NSW Premier Chris Minns has said Labor will take steps to address teacher burnout and shortages, by making more staff permanent, fighting administrative overload and simplifying the accreditation process.
Mr Minns made the remarks at the annual lecture of Catholic Schools NSW’s Kathleen Burrow Research Institute, delivered at St John’s College at the University of Sydney on 24 October.
“Since 2017, just 63 per cent per cent of the teaching workforce in NSW public schools have had the security of a permanent position,” the premier said.
“While flexibility is needed in systems to manage fluctuations and change, teachers also need job security, knowing they can develop their expertise, advance their careers, and foster a place in their school communities.”
Mr Minns added that since September, 16,000 teachers in public schools have been offered permanent employment.
He has also asked the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), currently reforming the NSW curriculum, to prioritise core subjects and to stagger the rollout of new syllabuses to give teachers time to get across the new material.
NESA will also examine ways to streamline accreditation and the overwhelming administrative burden on teachers.
“Many teachers currently feel more like administrators than educators—juggling endless paperwork,” Mr Minns said.
The premier, an alumnus of Marist College Kogarah, said he saw “Catholic schools as a major ally as well as a beneficiary of change” and that he was himself a “proud product of the Catholic education system.”
“Our government’s commitment to faith-based education is consistent with our commitment to faith groups across NSW and one of the reasons we are setting up a NSW Faith Affairs Council, which will directly advise on faith-based matters, programs and policy,” he said.