Teacher shortage hits Orange as minister visits

NSW Teachers Federation members at Canobolas Rural Technology High School (CRTHS) in Orange have given Education Minister Sarah Mitchell an ultimatum over 11 unfilled teacher positions at their school.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said staff at CRTHS had voted to consider further action unless the Minister addressed the crisis in staffing at their school.

“Canobolas RTHS is a major agricultural high in the Central West and staff have been attempting to teach under incredible pressure due to ten classroom teacher positions and a deputy-principal position that are unfilled,” Mr Rajendra said.

“Teachers are forced to teach additional subjects outside of their area of expertise. It also has resulted in many teachers taking on additional duties and responsibilities to meet this shortfall, impacting on their mental health and wellbeing.”

“The teacher shortage across the state must be addressed and while visiting Orange High School today, Sarah Mitchell should go down the road to Canobolas RTHS and sort out this problem.”

Mr Rajendra said the Teachers Federation and its members were frustrated by the lack of action to address the teacher shortage.

“We can’t afford to have schools operating with insufficient staff when it is the responsibility of the NSW Government and the Education Department to provide appropriately trained teachers for every student and every school.”

“The current model of leaving staff recruitment to local principals has clearly failed and it’s time for the Minister to bite the bullet, accept this is a major crisis for a large number of schools across the state and come up with a solution as a matter of urgency.”

“Over the past decade the NSW Government and the Education Department have weakened previously successful processes that ensured adequate staffing of all schools across the state.”

“Teachers Federation members at Canobolas RTHS have declared their preparedness to take further action should the government fail to address the issues.”

“This is putting unacceptable pressure on the school’s staff and affecting student learning and engagement,” Mr Rajendra said.

Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079