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NSW Schools Boss calls for better, smarter regulation

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Dallas McInerney
New South Wales’ top performing year 12 Catholic school students of 2019 with Dallas McInerney, Executive Director Catholic Schools NSW Photo: Alphonsus Fok

Catholic Schools NSW has called for reform to regulation in our schools with Executive Director Dallas McInerney saying we need to “let teachers be teachers.”

Catholic Schools NSW are pushing for significant reform to regulation in New South Wales schools, delivering their report Better, Smarter Regulation, which identifies 16 key recommendations to reduce red tape and administrative burdens for educators.

Catholic Schools NSW report Better, Smarter Regulation. Photo: CSNSW

CSNSW Executive Director Dallas McInerney says that the Catholic school system is a good system with the best teachers, but is concerned about the impacts of the increased regulatory burden on teachers.

“We want to let our teachers be teachers,” said Mr. McInerney. “We want our school leaders to lead schools and to be less concerned with other Government requirements that increasingly take up a big part of the day.”

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“Our teachers are teachers, not reporting officers.”

The report noted that the number of administrative staff had grown in schools over the last 30 years, with the ratio of students per administrative staff member dropping from 130 to one in 1990 to 55.6 in 2019.

It also states that teachers in Catholic Schools have reported an increase in their work hours and have stated they are managing nearly 200 school policies, which the report says is “symptomatic of the overall compliance burden.”

Mr. McInerney says that the increased administrative burden and increased work hours may be having an impact on the number of new teachers entering the system.

“The number of University entrants selecting teaching as their first preference is declining,” said Mr. McInerney. “it has been declining every year for the last 10 years.”

Better, Smarter Regulation outlines principles for better regulation, and stresses that regulations should be the minimum necessary, easy to understand, as simple as possible and adaptable, quoting one principal stating that “if it doesn’t lead to improved learning, then it is not something we should be doing.”

Better, Smarter Regulation
CSNSW’s Better, Smarter Regulation shows the ratio of students to administrative staff in NSW Catholic schools.

“It’s not enough to just call for changes,” says Mr McInerney. “We have to bring forth a solution. These recommendations offer a practical roadmap for reform.”

A spokesman for Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Government is working on a number of reforms that were raised in the report.

“We are looking forward to reading the report in its entirety and will consider the recommendations in due course.”

The 16 recommendations call on the state Government and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to consider a range of potential changes including a consolidation of regulatory Acts, simplifying the teacher accreditation process, removing requirements for annual reporting and increased, permanent flexibility on student reports.

To see the report in full, head to the Catholic Schools NSW Website.

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