Reply from NSW Shadow Ed Minister

26 02 2010
NSW pilot and TL staffing
Date: 26 February 2010 4:58:29 PM
Dear Georgia
Thanks for your email about the trial of new flexible staffing arrangements.
It seems the Commonwealth are hell bent on imposing market based reforms that have proved to be a failure in other parts of the world.
I have taken a firm stance against league tables and have been critical of many of the other measures that Julia Gillard has imposed on schools.
I agree that the trial is probably more about covering problems of under funding of schools by allowing Principals to cannibalise what they might see as less essential staff and replacing them with what they might see as more important front line, teaching staff. What this covers up is a lack of funding to keep positions like teacher librarians while also being able to employ additional teaching staff.
I support more autonomy for Principals to make decisions about their schools and how they use their budgets but it is very dangerous territory when the government is pressuring Principals to get high NAPLAN results for the MySchool website if they fear they will be measured by those results. This can badly distort what happens at schools when the focus becomes entirely about NAPLAN results.
I am in regular contact with the Teachers Federation as well as the Principals groups in NSW and this is an area we have discussed at length. I will continue to consult with them and other groups, such as yourself as this trial continues.
Thank you again for your email and please stay in touch.



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