Schools need full, systemic support from the Department and the NSW Government

The news announced today of a NSW Government plan to put up $50 million to fund so-called Business Managers in schools is an acknowledgement that the policy called ‘Local Schools, Local Decisions’ has resulted in the loss of hundreds of administrative and support positions and created an unnecessary burden on schools, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said earlier today.

“Under the devolutionary ‘Local Schools, Local Decisions’ policy, the department have slashed support staff that service all schools and instead dumped all that clerical and administrative work onto schools and teachers,” Mr Mulheron said, “and now their solution is to provide a limited bucket of money for more ‘local solutions’ to the problem they have created, rather than rebuild the capacity of the system.”

“The amount announced today works out to about $22,000 per school, barely enough to fund one day per week of additional clerical support,” Mr Mulheron said.

Federation has long expressed concerns over the ‘Local Schools, Local Decisions’ policy, under which the department made significant cuts to non-school based administrative staff, advisers, and curriculum specialists.

“What is needed is a more efficient use of money so as to achieve economies of scale with a state-wide systemic approach to support schools. A state-wide solution has to be better than 2200 schools reinventing the wheel.”

“Business Managers are not the solution. Schools are not businesses. Their work is teaching and learning and that is where the resources need to be targeted. The additional administrative burden must be removed from schools so that teachers and principals can concentrate on their students’ needs,” Mr Mulheron said.