Almost 5500 teachers and support staff accept permanent roles as government acts to address workforce crisis in schools
Almost 5500 teachers and support staff have accepted offers to become permanent employees in under 2 months, marking a significant milestone as the Minns Labor Government surges ahead with its election promise to tackle the teacher workforce shortage.
The Minns Labor 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. Some teachers who were considering leaving the profession are now staying thanks to the initiative, according to feedback given to the NSW Department of Education.
Since 2017 just 63% of the teaching workforce in NSW public schools have had the security of a permanent position – a legacy of the previous Liberal National Government’s under-investment in teachers.
Despite matching Labor’s commitment to convert 10,000 teachers to permanent contracts on 16 October 2022, the former Liberal National Government had made zero progress in achieving this promise prior to the state election.
This result shows that the Minns Labor Government is moving rapidly to fix the damage caused by the former Liberal National Government’s failed Local Schools, Local Decisions policy.
The government is moving faster than anticipated with today’s milestone, after the initial tranche of offers went out in late April to around 1400 staff in 250 schools.
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, 5463 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 3 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.
This phased rollout will ensure the initiative is delivered without overburdening principals and eligible staff.
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.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said:
“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.
“In 3 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.”
NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car, said:
“Offering permanency to teachers and support staff shows we value our public education system and the people who work in it.
“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.”