NSW Teachers Union negotiates to save specialist teachers under LSLD guidelines

2 06 2014

The NSW Teachers Federation has successfully negotiated with their state department of education for principals to be able to use Gonski funding to retain specialist teachers, such as teacher librarians.

“Federation successfully advocated that schools should use this funding to create whatever new staffing positions they sought, rather than trade off existing positions and jeopardise the overall entitlement in the future. If a school demonstrates that they can do away with an assistant principal, head teacher or teacher-librarian position today, why would Treasury in the future continue to fund the existing number of positions? As evidenced in Victoria, this reduction in provision is what the devolution agenda is all about.”

While devolution in staffing decisions has meant the trade off of some teaching positions for others, to the long-term detriment of these positions, this does not have to happen in NSW. See full article at “New policy to determine staff mix in schools” by Gary Zadkovich (Education newsletter of the NSW Teachers Federation, 2 June 2014)

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South Australian school libraries hit by tight budgets

1 08 2012

Indaily ‏@indaily
Under threat: Tight school budgets force librarians into classrooms http://bit.ly/P4MEJC What are your thoughts #adelaide? @aeusa





Autonomy threatens TL positions in NSW: Channel 10 News

21 05 2012

TLs get a mention in tonight’s Channel 10 News at five, but don’t blink:-)  Click on Principal Changes.

Thanks to John Hill, the journo, who understands there is an important story here.





NSW TLs visit local members to discuss “Local Schools, Local Decisions”

20 04 2012

NSW teacher librarians are taking a proactive role to let their local members know the implications of school autonomy for the staffing of qualified teacher librarians in government schools.  MPs, it seems, have not been aware of this and, so far, have welcomed further information, both on the research which shows that school based management does not improve educational outcomes and on the national staffing statistics we have.

We urge all NSW TLs to do likewise.  Here is the background paper we are presenting to MPs for their information.  We are also giving them, when possible, a hard copy of the Inquiry Report, and a request for them to:

  • Oppose “Local Schools, Local Decisions”
  • Stand up for continued core staffing of teacher librarians
  • Stand up for dedicated funding to school libraries, especially in areas of social and economic disadvantage.




LSLD/Funding linked to outcomes: The truth will out

11 04 2012

[19] Plan may cost schools millions
LAURA SPERANZA
8 April 2012
Sunday Telegraph – Page 24 in Local Section.
THE NSW government plans to deny schools millions of dollars in school bank account interest used to buy equipment and classroom resources, but haven’t yet told principals and parents.
Despite moves by the state government to give schools greater control of their budget and finances, school bank accounts will be controlled by the NSW Department of Education from October this year.

[27] Wealth key to school success ANALYSIS REVEALS CHILDREN FROM WELL-HEELED HOMES GET AHEAD IN EDUCATION
JUSTINE FERRARI, NATIONAL EDUCATION CORRESPONDENT
7 April 2012
The Australian – Page 1 in Local Section.
EXCLUSIVE
FAMILY and money are the most influential factors in a child’s success at school, with elite independent and government schools serving students from well-off and well-educated backgrounds dominating the list of the nation’s highest achievers.






Dear NSW Parents and Citizens

25 03 2012

Don’t be gulled by government school autonomy shell games. While principals may want to order their own photocopiers and rid poor performers on their staffs, local empowerment of staffing will break the statewide transfer system which fills positions in remote rural schools, corrode teacher collaboration, force principals to master marketing instead of lead learning, further disadvantage disadvantaged school communities, and lead to increased privatization of public schools with sponsors calling the shots.

What started under Thatcher to break unions and transfer responsibility to school principals, has spread like an epidemic by neo-liberal US, English and Australian governments.

Look at the record of academy schools, charter schools and independent public schools.  There is no evidence that local empowerment improves learning outcomes.  On the contrary, eventual reduced funding and staffing, especially for low SES schools, leaves them to wither and decline.  As Scott Fitzgerald of Curtin University states, so called school autonomy leads to  “recentralisation of control over teachers through curriculum policy frameworks that are held in place by testing regimes, performance pay and league tables.”





Dear candidate/local member

18 03 2012

Could we ask you to please have a closer look at the current LP and ALP policies on devil-ution in school staffing and budgeting?

Among other negative repercussions, in Australia it has resulted in the loss of separately staffed teacher librarians in our nations schools, primary and secondary.

Without adequate funds, principals have been forced to cash in specialist positions to ensure classroom teacher staffing. This has been going on since Kennett led the way in Victoria, where now only 13% of primary schools have teacher librarians. Tasmania followed suit with school autonomy and now only has 29 qualified teacher librarians in 125 K-10 schools (23%).  The Northern Territory has 13 qualified teacher librarians in 151 government schools.  New South Wales and Queensland are now threatened with the disease of “independent” and “locally empowered” public schools.

Australia is now in the embarrassing position of having 46% of our adult population unable to cope with day to day literacy needs, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Core Skills for Business (DEEWR, 2008) has stated “this can create problems in the workplace that prevent a business from reaching its full potential….OECD research has revealed that raising a country’s adult literacy by just 1 per cent leads to a rise in productivity of 2.5 per cent and a 1.5 per cent increase in GDP.”

Teacher librarians improve literacy.  They promote the love of reading. build literacy skills (including spelling, grammar, vocabulary and writing skills!) which are a key to the digital age and raise NAPLAN literacy scores.  Over 60 studies have demonstrated this.  No research has demonstrated that school based management improves student learning outcomes.  It does, however, devolve responsibility and save government spending.

In this National Year of Reading, we ask you to consider instead the long term financial cost of having a nation of non-readers, students disadvantaged by not having the professional knowledge and passion for reading of qualified teacher librarians.

If you wish to have further information on any of these issues, please don’t hesitate in contacting us. We trust you will act in the best interest of our nation’s students and an informed democratic society.

Thank you for your time and consideration,