Liberal mates cronyism before teachers

Documents reveal executive positions within the Education Department has ballooned from 305 in 2019 to 354 in 2022 – a 16 per cent increase in the last 3 years, at the same time as they are unable and unwilling to deal with the teacher shortage crisis and teacher pay.

25 November 2022



YOU'VE got to hand it to the Liberal Government, cronyism and high paid executive position for their mates in the Education Department is out of control, while teachers vaporise because of appalling wages. The number of executive directors increased from 34 to 58 in the span of three years, while there has been an additional Deputy Secretary added since 2019. The midpoint salary of an Executive Director is $324,250 while the midpoint for a Deputy secretary is $435,275.


The ballooning bureaucratic team contrasts with Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell and her department’s teacher recruitment program. The number of teachers in schools grew just five per cent, from 66,801 to 70,279.


In September 2021 the NSW Government promised under their Recruitment Beyond NSW that “460 teachers will be recruited between 2022-23”.


However as of Term Four 2022, only three teachers had successfully been recruited.


As at 10 October 2022 (start of Term 4, 2022) there were 2,458.70 FTE vacant permanent teaching positions.


In Parliament, the Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell defended the program saying: “The reality is that this is a good program.”


In fact, Sarah Mitchell even tried to refute her own Government’s data saying: “For Labor to use these to claim that there is some kind of shortage of thousands and thousands of teachers is just not true. The data doesn’t stack up”


Well, as they teach you in school, the numbers don’t lie.


NSW Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car said, “The results speak for themselves – this tired  12-year-old government has become internally focused and lost sight of the severity of the teacher shortages”


“Every day across NSW classes are being merged or cancelled and children are sitting on playgrounds instead of learning maths or English - yet Minister Mitchell and her bureaucratic team continue to oversee an exodus of teachers from classrooms.”


Only 27 teachers have been hired across all 2,216 public schools under the entire Teacher Supply Strategy. We now also know that:


  • 20 of these are existing teachers in the FASTstream program, a program which includes reducing teachers to a part-time teaching load while putting them on a pathway to become principals.


  • The remaining 7 are casual teachers working under the Casual Supplementation Program  – a program that is meant to provide 260 remote, regional and rural NSW schools with a “dedicated local pool of relief teachers”.


  • Minister Mitchell also refused to confirm if any of the teachers hired has a maths speciality, despite the current shortage of maths teachers.


NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns said, “This is just proof that after 12 years in power the Perrottet Government has run out of ideas on how to fix the teacher shortages.”


“The Perrottet Government has been great at recruiting department staff, and abysmal at getting teachers into classrooms.”


"NSW Labor has a plan for a better NSW education system for a better future for our kids.


 "Labor will stop the class cancellations by making 10,000 existing casual teachers permanent to give them the security of job they are asking for to stay in teaching.


"And we'll reduce the admin burden of teachers by 5 hours a week to ensure teachers are in classrooms not bogged down by paperwork."

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