Comprising 11 specialist staff to support teachers and principals across 33 schools, the new staff will manage workplace health, safety and wellbeing administrative workloads, to take some of the load off teachers.

It will mean teachers are spending less time on admin and more time teaching students in the classroom.

Commonwealth funding, under the Workload Reduction Fund, will be matched with equal co-investment from the Miles Government to implement the pilot.

The idea that teachers clock on at 9am and knock off at 3pm “is rubbish” Minister for Education, Jason Clare said.

“That’s why the Albanese Government is investing $30 million in the teacher Workload Reduction Fund so they can spend less time doing admin and more time in the classroom.”

Schools have identified workplace health, safety and wellbeing as areas contributing to increasing workload.

Queensland Minister for Education, Di Farmer said it’s an exciting project that aims to reduce the administrative burden many teachers and principals face in their day-to-day work.

“Our teachers are highly valued and highly trained in the art of teaching, and we want to make sure they spend more time focused on educating students in the classroom,” Farmer said.

“This pilot will see what impact having specially trained support staff, working alongside teachers and principals, has on freeing them up to spend more time teaching.

She said the safety and wellbeing of the state’s education staff and students is a priority.

“Investing in expert support like this new pilot program for our teachers and principals will enhance the management of risks, improving safety and support for the school community.”

At the end of this year, participating schools will assess whether having dedicated staff in schools to undertake these tasks has reduced administrative burden.

The pilot has been co-designed with key education stakeholders, including principal associations and unions.

It is part of Action 12 of the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, which was agreed to by Education Ministers in December 2022.

The 33 state schools involved in the pilot include secondary, primary and special schools, across Queensland.

The selection process included a cross-section of schools, including those with large and diverse facilities, smaller schools, and schools with a health and safety advisor in a teaching or principal role.

Donna O’Keeffe is principal of one of those participating in the program, Tingalpa State School.

“We are pleased to be a pilot school,” she said.

“The specialist staff member has been working with our teachers and school leaders to help reduce administrative workload and improve wellbeing.”

President of the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU), Cresta Richardson said the Union welcomes the pilot for WHS support.

“Our members have advised that this is a matter of intense workload and anticipate that this additional resource will be a step to address this,” she said.

“We will continue to work with the department and government to gauge the success of the pilot. We are hopeful that this additional support to be rolled out to all schools.”