Media release: Teaching jobs at risk under Berejiklian plan, class sizes to increase

Classroom teachers, executive, specialist and principal positions are at risk due to the Berejiklian Government’s decision to push ahead with public school closures in the Murwillumbah community.

Teachers and principals are concerned that the Government’s policy of amalgamating schools in regional areas will cost jobs, drive up class sizes and reduce subject choice for students.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said this is further evidence that the NSW Government’s recently announced plan for Murwillumbah is bad for students and their learning.

“This is policy on the run which will have a devastating impact on the local community,” Mr Rajendra said.

“It appears the Government has not considered the impact on student learning. The Berejiklian Government is leaning towards economic rationalism over educational reasoning.”

The Department of Education’s project website claims, There will be no change to standard, maximum student to staff ratios and class sizes will be consistent with NSW Department of Education guidelines and maximum size limits.’

“This is nothing more than spin and a concerted effort to con the community. Cutting this many teaching positions will result in larger class sizes,” Mr Rajendra said.

“An examination of the staffing impact on amalgamating the schools on current enrolments reveals that primary school provision will, as a minimum, lose a classroom teacher, up to two assistant principal positions and a principal position and a reduction in teacher-librarian staffing.”

“The situation is far worse for high school staffing. On current enrolments, it is predicted that at least 16 positions, 20 per cent of the teacher staffing entitlement, will be cut including classroom, head teacher, teacher-librarian, careers adviser and principal positions.”

“Ultimately, this will narrow the curriculum, leave students with fewer subjects to consider, increase class sizes and the workload of teachers.

“In what continues to be a difficult year for NSW residents and the Murwillumbah community, the NSW Government is now effectively announcing job losses by stealth inflicting more pain on schools, students, teachers and the local economy.”

“Public school teachers are already working in an under-resourced system at the hands of the Berejiklian Government. This is nothing more than a disingenuous and mean-spirited act of negligence”.

“The NSW Teachers Federation is concerned that this contraction of public schooling is not limited to Murwillumbah. The government has claimed that the Murwillumbah project is, ‘the first of its kind for regional NSW’.”

“While we will continue to protect and enhance the provision of public schooling in Murwillumbah, we must brace ourselves for further school closures, cuts to staffing and increased class sizes in other regional communities.”

Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079