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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Teacher librarians could soon be left on the funding shelf

14 10 2012

Opinion piece in today’s SMH by Anna Fienberg

October 15, 2012

The library is a magical place, inhabited by a cast of invisible people who conduct their lives off stage, yet when introduced to us can transform our world forever.

The library is the heart of the primary school, and it is the teacher librarian who brings it alive.

Yet a slow erosion of this position is under way and a permanent loss of such a fundamental person in our primary schools would have devastating consequences in the lives of our children. Originally a full-time position, regardless of the size the school, the days worked by teacher librarians are now dictated by the number of students.

Read more

 




NSW DEC restructures yet again. 200 jobs to go.

2 06 2012

Education Job Cuts Done in Secrecy SMH 4 June        Education Job Cuts SMH 2June2012

You may not have caught the news Thursday that NSW DEC is “realigning,” ie restructuring, yet again, this time under the recently elected Liberal state government.  You may have not had this news, because the government made no public announcement!

It appears at least 200 jobs of 750 in offices of the DEC will go.  That’s over a quarter!

So in addition to the additional work taken on by self-managing schools, now teachers and principals are to take on a greater workload from head offices. And at a time when the new National Curriculum is being implemented.

This includes cuts to literacy support, including positions in the School Magazine, in this National Year of Reading! Literacy looks to lose 2 of their 5 positions.  There is no mention of the Premiers Reading Challenge. Nor Quality Teaching. Teacher librarians and school counsellors will see cuts to support to schools.

The nationwide respected education journal, SCAN, does not get a mention. Other positions in School Libraries and Information Services appear to  have been cut by about half. (I used to work for this service when it was known as School Library Service and had 60 on its staff!!)

There are fewer Principal Education Officer positions (higher salaries). Where is the support for curriculum leadership? Teacher Librarians are already feeling threatened – this cut in support services does not bode well for their continued expertise !

Two separate entities have been created for pre-school/primary and secondary when NSW teachers are supposed to be implementing K-10 syllabuses next year.

What role will regions have? Will there be duplication?

It has been described as a mess.

Realignment info for NSW teachers was on DEC internal intranet (Contact The Hub for copies.)

Feedback to DDGSchools@det.nsw.edu.au within a week. NSW teachers let your local MP (template) know once again you and your parents are not happy.  Federal MPs must also be pressed for the increased funding to public schools recommended by Gonski.  Education investment is an investment in our future. The NSW government seems determined to undermine our social and economic future.

For further information and updates, contact NSW Teachers Federation





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.





Letters to the Editor

20 05 2012

Letters to the editor of your local paper are read by many in the community. Oppose school autonomy with letters like these:





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.




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.”