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- Improved heath and education services.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

O'Farrell's school plan threatens teacher permanency

Media release: 9 May 2012

The O'Farrell government's 'Local Schools, Local Decisions' will mean that many students will be taught by a succession of casual staff, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Younger, cheaper teachers to fill state's schools' Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 2012, page 5, http://j.mp/ISy3DP)

Dr Kaye said: "Having one maths or science teacher for a whole year will become a luxury for many students under the O'Farrell government's scheme to deregulate school staffing.

"Thousands of older teachers are retiring each year as school budget are being squeezed.

"So-called 'Local Schools, Local Decision' will inevitably force principals to increase the number of casual teachers.

"As responsibility for staffing decisions is shunted to school leaders, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli will be able to wash his hands of responsibility when parents complain that their children had three or four science teachers in a year.

"Last night's Federal Budget ignored the urgent need for more funding for public education identified by the Gonski review.

"As the pressure come on, both state and federal governments are deserting public schools and the challenges presented by increasing numbers of new teachers.

"Early year teachers bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas but it is essential that the staffing mix is designed to provide experienced mentors.

"Engaging school leaders in decision making is a sensible idea but the O'Farrell government's scheme is a blame shifting exercise that will punish disadvantaged communities," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 45

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