What’s worth knowing about release time rights

Leeanda Smith
City Organiser

RFF should be timetabled in all weeks.

Teacher’s decision

The use to which release from face to face (RFF) teaching is put is the professional decision of the teacher.


Memorandum to principals DN/11/00158 states that it is a requirement that principals, with staff consultation, develop a set of protocols regarding the administration of RFF.

Cancellation of RFF

Each school receives a teacher staffing entitlement which includes an allocation to provide RFF. RFF should be timetabled for all weeks of the school year. Any change to RFF, for example in the first week(s) of term to support kindergarten orientation, requires the RFF to be provided to the affected teachers at another time.

Arrangements for these activities should be discussed and agreed to as a staff. The RFF coordinator will need to keep a record as well as plan for the re-timetabled RFF.

Stage timetabled RFF

Some schools schedule RFF to occur at the same time for an entire stage.

This can be convenient for working with colleagues but scheduling meetings, activities or professional development in RFF is the decision of the teacher and therefore attendance/participation during this time is voluntary and negotiable.

Carnivals and excursions

Any event listed on the school calendar is known and not a variation to school routine. Therefore arrangements can be made to swap or re-schedule RFF on these occasions. There should be a staff discussion and an agreed process to administer this.

Variation to school routine

Variation to school routine is any event which was not planned, where teaching is suspended, and it occurs at short notice such as a visit from a dignitary or politician, or serious events such as school lock-down or evacuation.

Swapping RFF

Teachers are entitled to swap their RFF times, with adequate notice to the RFF coordinator, after seeking agreement from the colleague and consulting the RFF teacher. It’s important to remember that RFF is timetabled to accommodate the staffing of the RFF position and lesson delivery to students and therefore swapping/rearranging RFF should be done sparingly.

Loss of RFF

RFF is not rescheduled when it falls on a public holiday, variation to school routine or a teacher absence such as sick leave.

English as an additional language/dialect (EALD), formally ESL, and community language teachers

Memorandum to Principals DN/08/00291 states:

  • Permanent full-time EALD and community language teachers are to be provided with the same employment conditions as other permanent teachers in schools, including, in primary schools, an entitlement to RFF.
  • The RFF entitlement of permanent full time and part time and temporary EALD and community language teachers is to be allowed for within their duties.
  • EALD and community language teachers are to be used to support the delivery of programs for the identified student target group and should not be used in place of casual relief teachers or for creating smaller class sizes.

Please do not hesitate to contact Communications/Welfare on 1300 654 367 or your Organiser if you require further information or assistance.