NSW at risk of teacher shortage: union | Review of northern beaches


NSW faces a teacher shortage and is at risk of running out of school staff for the next five years, internal education department documents reveal.

Last year’s confidential audit found falling numbers of graduate teachers, increasing enrollments and an aging workforce are just a few of the issues facing the department.

“We cannot improve student outcomes without having a sufficient number of high-quality teachers available where and when they are needed,” concludes a June 2020 summary.

“If we don’t fill the supply shortages now, we’re going to run out of teachers over the next five years.

“Public schools in New South Wales have a high proportion of out-of-scope teachers, which has an impact on student outcomes.”

The teachers’ union says the government ignored the warning.

“These documents show that the government was fully aware of the worsening staff crisis and has betrayed teachers, parents, principals and students by repeatedly denying the seriousness of the problems instead of solving them,” he said. said Angelo Gavrielatos, president of the NSW Teachers Federation.

But the NSW Education Department says the projections are sliding numbers involving a number of assumptions and data sources.

It states that the information uses only one data point and “is very out of date”.

“To keep the most up-to-date projections on teacher supply and demand, the department regularly updates these models and resulting forecasts,” an education spokesperson said.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the ministry’s approach to teacher supply was supported by research and sought to find opportunities to address challenges unresolved by blanket approaches.

“Claims that we are heading for a teacher crisis are patently misleading and selfish,” she said.

“Making sure we have the best teachers in the right place isn’t fixed by a fear campaign backed by bad data.”

New South Wales Auditor General Margaret Crawford reported in April that the state agency responsible for implementing strategic plans for school assets was not prioritizing the right projects.

School Infrastructure NSW has identified the need to accommodate an additional 180,000 enrollments in public schools by 2039 and to modernize approximately 34,000 teaching spaces to be suitable.

The audit found that the agency was focused on delivering on existing projects, election pledges and other government announcements that distracted attention from strategies that best meet present and future needs.

Opposition education spokeswoman Prue Car said the documents revealed the teacher shortage to be worse than previously reported, despite the government saying it it was a “punch”.

She said the shortages were particularly severe for math and science teachers.

“The Liberal government allowed this to happen – and now they are trying to cover their tracks by bringing in foreign teachers with no Australian experience,” she said.

Australian Associated Press

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