New figures show NSW public schools have the highest number of students per teacher in the country.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal NSW had 14.2 students per teacher in 2022, more than public schools in every other state and territory (see table below).
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said the true ratio was even worse when the teacher shortages, which are affecting schools across NSW, are taken into account.
“There is a classroom crisis in NSW,” he said.
“The number of students per teacher is above what it was in 2011 when the Coalition took office (14.1) in NSW and since that point we have had significant increases in the number of students with higher needs in public schools.
“The number of students from language backgrounds other than English has increased by 34% since 2011 and the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander students has increased by 50%. The number of students with disability has doubled since 2016.
“Instead of investing in teachers, we have falling teacher numbers, the worst student/teacher ratio in the country and widespread teacher shortages. Teachers are reporting to us that merged and minimally supervised classes are a daily occurrence.
“Failing to act on unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries has led to an exodus of teachers from the profession with resignations now overtaking retirements.
“The Perrottet Government’s salary cap is a very significant part of the problem in NSW with teachers now earning the same as they did a decade ago, after inflation is taken into account.
“Every year salaries have fallen in comparison with other profession and every year workloads have risen.
“Less than 10% of teachers in NSW say their workload is manageable.”
“Investing in teachers and lifting the status of the profession are critical if we are to make teaching more attractive and stop the shortages.
“Unfortunately, the Perrottet Government believes cutting standards and bringing in untrained teachers is the answer.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics – Student teacher ratio