Staff at Coffs Harbour High School walk out over staffing crisis

NSW Teachers Federation members at Coffs Harbour High School have walked off the job over the impact of the staffing crisis at their school and many others around the state.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said four year 12 classes at Coffs Harbour were without a teacher today because of the shortage of casual teachers to cover for teachers on leave.

“Coffs Harbour High teachers are calling on the Department of Education to address the staffing shortage and the lack of new teachers coming into the profession as a matter of urgency,” Mr Rajendra said.

“Teachers who are off sick sometimes find their senior classes are not covered which is having an impact on educational outcomes for students, while simultaneously teachers are under pressure to improve results.”

“What is happening at Coffs Harbour High is unacceptable and a direct result of the NSW Government’s failure to adequately staff public schools across the state.”

“Coffs Harbour has a range of students requiring additional support including students from non-English speaking and refugee backgrounds, students with learning support needs, students from low socio-economic backgrounds and others with complex mental health needs.”

“Teachers want additional release time to help them manage the increasing complexity of their work as identified by the recent Gallop Inquiry.

Mr Rajendra said the Gallop Inquiry into the work of teachers found earlier this year that uncompetitive salaries for teachers and unsustainable workloads are leading to teacher shortages.

“The workloads of teachers have increased every year but their salaries have fallen every year compared to other professions.”

“You can’t fix the shortages without fixing the wages and workload problem.”

“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need.”