NSW Labor’s commitment to end the underfunding of public schools is a significant announcement that will be welcomed by teachers and principals across the state.
NSWTF president Angelo Gavrielatos said: “For a decade we have had a measurable minimum level of resourcing that public schools require to meet the needs of their students.
“But public schools have never been resourced to that Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). The agreement struck by the NSW Coalition with the Morrison Government leaves public schools indefinitely under-resourced while NSW private schools are over-resourced.
“Labor’s announcement shows they are prepared to end this injustice and ensure that every public school across NSW is fully funded. If Labor wins the election in March, we want to see an agreement struck with the Albanese Government on full funding of public schools as soon as possible.
“The proposed investment in additional teachers, school counsellors and a permanent literacy and numeracy intensive learning program would make a real difference for teachers and the children they educate.
“By contrast, the Coalition slashed funding this year for the COVID intensive learning support program and told schools to find the rest of the money themselves. Five years ago it agreed there should be one counsellor for every 500 students and still hasn’t delivered.
“Today’s announcement goes with commitments Labor has already made to cut the unsustainable workloads of teachers, axe the government’s wage cap, negotiate higher salaries and reverse the Coalition’s 80 per cent increase in temporary teachers.
“This is a recognition by Labor that the only way we can stop the teacher shortages and secure the teachers we need for the future is to invest in the profession.
“In November government figures show there were 3,300 vacant permanent positions in NSW public schools. We have two thirds of teachers saying they are burnt out and 60 per cent looking to leave in the next five years.
“Over 90 per cent of teachers say shortages have led to collapsed or merged classes in the last two years. Mr Perrottet’s $125 million Teacher Supply Strategy has been an expensive failure. The number of vacant positions has more than tripled since the strategy was announced and the government recruited three teachers from overseas in a year.
“Now the Premier thinks cutting qualifications and bringing in unqualified teachers is the answer.
“Labor’s commitments shows there is a real alternative to this tired, failing government.”