Communication Allowance for Teacher Aides

Version Number

2.0

Implementation Date

9/07/2012

Scope

All state schools

Purpose

​This procedure is to assist Teacher Aides in determining whether they are eligible for the Communication Allowance. It outlines criteria for eligibility, formal qualifications that are recognised, how to gain an alternative to a formal qualification and how to apply for the allowance.

Overview

​A Communication Allowance is payable to Teacher Aides employed by Education Queensland in a permanent, temporary or casual capacity who meet the following criteria:

  • required by the Department to perform interpretation of either:
    • Languages other than English (LOTE), or
    • Braille, or
    • Signing (eg. Auslan, Signed English)
  • and hold a qualification recognised by the department.

The allowance payable to eligible employees is $569 per annum or $10.94 per week including during periods of paid leave. Part-time employees receive the full weekly allowance (not a pro-rata amount). The allowance is to be paid on a fortnightly basis providing the employee remains eligible. Payment of the allowance ceases once there is no further requirement to perform interpretation.

Responsibilities

All Teacher Aides:

  • complete the Communication Allowance for Teacher Aides - Claim for Payment Form
  • ensure that all claims include the date interpretation commenced (commencement date) on the Claim Form. A completion date is not necessary for those providing interpretation on an ongoing basis.
  • ensure that the Claim Form includes a commencement date and completion date for those providing interpretation on a temporary/casual basis. Commencement and completion dates should align with the Teacher Aide's temporary contract.
  • claim payment of the allowance at the beginning of the year where possible, once they have been allocated to classes
  • inform Payroll Services to cease payment for the allowance when interpretation is no longer being provided
  • see Flowchart for lodgment of Claim Forms.

NOTE: Claim Forms may not be backdated

Teacher Aides with a formal qualification:

Teacher Aides providing interpretation in Braille, Auslan or Signed English (no formal qualification):

  • ask a person who is qualified or has skills in the particular area (Signing or Braille Assessor) located at the school or nearby school to conduct an assessment of proficiency using the applicable Proficiency Test
  • sign the Communication Allowance for Teacher Aides - Claim for Payment Form and submit it to the Auslan, Braille or Signed English Assessor, and then submit it to the Principal/Approving Officer for approval
  • contact the Principal Adviser Education at Disability Services Support Unit (DSSU) on phone number (07) 3240 9336 for assistance if unable to access a qualified Signing or Braille Assessor
  • see Flowchart for lodgment of Claim Forms.

Teacher Aides required to provide language support to students during Language other than English (LOTE) classes (no formal qualification):

Teacher Aides required to provide interpretation for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, refugee students or school and community groups (no formal qualification):

NOTE: Claim Forms may not be backdated

Signing or Braille Assessors: i.e. Teacher of the Deaf (TOD), Teacher of the Vision Impaired (TOVI), Advisory Visiting Teacher for Hearing Impairment (AVT: HI) or Vision Impairment (AVT: VI) or Head of Special Education Services (HOSES):

  • conduct Braille Proficiency Test when requested, by assessing Teacher Aides during a usual class activity or similar activity, per guidelines. A Teacher Aide who wishes to be assessed in Braille is required to have knowledge of Grade 2 Braille Code.
  • conduct AUSLAN/Signed English Proficiency Test when requested, during a usual class activity or similar activity, per guidelines.
  • rate each item on the proficiency test and reach an average score (rating from 1 to 5). A Teacher Aide possesses the qualification if he/she is rated as 3, 4 or 5.
  • collect data/evidence that was used in the assessment for each applicant including the result sheet and keep it on file and provide a copy of the result sheet to the Teacher Aide. This file may be needed for moderation purposes as evidence for the Teacher Aide's rating.
  • sign the Teacher Aide's Communication Allowance for Teacher Aides - Claim for Payment Form to certify that he/she assessed the Teacher Aide and found the Teacher Aide possesses the skills required. It is not necessary to attach any other evidence to the form.

LOTE Assessors i.e. LOTE Teachers:

  • conduct LOTE Proficiency Test for Teacher Aides who provide language support to students in Language other than English (LOTE) classes when requested, per guidelines.
  • rate each item on the proficiency test as adequate or inadequate. A Teacher Aide possesses the qualification if he/she is rated as adequate in the majority of items.
  • collect data/evidence that was used in the assessment for each applicant including the result sheet and keep it on file and provide a copy of the result sheet to the Teacher Aide. This file may be needed for moderation purposes as evidence for the Teacher Aide's rating.
  • sign the Teacher Aide's Communication Allowance for Teacher Aides - Claim for Payment Form to certify that he/she assessed the Teacher Aide and found the Teacher Aide possesses the skills required. It is not necessary to attach any other evidence to the form.

Approving Officers - Principal or other staff member as delegated by the Principal:  

  • approve and sign Communication Allowance for Teacher Aides - Claim for Payment Form at 'Principal/ Approving Officer Certification'
  • forward signed Claim Forms to relevant Payroll Services
  • informally evaluate, when requested, LOTE Proficiency for Teacher Aides who are required to provide interpretation for English as a Second Language (ESL) students, refugee students or school and community groups, using Proficiency Test for Teacher Aides as a guide.
  • ensure the Principal signs at 'Assessor Certification' as well as 'Principal Certification' on the Claim Form.

Payroll Services:

Process

​The step by step process for this procedure is listed by role under Responsibilities, and in the Flow Chart for the Lodgement of Claims for Communication Allowance by Teacher Aides.

Online Resources

Review Date

21/04/2014
Attribution CC BY

Interpretation
Interpretation is defined as translating words from one language into another in order to facilitate communication.

Teacher Aides who provide interpretation in LOTE are eligible if they:

  • provide interpretation services to English as a Second Language (ESL) or refugee students, or school and community groups (approval by Principal), or
  • provide language support to students in LOTE classes (approval by LOTE Teacher and Principal).

Qualification
The Department recognises various formal qualifications in Braille, Auslan and Languages other than English.

There are few qualifications available in Braille, Auslan, Signed English and some Languages other than English, so those without a formal qualification may be eligible for the allowance by undertaking a Proficiency Test.

A rating of 'adequate' as determined by the Proficiency Test is considered to be equivalent to a formal qualification.

Backdating
Teacher Aides who undertake the Proficiency Test and attain a rating of 'adequate' may only claim the qualification allowance from the date that the Proficiency Test is approved by the Principal/Approving Officer.

Claim forms may only be backdated where the teacher aide holds a formal qualification in Braille, Auslan or Languages other than English, which is certified by a registered training provider and recognised by the Department. In such cases a teacher aide may claim back-payment from the date that their qualification was issued by the issuing authority or 23 January 2006, whichever date is the most recent.