Extra teachers needed to meet growing student numbers in NSW

By Melissa Coade

Sunday April 25, 2021

classroom
NSW will need another 11,000 additional teachers in the next 10 years. (Image: Adobe/vipman4)

A briefing paper commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation has recommended that the state will need to hire a minimum of 11,000 additional teachers to match the growing enrolments over the next 10 years.

Student enrolment numbers in NSW are on track to hit 14,000 by 2031, a paper released by the Teachers federation on Tuesday suggests.

To respond to state student demand at least 11,000 extra teachers will need to be recruited in this time — or more if NSW brings its student to teacher ratio in line with the national average.

“NSW is facing a classroom crisis. The independent Gallop Inquiry was clear that the NSW Government won’t fix the shortages or recruit the additional teachers required without a significant increase in salaries,” Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said.

“It recommended more time for teachers to evaluate and plan, greater support for the work expected of them and an increase in teachers’ and principals’ salaries of 10-15% over the next two years to catch up to the pay of other like professions.”

Recruiting the extra teachers that would be needed over the next 10 years will be a major challenge, Gavrielatos added, because there was already a teacher shortage across NSW, which affected both public and private schools.

Figures from the National Skills Commission demonstrate that the number of public and private school teachers in Australia was expected to increase by 42,600 over the five years from 2019 to 2024 – a growth rate of 10.2 per cent. 

The Teachers Federation said it paid for the research to be undertaken amid fears the state government was not doing enough to prepare NSW public schools for the future.

Less than one quarter of the 7,200 additional teaching spaces needed by 2031 are funded,” Mr Gavrielatos said. 

“There is no workforce plan that sets out the number of additional teachers needed in different disciplines and different geographic areas and what steps will be taken to ensure supply matches demand.”

Former Schools Resourcing Taskforce Manager and economist Adam Rorris authored the briefing paper. He was also lead author for a major analysis for the NSW Department of Education on how teachers and resources impact learning. 


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