The impact of COVID-19 has found many TAFE teachers across Victoria reaching their maximum 800 teaching hours much sooner than planned.
In many instances, this is because of the social distancing restrictions which significantly reduced class sizes. Where prior to COVID-19 the teacher was timetabled to teach one three-hour class to 20 students, social distancing requirements meant that same teacher had to deliver that class three times to smaller groups of six or eight.
Some TAFE teachers were required to use most of the 400 hours allocated to them for curriculum development and planning in order to quickly redesign and redevelop classes to suit mandatory remote delivery. Allocated preparation time was also used for increased one-on-one assistance and pastoral care to keep students engaged and on track, meaning many teachers have reached or could reach their maximum 800 teaching hours well ahead of schedule.
To enable students to complete their coursework, TAFEs will, if necessary, need to use Excess Teaching Duty Hours (ETDH), overtime or to employ more teachers.