More permanent teachers in areas of need

Tuesday, 18 October, 2022

More permanent teachers in areas of need

Up to 10,000 permanent roles will be offered to NSW teachers and support staff in areas of need.

A successful NSW Government pilot scheme last year saw temporary teachers offered permanent roles in schools where there was demand.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell has now confirmed that, from early next year, temporary teachers in these areas will be offered permanent roles once again.

“This is an issue that has been raised with me by teachers and principals alike, including our Ambassador School Principals when we met earlier this year, and I made it clear that I wanted to have more teachers in permanent roles,” she said.

“As such, the Department of Education has been working to identify teachers and support staff in temporary roles who could be transitioned. At least 10,000 roles have been identified and the Department will continue to work directly with principals to identify more.

“The pandemic allowed us to bypass the existing staffing agreement to work on responsible ways of converting excess temporary teachers to permanent positions.

“We have more teachers working in NSW public schools than ever before, and we need to ensure they are working in the places we need them most.

“Progress in this area has been hampered due to the current Staffing Agreement with the union, which has limited the ability to offer temporary teachers a permanent position. However, I am determined to see more teachers in permanent roles across the state and will press ahead regardless.”

The NSW Opposition announced a similar policy, stating that if it forms government it will create 10,000 more permanent teaching roles in NSW by shifting temporary positions into permanent roles, in a bid to stem teacher attrition rates.

Mitchell also confirmed plans to convert temporary Student Learning Support Officer (SLSO) roles into permanent positions.

“Our Student Learning Support Officers are critical — they play a vital role in our schools alongside our teachers, often working with our more disadvantaged students and those who have additional needs,” she said.

“We want to give those SLSOs on temporary contracts more certainty by also offering them permanent roles.”

This latest action is in addition to the NSW Government’s ongoing $125 million Teacher Supply Strategy to attract and retain more teachers in public schools. The government has already announced programs to fast-track high-calibre graduates and experienced professionals into NSW classrooms, to recruit more teachers from overseas, and to reward its best teachers with higher salaries in order to keep them in the classroom.

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