The teacher shortage will continue to plague the NSW public education system until teachers are paid what they are worth. Without significant pay rises, chronic shortages will grow.
NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said: “We can’t fix the shortages problem without fixing the wages and workload problem in our schools.”
The extent of the school staffing crisis in NSW has been revealed in new figures showing more than 650 public schools have vacant permanent teaching positions.
NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the government figures showed 1,148 vacant teaching positions in May in schools from the beachside suburbs of Sydney to Broken Hill.
In one school, Murrumbidgee Regional High School in Griffith, there were 19 vacant permanent positions in May.
“This is an outrageous and completely unacceptable situation,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
“We have primary schools, high schools and schools for students with disability with vacant teaching positions covering many different classifications and subject areas.”
“Some of the schools with the highest number of vacant positions are the ones with the highest level of student need. Principals and teachers report not getting a single applicant for a vacant position.”
“Vacant permanent positions are just part of the problem. There are also temporary positions vacant in many schools. Across the state schools are finding it hard, and in many cases, impossible to secure the casual teachers they need.”
“Teacher shortages are an abrogation of the NSW Government’s most basic responsibility in education.”
“Every child has the right to be taught every day by a qualified teacher with the time and resources to meet their needs.”
“There is no fast track program or incentive scheme that is going to fix these shortages or help recruit the 11,000 additional teachers we need, at a minimum in the next decade, just to meet rising enrolments.”
“Lifting the appeal of the profession by reducing workloads and significantly increasing salaries is the way to stop the shortages, not lowering standards and looking for quick fixes that don’t exist.
“The Gallop Inquiry was clear that we cannot fix the teacher shortage without fixing the wages and workload in our schools.”
“Teacher shortages mean combined classes, disrupted learning and children missing out on the support they need.”
“Playing down the numbers and pretending there isn’t a major problem with shortages of teachers is selling our kids short. If you aren’t concerned about the shortages, you aren’t concerned about kids missing out.”
“Uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads are making it impossible to recruit and retain the best people in teaching.”
“The workloads of teachers have increased every year, but their salaries have fallen every year in comparison with other professions,” Mr Gavrielatos said.