RURAL schools struggling with the drought will not be stripped of teachers, the state government has confirmed with the new school year starting later this month.
The guarantee comes as many schools face fewer enrolments due to the impacts of drought, which have already forced families across the region to relocate, causing a decline in student numbers.
Enrolments are a significant factor in how the NSW government allocates resources, funding and teachers to the state’s public schools. Those that lose students typically have a reduction in staff.
Education Minister Rob Stokes made the original announcement in November.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said yesterday that 22 schools in his electorate had received a “guarantee for continued teacher employment”.
“The last thing our communities need right now is to lose valuable local jobs,” Mr Marshall said.
“I am very well aware of how tough the drought has been on families and communities across the Northern Tablelands and I’m pleased to see this decision made, which will help ease its impact.”
In total, 220 schools in isolated areas suffering from intense drought conditions have been guaranteed their staffing entitlements this year; a further 35 schools on the border of drought-affected areas are also able to apply for the concession.
Mr Marshall said there would have been about 100 jobs lost across country NSW without “this important intervention”.
“However, this decision means that isolated school communities severely impacted by the drought will have certainty and be able to continue to support local students and their families,” he said.
Northern Tablelands schools included in the initiative:
- Barwon Learning Centre
- Bingara Central School
- Boggabilla Central School
- Boomi Public School
- Bullarah Public School
- Croppa Creek Public School
- Delungra Public School
- Garah Public School
- Gravesend Public School
- Mallawa Public School
- Moree East Public School
- Moree Public School
- Moree Secondary College
- Mungindi Central School
- North Star Public School
- Pallamallawa Public School
- Toomelah Public School
- Tulloona Public School
- Warialda High School
- Warialda Public School
- Yetman Public School