NSW Public School Funding Faces a $148 Million Reduction, Prompting Deputy Principals to Return to Teaching Roles
Public School Funding
Citation: Image used for information purpose only. Picture Credit: https://live-production.wcms.abc-cdn.net.au

The New South Wales (NSW) public school system is facing a significant budget reduction of $148 million for the current year. As a result, deputy principals will be required to return to teaching roles to address shortages in teaching staff. The NSW government has refuted claims that these cuts are a response to recent increases in teacher salaries.

The announcement of these changes was made by NSW Education Minister Prue Car, who revealed that public school funding would be reduced by $148 million. In a letter addressed to school staff and teachers, NSW Education Secretary Murat Dizdar explained that this decision, which amounts to a 1.25% reduction, is deemed necessary due to various factors.

Dizdar cited declining student enrollment figures in public schools, which have decreased by nearly 25,000 over the past four years. Additionally, he noted an excess in the number of executive positions within the school system as contributing to the need for budget cuts.

Minister Car emphasized that previous funding models prioritized the hiring of new executive staff rather than additional teachers, leading to an imbalance in resource allocation. This shift in budget allocation aims to address staffing shortages and ensure that resources are directed towards frontline teaching positions to support student learning.

“That meant at the same time that we had a chronic teacher shortage, we were hiring thousands and thousands of new executives,” she said.

“We can’t have this happen, we have to put them in classrooms.”

Principals will be required to spend one day per week teaching in classrooms, according to recent directives. The government expressed a readiness to collaborate with schools to implement adjustments to executive duties on a case-by-case basis. However, there will be minimum teaching hour requirements for both principals and deputy principals. Under these changes, school leaders are expected to teach between one and three days per week as part of budget cuts.

“We need assistant principals and deputy principals to be taking more of the teaching load,” Ms Car said.

“Because while we have thousands of them in executive positions, we have 10,000 cancelled classes … it’s just not an equation that adds up.”

Over the span of four years, administrative budgets will incur a reduction of $1.4 billion, leading to the elimination of 600 contracted positions. NSW Education Minister Prue Car stated that an ongoing review of embedded services will identify and rectify any redundant functions, thereby optimizing the support structure of the organization.

Craig Petersen, representing the Secondary School Principals Council, acknowledged the setback caused by these measures but expressed appreciation for the department’s decision to allocate some of the cuts to administrative expenses. He acknowledged the challenges ahead but remained optimistic, stating, “It’s disappointing, but we are prepared to navigate through this. While there may be some impact felt at the school level, the fact that significant adjustments have also been made at the central office instills confidence that this process has been handled sensitively and pragmatically.”

Read More: https://theknowledgereview.com

Recent Posts