An independent inquiry highlighting issues within the existing NSW Education System has been addressed among teachers and principals during a panel hosted at the Orange City Bowling Club on Monday.
The inquiry, Valuing the Teaching Profession, chaired by former WA premier Dr Geoff Gallop was released last month and addresses three issues; an overload of work, a lack of proper support and inadequate remuneration.
New South Wales Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos who also worked on the report said the inquiry received more than 1000 submissions from NSW teachers and principals.
Since the release of the report Dr Gallop, Mr Gavrielatos, NSW Industrial Relations Commissions former deputy president Dr Tricia Kavanagh and former head of the NSW Institute of Teachers Patrick Lee are hosting panels across the state in a bid to inform teachers, communities about the report findings.
"Three big areas we looked at was the actual work of teachers, the intensity of that work, the complexity of that work and just the sheer volume of that work," Dr Gallop said.
"Our conclusion was there's been an avalanche of responsibilities passed down to schools, passed down to teachers, which makes it hard for them to deliver the sort of education they want to.
... an overload of work, a lack of proper support and remuneration that doesn't reflect the status and the role of teaching in our community.Dr Geoff Gallop on the conditions teachers currently face
"(Orange), like many schools in rural and remote areas, doesn't have the backdrop of support needed to deliver the system.
"The range and type of services needed to back the work of teachers in schools isn't there - we need the Department of Education there taking a broader responsibility for staffing matters and for support in the system.
"Our conclusion, an overload of work, a lack of proper support and remuneration that doesn't reflect the status and the role of teaching in our community.
"All of that needs to change in order to have a future that is sustainable."
Dr Gallop said they are pushing for change by putting together the report and by developing a six-year implementation plan.
"We need a system that delivers better results for our children and our community. COVID-19 revealed to the world the inequalities that already existed in the education systems - but also, the importance of schools, teachers and education and that we've let it slip," he added.
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education said the NSW Government is working with teachers on the implemented reforms to ensure school time is focused on what 'matters most' - leading, teaching and supporting students.
"The Department of Education has a work program to reduce the administrative burden on schools which has delivered several improvements for teachers over the last three years. Further, the School Success Model sets ambitious departmental targets focused on improving support, including reducing administrative burden," the spokesperson said.
"We know that when they [teachers] feel supported, students benefit. We will continue to support our teachers through a range of programs and initiatives."
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