Staffing crisis sparks walkout at Kegworth Public School in Leichhardt

Teachers Federation members at Kegworth Public School in Leichhardt have walked off the job over the impact the shortage of school counsellors is having on their school.

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

“Dual qualified school counsellors do an incredible job, but they are working under unsustainable and impossible workloads,” Mr Rajendra said.

“Schools, including Kegworth Public, do not have sufficient access to school counsellors to enable them to support students with increasingly complex needs.”

“Staff at Kegworth are concerned that their students, and others in the Public Education system, are being denied the mental health care they need because the NSW Government has not provided enough counsellors.”

“Teachers at Kegworth Public School understand the shortage is caused by the lack of proper workforce planning and incentives to attract and retain dual qualified school counsellors.”

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.”