Teacher shortage sparks teacher walkout in Riverina

NSW Teachers Federation members at Darlington Point Public School near Griffith have today walked off the job over the Government’s failure to properly staff schools in rural and regional areas.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said the school is constantly struggling to attract and retain teachers to fill vacancies.

“Teachers at Darlington Point are very concerned that the Department of Education is undermining confidence in the state-wide transfer system by suggesting schools close to regional towns are not ‘rural and remote’ and should be stripped of incentives to attract new staff,” Mr Rajendra said.

“The school has been unable to recruit teachers for the COVID intensive learning position.”

“And when they do find a teacher to fill a position, applicants often decline job offers because it is hard to find somewhere to live in Griffith.”

Mr Rajendra said Darlington Point is forced to combine classes when teachers are on leave or attending professional learning courses.

“This is simply unacceptable and places enormous pressure on the staff when teachers are not replaced or teaching jobs remain 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.”

“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.”