NSW school staffing crisis worsens in rural and remote areas

Staff at Wentworth Public School and Buronga Public School near Mildura on the NSW-Victoria border have joined the list of remote schools concerned about the crisis in staffing.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said staff at the two schools walked off the job today in protest at the failure of the NSW government and its Education Department to provide an effective statewide staffing system to enable rural and remote schools to recruit and retain teachers.

“Teachers at Wentworth and Buronga understand the difficulty local principals have attracting teachers when the Education Department fail to do so. They are also very concerned about the threats to the incentives offered to teachers to move to hard-to-staff schools.”

Mr Rajendra said staff at Ivanhoe Central School in Western NSW walked off the job last week over the staffing crisis.

“Eight weeks into Term 1 and the Education Department has two positions unfilled out of a total of eight teaching positions at Ivanhoe.”

“This is simply unacceptable and places enormous pressure on the staff at Ivanhoe who are trying to teach when 25 per cent of the jobs are unfilled.”

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

“The NSW Government has let down students, parents and the wider community by failing to provide teachers for every student and every class.”

“The Education Department have known of the dire teacher shortage for some time but failed to address the problem. It is grossly unfair for students, and in many cases, those with the most complex learning needs.”

Media contact John Hill