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A new direction in the recruitment of school staff.

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6 December 2006

A New Direction In The Recruitment Of School Staff

NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt said today that parents are now playing a greater role in recruiting teachers, principals and executive staff as a result of changes introduced by the NSW Government.

Ms Tebbutt said that in 2005 the Government committed to providing even greater community and parental involvement in the management of NSW public schools.

"And we have delivered on our commitment," said Ms Tebbutt.

"Since the start of the new and reformed staffing agreement in April 2005, 503 principal positions, 1,840 executive positions and 1,182 classroom teacher positions have been filled by candidates handpicked by school communities.

"In fact, 72 per cent of principal positions have been by filled by candidates chosen by local selection panels which included a parent or community representative."

The remaining principal positions were filled by suitably qualified and experienced individuals whom the Department had a responsibility to place, such as those who had served in remote NSW.

"By giving school communities the capacity to select their own leaders, we are helping to ensure public schools reflect the values of their communities and the needs of their students," said Ms Tebbutt.

"It's also pleasing to know principal positions are much sought after - with an average of 12 applicants for each position advertised."

"This new direction strikes a balance between providing local school communities with the opportunity to choose their principals and teachers, and the need to ensure all NSW public schools are adequately staffed by quality teachers," said Ms Tebbutt.

"And I am pleased that these staffing reforms are working, with very positive feedback coming from principals, school education directors and regional directors."

Ms Tebbutt said that as well as a new staffing agreement, the Government has also amended the Teaching Service Act, allowing for the first time experienced educators from outside the NSW public education system to apply for senior positions within public schools.

"This legislative change was all about ensuring our public schools have the opportunity to choose from the broadest pool of experienced and qualified educators," said Ms Tebbutt.

"Experienced classroom teachers in NSW are the highest paid public school teachers in the country and we are determined to attract the best and brightest to public education."

The changes to the recruitment of school staff are part of a broad effort by the NSW Labor Government to give greater autonomy to local schools. Other initiatives include:

z A $144 million teacher professional development package which schools decide how to spend;

z New four-year maintenance contracts which give principals a greater say in the prioritisation of maintenance works;

z The Joint Funding Program under which the government matches dollar-for-dollar the fundraising efforts of local school communities, supporting them to undertake projects of their choosing;

z The Anti-bullying Plan for Schools requires principals, in conjunction with their school communities, to develop strategies which best meet the needs of their students;

z Public schools are now being centrally supported to better promote themselves to their local

communities, including developing a school promotion plan. By the end of this year it is expected that more than 300 schools will have participated in promotion training and many schools have banded together to form networks to undertake joint promotion activities;

z Allowing principals to shape their school's disciplinary code and take the action they believe necessary to maintain the highest standards of conduct.

"The Iemma Government recognises the valuable contributions parents make to public education and strongly believes in involving school communities in as many decision-making responsibilities as possible," said Ms Tebbutt.


z All merit selection panels convened to appoint classroom teachers, executive staff or principals to

NSW public schools must include at least one parent/community representative.

z There are no limits to the number of classroom teacher, executive staff or principals who may be

appointed to a particular school through a merit selection process, provided the Department has met its obligation to teachers whom it has a responsibility to place.

z When an executive staff or principal vacancy occurs, initial consideration is given to permanent staff

that have priority transfer status. Where there is no executive staff or principals with priority transfer status the positions are filled through a merit selection process.

z When a classroom teacher vacancy occurs, initial consideration is given to suitable permanent

teachers who have priority transfer status and meet the school's needs. Where there are no teachers with priority transfer status, vacancies are filled from a mix of experienced teachers seeking transfer, teachers recruited through particular programs and teachers seeking employment.

z When a classroom teacher vacancy is to be filled from the employment list (i.e. teachers which have

just graduated from university or casual teachers seeking permanent employment), principals may choose to form a merit selection panel to interview the top five applicants who match the position.

Page last updated 06 Dec 2006 11:26AM