When a board is required to reduce staffing, there are a variety of ways that may occur.
This section deals with the reduction of teaching staff as part of the annual staff cycle. Different processes apply to broader restructurings e.g. mergers and closures or amongst non-teaching staff. In most cases, the approach to be taken is governed by the applicable employment agreement.
This section can be divided into the following categories:
- Teacher re-deployment
- Network reviews/mergers
- Curriculum and pastoral needs analysis (CAPNA)
- Secondary Tertiary Programmes (STP)
Organisational change can be stressful for both the board and its employees. It usually arises when a principal or board finds that the existing structure of staffing is no longer meeting the specific requirements of the school. This may be because of difficulties in allocating existing funding to meet required goals; problems identified by other agencies such as the Education Review Office; a reduction in the school's roll; or as a result of regular self-assessment. It is essential to give early notice that a review is being undertaken. Employees themselves may have positive ideas about how the organisation of the school could be improved, and if consulted, they will have a better understanding of why change is necessary.
Employment agreements often require a board to give notice of the possibility of change. Notice requirements should be adhered to, or difficulties will invariably arise.
Some employment agreements in the non-teaching area (such as caretakers and cleaners, and support staff in schools) specifically allow for changes in employees' hours, or weeks of work, once in any period of 12 months, if the board so wishes. The specific provisions of these documents must be considered and followed if the re-organisation is to involve a variation in the hours worked by employees covered by these agreements.
In general, if an employment agreement requires notification to a representative organisation, then this must be done. Failure to do so is a breach of the agreement and could leave the board open to action or the possibility of a penalty.