Staffing crisis sparks walkout at a school on the Northern Beaches

Teachers Federation members at Wheeler Heights Public School on the Northern Beaches have walked off the job over the impact the shortage of casual teachers and school counsellors is having on their school.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said staff walked out over the failure of the Education Department to adequately address the state wide staffing crisis, particularly in regard to the entitlement schools have to counsellors.

“Teachers at Wheeler Heights are very concerned about the lack of availability of school counsellors to assist students in need,” Mr Rajendra said.

“There are simply not enough dual qualified school counsellors to keep up with demand for their services.”

“Schools are forced to share counsellors who are facing an ever-increasing and unsustainable workload.”

“In addition, Wheeler Heights Public School, like most schools across the state, has been negatively impacted by the teacher shortage which has meant very few casuals are available.”

“In many cases no teacher has been available to cover classes for teachers on sick or long-service leave.”

“This has negatively impacted the delivery of teaching and learning at the school.”

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.”