Norfolk Island Teachers Stop Work Over School Crisis

Teachers at the Norfolk Island Central School have stopped work over the failure of the Commonwealth Government to provide certainty over the provision of education on Norfolk Island for 2022.

The Norfolk Island community are demanding certainty over the provision of education services after the NSW Government withdrew from an agreement with the Commonwealth to provide public education on the island.

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said Norfolk Island families deserved better than being left without any certainty about the operation of the school in 2022 and beyond.

“As it stands there will be only nine teachers available next year to staff the school, which has 300 students ranging from Kindergarten to Year 12,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“It is outrageous that the educational needs of a community like Norfolk Island are being ignored by the Morrison Government.”

“The Australian Government has a clear responsibility for Norfolk Island and must advise the community about arrangements for schooling on the island next year.”

“It is a basic right of all students to have access to high quality public education and in that respect, Norfolk Island is no different to the Australian mainland.”

“Teachers currently face the prospect of starting the 2022 school year with no employer and potentially no pay because the Commonwealth has failed to announce a new education provider.”

Whilethe Commonwealth reached agreement in August with the NSW Educational Standards Authority to continue to use the NSW Curriculum on Norfolk Island, which now allows Year 11 students to begin their final year of schooling, it has done so without any guarantee of teachers.

“This crisis has gone on too long. It must be resolved in order to provide the children of Norfolk Island with the education they need and deserve.”