At the foundation of the BLASST Sessional Staff Standards Framework is working towards good practice with sessional staff in reference to the three key principles of the Framework:
- Quality learning and teaching
- Support for sessional staff
Cartoon by Simon Kneebone
Principle 1 Quality Learning and Teaching
Good Practice means that the University is committed to consistently high quality learning and teaching for all students, regardless of the employment status of the staff member teaching them. It aims to ensure that the learning and teaching approaches adopted across the University match or exceed good practice; that learning and teaching values, principles and priorities are applied to sessional staff; and that sessional staff are included in University communities of practice.
In order to ensure sessional staff have the ability to attain Quality Teaching Standards, the University also recognises that appropriate professional development must be provided for sessional staff.
Principle 2 Support for Sessional Staff
Good Practice means that as an institution, the University is committed to achieving quality management standards in recruitment, employment, administration and academic support, in order to ensure consistent and appropriate support for sessional staff.
The University also recognises that sessional staff require basic infrastructure and provisions in order to undertake their roles effectively and professionally.
Principle 3 Sustainability
Good Practice means that the nature of casual employment means there are limits on the level to which the University can plan for, provide for and develop sessional staff as individuals. However, the University recognises that long-term sustainability of quality learning and teaching requires retaining good quality sessional staff, reducing turnover of sessional staff, and encouraging them in the pursuit and development of academic teaching careers. This can be achieved in part by recognising and rewarding sessional staff for the contribution they make to the university.
The University also recognises that sustainability in the achievement of standards depends on the provision of appropriate resources to underpin processes, and the minimisation of the administrative load on all staff (including academic, administrative staff, and Human Resources).