Members walk out over woeful staff planning

Classes taught by different teachers over several weeks, teachers forced to teach outside their subject area, teach combined classes or leave students under minimal supervision.

Frustrated that multiple teaching vacancies remain unfilled at their school, Federation members at Concord High School walked off the job yesterday (12 May), calling on the Education Department to urgently deal with the staffing crisis at their school and hundreds of other schools across the state.

Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said: “Teachers at Concord High have been placed under extreme pressure attempting to staff classes and concentrate on providing high quality lessons.”

“However, they are not being supported by the NSW Government or the Education Department which has failed to address the teacher shortage to the extent that the school may now have to cut some HSC courses because of the staffing crisis.”

Mr Rajendra said teachers at Concord High were calling on the NSW Government to ensure every class was staffed with a consistent and appropriately qualified and subject-trained teacher.

Earlier this week (11 May), staff at Kandos High School in the Central Tablelands also walked off the job over concerns that a position for head teacher maths remains unfilled, which is currently being filled on a casual basis.

Members passed a motion denouncing the Department for its continued inability to provide trained permanent teachers to fill ongoing vacancies at the school. “The staff also condemn the inability of our employer to ensure that there are enough casual teachers to maintain face-to-face teaching of our students when their regular class teachers are absent.”

Mr Rajendra said: “This staffing crisis has been caused by the failure of the NSW Government to address the teacher shortage over more than a decade.”

“They have let down students, parents and the wider community.

“Previously successful processes that ensured adequate staffing of all schools across the state have been weakened.”

The recent report Impact of Enrolment Growth on Demand for Teachers: NSW Public Schools to 2031 found NSW must recruit 11,000 teachers just to meet the record number of public school enrolments predicted over the next decade.

“The recent Gallop Report showed that the recruitment and retention of teachers will require a significant increase in salaries,” Mr Rajendra said.