Saturday, April 20, 2024

5,000+ NSW teachers and support staff take up permanent job offers

Close to 5,500 teachers and support staff have accepted offers to become permanent employees as part of a NSW Government plan to address workforce shortages. 

The State Government has committed to offer 16,000 temporary teachers and school-based support staff conversion to permanent contracts by the beginning of term 4, 2023.

The commitment aims to turn around the workforce crisis in NSW public schools, which last year saw a record 1854 teachers resign.

NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Early Learning, Prue Car said some teachers who had been considering leaving the profession were now staying thanks to the initiative, according to feedback given to the NSW Department of Education.

“Offering permanency to teachers and support staff shows we value our public education system and the people who work in it,” said Ms Car.

“Having a permanent position in a school gives teachers security and peace of mind, allowing them to do their job – which is to teach children.

“We are getting on with the job of addressing the teacher shortage by improving the conditions of teachers and support staff. Ultimately a stable and secure workforce will lead to better educational outcomes in the classroom.

“This is a vote of confidence in our government’s actions which is to restore pride in teaching and stop teachers from leaving the profession.”

An initial tranche of offers went out in late April to around 1,400 staff in 250 schools.

Minister Car said the first offers went to schools that support some of the state’s highest need students and communities, as well as eligible Aboriginal education officers and to staff in schools that have struggled the most to find staff.

As of today, 5,463 staff at 982 schools have now accepted offers, under a phased rollout grouped by geographical region.

Staff eligible for an offer have been working in their current school for at least three years. Staff who accepted offers by the end of May are anticipated to have their first day of permanent duty on day 1, term 3.

All other permanent appointments under this program are anticipated to be in place by the start of the 2024 school year.

Premier Chris Minns says the phased rollout will ensure the initiative is delivered without overburdening principals and eligible staff.

“We want more teachers, in front of the classroom, permanently. If the same teacher is teaching students day in, day out, they will get to know that class well to get the best results,” he said.

“In three months, 5500 teachers and admin support staff have accepted offers for permanency. This is good for teachers, good for kids and good for our education in NSW.”

He said offers do not depend on there being current permanent vacancies at the school and principals have not been restricted in seeking to fill existing permanent vacancies while the initiative has been developed.

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