Release time and you

Early Career insights: Education Quarterly, Issue 5 2023

Teachers in NSW have some of the highest face-to-face teaching allocations in Australia and the world. To ensure the continued best outcomes for students and a manageable workload for teachers, the call for additional release time through the More Than Thanks campaign must be implemented.

While we continue to campaign for additional release time, it’s important to understand the current provisions that were hard fought for and won by Federation members over previous decades. The allocation of teaching hours for high school teachers was won in the 1950s and release from face-to-face teaching (RFF) for primary school teachers was not won until the 1980s.

(permanent and
2 hours per week28 x 40 minutes periods, or
the equivalent, plus up to 3
periods for sport
(permanent and
Pro-rata of 2 hours per weekPro-rata of the above
CASUAL TEACHERSAs above, if filling a position
for one week or longer

Arrangements can be made for RFF to be swapped or rescheduled when it falls on a day when there is a variation to the school routine.

Beginning Teacher Support Funding and Mentor Support

Beginning teacher funding provided to schools must be used for the teacher it’s allocated to and utilised as specified in the Beginning Teacher Support Funding Policy. The first year of funding covers the equivalent of two hours of additional RFF per week for the eligible teacher and one hour of release for a mentor to provide support.

To best support early career teachers, the additional release and mentoring time should be timetabled and implemented consistently from the beginning of the school year. Using funding in this way maximises the benefits of the funding by providing regular release, collaboration opportunities and supports navigation of Accreditation.

Eligible teachers are those who have not yet reached Accreditation at Proficient teacher level and for:

  • temporary teachers, are employed in their first eligible consecutive four-term, full-time temporary engagement to a public school. Temporary teachers must also have their full approval to teach by 1 March in that year and have not worked for the Department for more than 406 days (two years full-time equivalent).
  • permanent teachers, are in their first permanent teaching appointment with the Department.

If a classroom teacher has previously received first-year (permanent/ temporary) beginning teacher funding, or part thereof, they are no longer eligible to receive first-year (permanent/temporary) beginning teacher funding. Only permanent teachers are eligible to receive a second year of funding.