15 December 2016
Greens Education spokesperson Tamara Smith, MP, is asking what is happening to teachers in the workplace after concerns were raised in the NSW Auditor-General’s latest report.
“The report shows a massive increase in workers’ compensation claims, particularly psychological injuries. What is happening to our teachers and other education staff? The onus is on the Department of Education and Communities to address this systemic issue,” said Ms Smith.
The total number of claims relating to psychological injuries has increased by 32.5 per cent, from 467 in 2014–15 to 619 in 2015–16.
"The Department of Education should be addressing this disturbing rise in psychological injury and consider the effectiveness of its workplace health and safety policies,” said Ms Smith.
“Another finding by the Auditor-General is that the number of students enrolled in NSW public schools has increased by over 26,438 during the past five years taking total enrolments in 2015 to 771,978. The ten year growth rate is 11.4 per cent.”
“This is great news for public education but our students and teachers need significant government investment in school infrastructure – both building new schools and maintaining and upgrading current schools – to keep pace with this growth,” said Ms Smith.
“The needs-based funding model devised in the Gonski Report is universally acknowledged as the way forward. Choice in this State needs to be between adequately resourced Public Schools and other school systems.”
“The status quo is often a choice between chronically underfunded Public Schools and over funded private schools,” said Ms Smith.