Schools Saying yes to ES improvements

  • By Seir Holley
  • This article was published more than 1 year ago.
  • 13 Sep 2022

Revised Dimensions of Work and student supervision arrangements in the new agreement reflect the true scope and complexity of education support roles.

Education Support (ES) staff positions are classified according to the Dimensions of Work (DOW) in the VGSA 2022. The DOW include Ranges 1 to 6, outlining the roles, responsibilities and expectations that can be placed on ES.

In VGSA negotiations, the dimensions were reviewed to more accurately reflect the scope and complexity of ES roles. ES members wanted clarity on supervision in relation to ‘group size’, classification of business managers and ‘sole technicians’, and the recognition of roles not included in the previous DOW, such as AUSLAN and VASS coordination. 

Student supervision

The VGSA 2022 has made supervision requirements more explicit. Now, ES supervising groups of more than four must be employed at Range 3. ES staff at Ranges 1 and 2 can be required to supervise students individually or in groups of up to four in controlled circumstances. ES staff at Ranges 3 to 6 can be required to supervise a group of students where it is an integral part of their position, e.g. librarian role, classroom support, careers coordinator. 

The responsibility for students remains with the teacher at all times.

The consultative committee should consider in advance any activities that require ES to take part in student supervision and clarify with the principal which positions include supervision of students as an integral part of the role.

Where supervision is an integral part of the role, this must be reflected in the range that the ES has been allocated. If the range does not reflect this, then the ES staff must not be allocated more than four students to supervise. Where there is uncertainty about supervision requirements, a range review may be required to determine whether the ES has been placed at the correct range.

Range reviews

The Dimensions of Work now more accurately reflect the scope and complexity of ES roles, and we encourage all members to read the dimensions and reflect on whether their own role has been classified accurately. 

The salary range of an ES staff member may be reviewed at any time if they believe their position has been classified at a lower range than it should be, or their duties and responsibilities have changed and increased their work value. Range review requests may be initiated by the ES staff member in writing to the principal, and the principal must advise the ES staff member of the outcome within 28 days of it being initiated.

There are three possible outcomes that arise in response to initiating a range review:

  • The position is found to be of a higher level and the ES staff member is moved to the higher salary range.

  • The position is found to be of a higher level but the school cannot afford or does not require work at this level and therefore removes the higher level duties from the ES.

  • The position is found to be correctly classified at the current level.

The outcome of a range review cannot result in movement to a salary range below the ES staff member’s salary range on appointment to that position.

Where the review results in the ES staff member being moved to a higher salary range, this will be in effect from the first pay period after the date that the ES staff member initiated the review, or the date that the ES staff member was directed to undertake the duties of the higher range, whichever is earlier.

If you would like support when considering whether to initiate a range review, please contact the AEU’s Member Support Centre on 1800 238 842 or [email protected].

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