It is amazing what you can achieve with a little fine tuning of the books.
In one of the larger Northside public schools in Canberra the following has recently taken place.
In order for the Education Department to manage school staffing levels teachers of different levels are classified as being worth a number of “points”. Now it is my understanding that due to a reassessment of how many points staff with particular skills, etc are worth, without any change to the actual number of teaching staff or students, this school has found itself with too many “points” worth of teaching staff.
Not good but perhaps not the end of the world as the Department allocated each school a number of reserve points for things like relief teachers etc and any points a school is over by budget could normally be taken out of this pool but this particular school apparently “over spent” these reserve points last year and has none left. Therefore any needed relief staff would have to come out of the school’s personal budget and not that alocated by the department for this sort of thing.
Still with me? Good.
Solution? This school has decided in its infinite wisdom to trim a few minutes from the day. Five minutes from the start of the day, three from lunch, five from the last class. The result being that by the end of the week a teacher has “taught” for one less class of time per week than normal, allowing them to take an extra relief class rather than the school having to spend from its own budget to cover the cost of relief teachers.
Because the time table changes are so small neither the school board nor the parents have needed to been informed and so they haven’t.
Nor have the classroom bell times been changed effectively making the bells 3 minute warning bells not class start/finish bells but the students haven’t been informed of this and the teachers have been informed that “conscientious teachers will still work to bell times”.
End result. Teachers at this school are expected to work an additional class each week made up from time they have already worked for no extra.
If they teach this sort of accounting in the classroom we’ll soon have another Chairman of HIH on our hands.
Oh, and if anyone has more information on this or wishes to correct me on any particular points please make a comment.