principal of each participating school remains responsible for all decisions including workforce planning, staffing decisions, and the allocation of work affecting their school. Each participating school is free to advertise vacancies in accordance with normal recruitment policy at the conclusion of the joint workforce allocation process.

The base school of a staff member remains at all times the school to which the staff member was substantively appointed. The multi-school staffing model does not enable the permanent transfer of staff between schools. Permanent transfer will continue to be in accordance with normal recruitment policy. In the event that a school ceases to participate in the multi-school staffing arrangement all staff will return to their base school at the end of that school year.


Schools wishing to participate in a multi-school staffing arrangement may apply in writing to the Deputy Secretary, Regional Services Group. Applications will be considered having regard to the following:

  • demonstrated need for a multi-school staffing arrangement to assist the schools achieve stated educational outcomes
  • support of the principals, staff and school communities
  • commitment from the schools to participating in the multi-school staffing arrangement for a minimum period of 5 years
Multi-school staffing model — Policy and Guidelines for Working in more than one school

Reviewed 31 March 2020

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