15 November 2019
As you know NZSTA has been working alongside the Ministry of Education in support of the roll out of the new Learning Support Coordinator (LSC) roles. We have been made aware of some procedural anomalies in the LSC recruitment process which need to be clarified.
Boards are legally required to follow a fair and transparent recruitment process.
Advertising the roles
Furthermore the recruitment process of these roles must adhere to the Collective Agreement clauses. The LSC roles must either be gazetted or advertised nationally. Although the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement is not as prescriptive as the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, we recommend two weeks being the standard period of advertising as reasonable. Otherwise the employing board could face legal censure if it was established that a fair, reasonable and transparent employment process was not followed.
Employment terms and conditions
Prior to advertising and before any offer of employment is made, the identity of the employing board, the place of work and the scope of the LSC’s responsibilities need to be confirmed.
Where a FTTE LSC role has been allocated to a single school, the intention is that that school employs and accommodates that LSC. Where an LSC role is shared across a number of schools the intention is that one of the schools sharing the FTTE will employ and accommodate that LSC role.
There has been a move by some schools to assign a management unit to the LSC role. As with any such allocation, these decisions need to take into account the impact on the schools resources.
The Learning Support Coordinator is a full time permanent role. There are a limited range of acceptable reasons for creating fixed-term positions and these are reflected in each of the teacher collective agreements.
We have heard that some Boards have questions around the different collectives and employment settings. You can employ anyone with a practicing certificate (whether primary or secondary ‘trained’ and whatever their union membership). However, the only employment agreements that you can offer that teacher are the collective agreement that applies to your school (if the teacher is a member of the union that is party to that collective then the teacher will automatically be covered by the collective); or the promulgated IEA that mirrors that collective.
It is important to note that any substantive changes to the roles will require approval from the Ministry of Education. For example, splitting a single FTTE to be employed by two schools would need to be considered by the Ministry of Education and will only be agreed where a strong case for an exception can be made.
For LSCs working across more than one school, we envisage that the employing school will also accommodate the LSC. If there is an intent to accommodate the LSC away from the employing board, we advise clusters to liaise with their Ministry regional office contact and property advisor before decisions are made. Decisions will be influenced by the learning support needs of their community and the LSCs’ ability to work closely with learners and teachers, rather than appropriate accommodation space.
For any clarifications in respect of this update or general employment advice please contact our Advisory Support Centre on 0800 782 435 (option 2) for further support.
Regional Director - Principal Adviser Employment