O'Farrells education staff cuts leads poorer quality teaching
The O'Farrell Government can hardly expect to raise standards in education when it is slashing staff, cutting support for special needs students and refusing to guarantee it will maintain school funding and class sizes.
"Supporting quality teaching must be a priority, but I question how the O'Farrell Government expects to address this issue with a discussion paper," Shadow Minister for Education, Carmel Tebbutt said today.
"Teachers are already demoralised by the O'Farrell Government's failure to pay them a decent salary increase and refusal to engage them in their reform agenda.
"The Minister would be better served by sitting down and talking with teachers about how the teaching profession can be better supported by his government rather than simply releasing yet another discussion paper.
"Attracting the best and brightest teachers to the profession in NSW will only be made harder by the O'Farrell Government's cap on wages.
"All we have seen from the O'Farrell Government to date is cuts to teachers, cuts to funding for special needs students and a point blank refusal to guarantee school funding will be maintained under their so-called reforms.
"We also know 272 schools have already lost tens of thousands of dollars in funding for students with special needs and teachers aides under the O'Farrell Government.
"This will mean fewer specialist support staff to assist teachers with students with special needs, cuts to reading recovery programs and less resources to help children with learning difficulties.
"The O'Farrell Government's own figures also reveal they will sack 2,400 workers from NSW schools and TAFE colleges over four years, with key education programs also under threat.
"By comparison to the Liberals and Nationals, Labor in government introduced professional standards for teachers and established the NSW Institute of Teachers to advance the standing of the profession and support career long development.
"If the Education Minister was serious about quality education, he would provide an ironclad guarantee today that no school will lose funding under his plans.
"The fact he continually refuses to do so only confirms the fears of school communities and teachers across NSW."
Tags: Barry O'Farrell, Carmel Tebbutt, education, Industrial relations, jobs, NSW schools, TAFE