Special Education Working Group Report back - Public Service Association

Special Education Working Group Report back

The Special Education working Group had it’s first meeting for 2023 at PSA House on Monday 13 March 2023.  The Committee had an extremely busy agenda which included several meetings with the Department.  Some of the topics discussed are as follows.

  • Performance and Development – rollout of the online tool
  • Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools Reform (the inclusive education, behaviour and restrictive practices policies)
  • SLSO SHS Statement of duties – currently in dispute with the Department

Incident reporting

It is mandatory for all staff to report incidents.  An incident is an event that creates danger or risk to self or students that could significantly affect the health, safety and wellbeing of individuals and cause major disruption, impact on the effective operation of workplaces.  These may include but not limited to spitting, hitting, kicking and near misses.  It is also imperative that psychological incidents are reported as this can have a detrimental impact on your wellbeing. Incident hotline 1800 811 523

Assisted transport

The committee have received enquiries from members in relation to the role of the SLSO and assisted transport.  The PSA are writing to the Department to clarify any confusion however the PSA position is as follows;

SLSO’s are not directly involved in the service delivery of the program which employs assisted travel support officers (ATSO) and contract drivers.  However, SLSOs usually accompany the student to and from the vehicle at the school end of the travel. The securing of students in the vehicle is the responsibility of the ATSO and or the driver.

School excursions and overnight camps

SLSO’s who attend school excursions/camps are entitled under the Crown Employees SASS Award to be paid overtime.

Excursions (day)

Prior to working any additional hours,  approval must be sought from your supervisor eg principal, deputy, assistant principal or head teacher.

The following steps must be undertaken prior to attending an overnight camp.

  1. Ensure that approval to attend the camp has been obtained from the DEL
  2. Payment is made for time worked outside normal school hours where the SLSO is engaged in assisting the students.
  3. A detailed itinerary should be developed to indicate the SLSO’s role on each camp and take into account the health care plans, behaviour management plans, risk assessments and learning plans of individual students.
  4. Payment for travel should be included when assisting the student with any activity or support linked to the plans or support needs.

Performance and development

Training and development activities should be undertaken during working hours, this includes mandatory training.  Where training is conducted outside of working hours SLSO’s are eligible to be paid at the appropriate overtime rates or negotiated time in lieu.  Prior to attending training outside of working hours please seek approval for the overtime payment or time in lieu.

The Special Education Working Group would like to remind all members that they have a responsibility to work within the guidelines of their statement of duties negotiated by the PSA and Department of Education. Refer to the Crown Employees SASS Award.

The Special Education Working Group will meet again on 5 June 2023.

If members require further information, please contact the PSA.

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