Staffing crisis hits students with disability at Rosemeadow in Sydney’s south west

NSW Teachers Federation members at Rosemeadow’s Mary Brooksbank School are calling for immediate action from the NSW Government to ease the staffing crisis at their school.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said staff at Mary Brooksbank School for Specific Purposes walked off the job today out of frustration with the lack of casual teachers available to cover classes for colleagues on leave.

The school provides specialist support for students with moderate to high learning needs, including those with moderate to severe intellectual disability, mental health disorder, autism spectrum disorder and physical disability.

“This school has 109 of our most disadvantaged students and the staff are so committed, that at times they have been going to work when they are ill because they feel guilty about leaving their classes without a teacher,” Mr Rajendra said.

“This is an appalling case of a public school left to fend for itself at a time when the Education Department knows all schools are finding it difficult to recruit casuals to replace teachers who take leave.”

“Mary Brooksbank staff are calling on the NSW Government to appoint three additional permanent teachers to the school immediately to help them continue to deliver high quality education and support to these children in need.”

“Students at Mary Brooksbank require personalised support and consistent classroom arrangements in order to learn and that simply can’t happen when classes are being split up because there aren’t enough teachers.”

“When classes are split it creates a physically unsafe environment and the safety of staff and students is compromised.”

“Teachers at this school have been working under extreme pressure for the past 18 months without any assistance from the Department of Education to help it cope with the state-wide teacher shortage.”

Mr Rajendra said teachers at this school would meet again next week to consider further action if their cries for help are ignored by the Education Department.