content-left-bg.png
content-right-bg.png

Replacement of school-based staff absences procedure

Version number 1.2 | Version effective 16 December 2020
PublishingPageContent
Replacement of school-based staff absences procedure

Audience

All Queensland state schools, regionally-based staff and central office functions involved in the management of school staffing resources.

Purpose

This procedure outlines how the Department of Education (DoE) manages all aspects of resourcing the replacement of school-based staff when absent, including the annual conversion of unused notionally-allocated staffing resources to cash.

Overview

Schools are allocated staffing resources each year through notionally-allocated full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and financial appropriations, including resources to help replace school-based staff who are absent on leave.

How schools manage their resources when a staff member is absent depends on the reason for the absence, duration of the absence, type of position and source of funding for the position.

All school decisions about the management of staffing absences must be consistent with legislation, industrial agreements and approved policies and procedures. Replacement of absent school based staff at no local cost provides the schedule of approved staff replacement arrangements that might occur at no local additional cost to the school.

Schools are provided with a cash appropriation to help fund the cost of casual teacher days to replace centrally-funded classroom teachers absent on short-term sick, special and emergent leave when existing staffing resources are unavailable to provide appropriate student supervision. Schools are not required to fund the replacement of all categories of notionally-allocated staff on long-term leave, as this is provided centrally.

The amount of annual Teacher Relief Scheme – Sick, Special, Emergent (TRS–SSE) funding provided to a school depends on the type of school and the number of classroom teacher FTE positions centrally allocated to the school through the approved staffing models.

Schools may be provided with additional cash appropriations or notionally-allocated staffing resources to help meet specific project and activity demands that require teachers to be absent from the classroom or other staff to complete tasks different from their usual workload.

TRACER is the only approved system for recording short-term replacement of teaching staff.

The School Budget Solution (SBS) is the only approved system for:

  • allocating notional staffing resources as FTE positions for schools;
  • recording school-based staffing establishments (profiles) each calendar year;
  • recording staffing changes (i.e. flexible management and/or replacement of all categories of staff) in schools during each calendar year; and
  • converting unused staffing resource entitlements to cash at the end of each school year for use in the subsequent calendar year.

Responsibilities

Principals

  • manage all staffing resources effectively and efficiently and to ensure the educational outcomes for all students, including students with disability, are maximised and for the effective operation of the school
  • ensure resources provided to the school for staffing, including funding provided for unused notionally-allocated staffing resources, are used for staffing or for professional development
  • use (as far as possible) all allocated staffing resources in each calendar year those resources are provided
  • decide when to use financial resources available to the school for employing staff members in addition to centrally-funded positions
  • comply with all legislative, industrial and policy and procedural requirements (including DoE’s Health and Wellbeing Framework) when making decisions in relation to replacing absent school-based staff
  • manage absent staff member duties, as far as possible, through existing available staffing and/or financial resources
  • meet from resources available in the school the total cost of decisions to replace any school-based staff outside of the budgeted arrangements, including any replacement of school-funded staffing resources
  • record accurately and completely in the School Budget Solution all unused and used staffing resources for the school during the calendar year. 

Regional Directors

  • support principals in the management of all staffing resources in schools including any financial impact of decisions concerning these resources 
  • monitor the management of arrangements for replacing absent school-based staff members.

Regional Human Resources (HR) teams

  • provide advice and guidance to regional and school leadership teams around efficient and effective staffing resource management including compliance with all legislative, industrial and policy requirements
  • ensure Regional Directors are informed of staffing resourcing use by schools and instances when a school might require additional support
  • confirm the accuracy and completeness of credits and usage recorded by schools in the SBS, including ensuring relevant payroll and leave records match to transactions recorded in the SBS 
  • ensure the accuracy and completeness of the end-of-year credits/usage position for schools and confirm this in the SBS.

Central Office HR

  • regular review and update of the underlying methodology for allocating TRS-SSE to schools
  • setting and publishing key deadlines in relation to managing the replacement of school-based staff absences in schools, including:
    • agreed SBS profile submission date (during Term 2 of every school year)
    • agreed profile confirmation date (during Term 2 of every school year)
    • agreed reconciliation submission date (during Term 4 of every school year)
    • agreed reconciliation confirmation date (during Term 4 of every school year)
    • agreed distribution date (during Term 1 of every school year).
  • collate staffing resource credits and usage reconciliation information from the SBS for each school
  • prepare the payment/recovery documentation resulting from the management of school-based staff and ensure the payment/recovery is made on the agreed distribution date.

Process

  1. Principals establish processes in their schools for staff to advise of short-term absences (for example via phone call, text message or email to the principal or a nominated officer working at the school) and how replacement will be managed (whether the replacement officer will be recruited through TRACER or not).
  2. School leadership teams record short-term leave of centrally-funded classroom teachers in TRACER and use school-established processes to record short-term leave for all other notionally allocated staffing resources and school-funded staffing resources.
  3. During Term 1 each year, principals document the proposed usage of their school’s notionally allocated staffing resources by approving the staffing profile in the SBS.
  4. Throughout the school year (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly or every term depending on the amount of absences), the principal should ensure all absences meeting the requirements of Replacement of absent school based staff at no local cost are recorded and submitted in the SBS as a credit (i.e. unused notionally allocated staffing resources) and all replacement arrangements meeting the requirements of Replacement of absent school based staff at no local cost as a usage of notionally allocated staffing resources. 
  5. Throughout the school year, regional HR teams review and confirm or reject the school-entered credits and usage by comparing with recorded payroll and leave information.
  6. Before the agreed reconciliation submission date, regional HR teams will have confirmed or rejected all credits and usage recorded in the SBS.
  7. After all credits and usage are confirmed in the SBS for a particular school, the principal submits a reconciliation of the school’s end of year staffing position by the agreed reconciliation submission date. This end of year position reflects any unused notionally allocated staffing resources which may be converted to cash and paid to the school; and any overrun of notionally allocated staffing resources which may be recovered from the school in a cash payment
  8. Before the agreed reconciliation confirmation date, regional HR teams are required to confirm the school’s submitted reconciliation (i.e. their end of year position as to over or under used notionally allocated staffing resources).  This confirmation includes endorsement of the end balance in staffing unit days as correct for payment/recovery/nil action from the school.
  9. During Term 1 of the following school year, Central Office HR collates payment/recovery information from the SBS and prepares appropriation/recovery schedule (csv file) for processing through School Appropriations and Payments Application (SAPA).
  10. Central Office HR uploads the payment/recovery schedule into SAPA, for processing on the agreed distribution date during Term 1 of the following school year, at which time the school either receives a payment into their bank account or is direct debited for an amount outstanding.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Agreed profile submission date

Occurs annually in Term 2 and is the responsibility of Central Office HR to determine and publish to schools and regional HR teams

Agreed profile confirmation date

Occurs annually in Term 2 and is the responsibility of Central Office HR to determine and publish to schools and regional HR teams

Agreed reconciliation submission date

Occurs annually in Term 4 and is the responsibility of Central Office HR to determine and publish to schools and regional HR teams

Agreed reconciliation confirmation date

Occurs annually in Term 4 and is the responsibility of Central Office HR to determine and publish to schools and regional HR teams

Agreed distribution date

Occurs annually in Term 1 and is the responsibility of Central Office HR to determine and publish to schools and regional HR teams

Centrally-funded classroom teachers

Centrally-funded classroom teachers are resources notionally allocated to the school through the annual staffing allocation models and costs are budgeted for within the school-based salaries cost centre or is a notionally-allocated resource that has been re-allocated to a school by either regional or central office or another school. A Teacher Relief Scheme (TRS-SSE) provision is budgeted each year and paid to the school to help meet short-term classroom teacher absence costs.

Notionally allocated staffing resources

These are resources provided to all Queensland State Schools.  These resources are not provided in the form of cash but rather as a notional budget expressed in the currency of full time equivalent positions (FTEs).  The schools are advised of their notionally allocated staffing resources through the School Budget Solution.

School-funded staffing resources

School-funded staffing resources are established by the school and all costs associated with the employment of staff members in those positions must be met by the school. The school payments for these positions include calculated on-costs that are designed to meet leave, superannuation and other indirect employee costs. School payments for school-funded positions cease when the staff member is absent, enabling the school to use those funds to employ a replacement. Payments are managed through a funding recoveries process whereby monies owing for staff payments are transferred from the school bank account to central holdings.

Regional leadership teams

Regional leadership teams are established by Regional Directors to help make decisions about how schools in the region are supported and supervision is provided.

Regional HR teams

Regional HR teams are established by the Regional HR Business Partners to provide HR advice and guidance to school and regional teams.

School leadership teams

School leadership teams are established by the principal to assist in the management of all resources available to the school.

Regional additional allocations

A regionally based pool of additional notional staffing resources which can be provided to schools experiencing financial distress.  These allocations are for one calendar year only.

TRACER

TRACER is a service provided by DoE that helps schools effectively manage their teaching workforce by sourcing and booking replacement teachers.

TRS–SSE

Teacher Relief Scheme – Sick Special Emergent (TRS–SSE) is the appropriation budgeted for and paid directly to schools for them to fund the replacement of centrally funded classroom teachers when other internal arrangements are unavailable.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

1.0 Replacement of school-based staff absences

Review date

15 February 2022
Attribution CC BY

Policies and procedures in this group

PageFeedback_BottomLeft
Was this page useful?
SocialMedia_BottomRight