In document EDUCATION COMMISSION REPORT NO 4 (Page 138-143)



7.4.1 We divided implementation measures into two categories : those within schools and those applying throughout the territory. The former comprise staffing, teacher re-deployment and the phasing-in programme.

(a) Staffing

7.4.2 We considered the staffing implications of mixed-mode schooling under three headings : teacher/class ratio, Deputy Head and Head posts, and senior teacher/class ratio.

(i) Teacher/Class ratio

7.4.3 We examined the effects of the introduction of mixed-mode operation and the workload of teachers in order to establish whether the existing teacher/class ratio of 1.2 : 1* should be enhanced and, if so, how. We noted that in a bisessional school the average number of class periods per

* See footnote on page 128.


week was 38 for all levels. With mixed-mode, this would be increased to 40 for Primary 5 and Primary 6 levels.

We noted also that the present average teaching periods per week of the Head Teacher (HT) and the Senior Teacher (ST) serving as Deputy Head, were four and about 27 respectively.

7.4.4 Bearing these points in mind, we compare bisessional and mixed-mode operations to ascertain how change in the teaching loads of the HT and ST would affect the average workload of all the teachers in a school, if the teacher/class ratio were improved to 1.3: 1 or 1.4 : 1 for Primary 5 and Primary 6.

7.4.5 Our comparison showed that an increase in the teacher/class ratio to 1.3 : 1 would slightly reduce the workload of teachers in almost all schools despite the additional periods for Primary 5 and Primary 6, even if the ST were to teach fewer periods per week. If activity lessons** equivalent to three additional periods per week for Primary 5 and Primary 6 were included, leading to a total of 43 period per week, the workload of teachers would be increased by about 1.5 teaching periods per week, excluding the time spent on preparation and post-activity assessment unless the ratio were improved to 1.4 : 1.

7.4.6 After careful consideration, we felt that the three periods per week for activity lessons should be added to the

* As set out in the Code of Aid for Primary Schools, September 1984, the teaching establishment of an aided primary school is calculated on the basis of 1.2 teachers per class, with the number of teachers rounded up to the nearest whole-number to avoid the use of fractions of a teacher. The only exception to the general rule is that schools with only one or two classes will be staffed with 1.5 and 2.5 teachers per session respectively. For schools with six or more classes, the calculation in exclusive of the post of the head of school.

** Activity lessons can be used for extra practice in English, Music or remedial teaching, depending on students' needs.


timetable at Primary 5 and Primary 6 level. Without these additional periods, the introduction of mixed-mode would only increase the total number of periods by two from 38 to 40. In our view this would not allow sufficient time for the enhancement of teacher-student contact and for activity lessons. The school head should be given the flexibility to use these lessons as appropriate in their schools. The extra work for teachers that additional lessons entail justifies an increase in the ratio to 1.4 : 1 for Primary 5 and 6. We therefore recommend that the teacher/class ratio be raised from the present 1.2 : 1 to 1.4 : 1 for Primary 5 and 6 classes in mixed-mode schools. This improved ratio will lead to a demand for 713 additional teachers when the policy is fully implemented.

(ii) Deputy Head and Head posts

7.4.7 We recognised that the operation of three modes in one school, ie the morning session, the afternoon session and whole-day classes, would result in an increase in administration and possibly in control problems. We therefore recommend that the post of the Deputy Head of the afternoon session of a mixed-mode school be retained. The mixed-mode school would thus have one Head with two Deputies to assist him. We also recommend that the teaching loads of the Head and each of the two Deputy Heads of a mixed-mode primary school should normally be about eight and from 20 to 28 periods per week respectively.

7.4.8 During the transitional period of conversion to mixed-mode operation, we recommend that one of the two existing Heads of a mixed-mode school should perform the functions of the Deputy but be allowed to hold his post on a personal scale until he is redeployed to another school or lost through natural wastage. The ultimate deletion of this post will not, in our view, affect the workload of teachers in a school. We expect the Head of the converting school to be able to distribute fairly the teaching and non-teaching duties


between himself and the two Deputy Heads in such a way as to best meet the needs of his school.

(iii) Senior Teacher/Class ratio

7.4.9 In view of the additional responsibilities arising from running bisessional and whole-day classes in the same school premises, we believed that mixed-mode schools should be given a slightly more generous ratio in respect of senior teachers, ie Assistant Masters/Mistresses (AM). We therefore recommend that the ratio be improved from one AM to every four classes in a bisessional school to one AM for every three classes in a mixed-mode school.

7.4.10 This would mean that 12 AM posts would be provided to a standard mixed-mode school operating 36 classes. This is the same number as that provided to a bisessional school operating 48 classes at present. Thus, there is an added advantage that no AM would be displaced when the school converts to mixed-mode operation. We are mindful of the observation made in the Report of the Working Group set up to Review Language Improvement Measures that the absence of functional posts for heads of departments* in primary schools has resulted in a reluctance on the part of some teachers to take on responsibility of being in charge of a subject for more than a year or two. This has led to a lack of continuity, and a reluctance to take decisions implying changes in language curriculum in some primary school. We therefore recommend that the 12 AMs take up the following responsibilities : two AMs to act as Deputy Heads, one each to be in charge of Academic Studies, Counselling and Guidance, General Affairs, Extra-curricular and other activities, and Teaching Aids, Furniture and Equipment (see Annex 7B). The remaining five should take up the posts of Head of Department or Coordinator of English, Chinese, Mathematics, General

* Heads of departments are sometimes referred to as panel chairmen.


Subjects and Cultural Subjects. In Chapter 3 (paragraph 3.2.13) we also recommended that an additional post at AM level be provided to schools for their SGT. We recognize that individual schools will have different needs and thus the need for flexibility in determining the responsibilities of these AMs.

(b) Teacher re-deployment

7.4.11 The conversion from bisessional to mixed-mode operation will reduce the number of classes a school operates. An example is given at Annex 7C. To help those teachers who will need to move schools, we recommend that the ED placement service, which is set up annually to deal with redundancy problems, take up the responsibility of re-deploying those teachers whose sponsoring body is unable to arrange alternative teaching posts. Judging from the past performance of the service, we anticipate no difficulty in placing all affected teachers in schools.

(c) Phasing in programme

7.4.12 We discussed how mixed-mode schooling should be brought into operation in each school. In order to avoid disruption to both students and schools through the transitional period, we recommend that schools should adopt a phasing in programme to implement mixed-mode schooling and thus reduce gradually the number of classes. All vacant classrooms would be used so that schools could convert to mixed-mode within the shortest time possible. A model phasing in programme for a school with 24 classrooms is shown at Annex 7D as an example. The phasing in process will take six years to complete with Primary 6 turning whole-day in three to four years and Primary 5 in five to six years. Turning Primary 6 to whole-day first ensures that the maximum number of students benefit from the additional schooling.


In document EDUCATION COMMISSION REPORT NO 4 (Page 138-143)