Stop work at Kyogle High

Staff at Kyogle High School held a stop work meeting on Tuesday morning to demonstrate their concerns about being included in a pilot program designed to give principals more control over staffing.

Kyogle High teacher Lindy Ruangsri said they were concerned that the pilot was the start of devolving staff selection to local principals and abolishing teaching positions.

“It undermines our state-wide staffing system that we have fought so hard to keep,” she said.

47 schools around the state are taking part in the pilot, but Ms Ruangsri said a clear majority of teachers at Kyogle had made their opinion clear in not wanting to be a part of it and are angry that principal Janine Silcock ignored their wishes.

North Coast organiser for the Teachers Federation, Nicole Major, said there had already been a case where a specialist teacher/librarian had been replaced by a part-time clerical assistant and a temporary teacher at Loftus Public School in Sydney.

“If principals want more budgetary controls in local schools we are willing to talk about that if it is around administration and maintenance, but we’re not prepared to have teaching positions filled with para-professionals or admin staff,” Ms Major said. “We will continue to oppose the action the principal has taken – we will continue to discuss it with the P&C, the office staff and teachers aides, and if they are fully informed, they may want to see the school removed from the trial.”

But Sven Wright, a spokesperson for the Department of Education and Training said the P&C had voted unanimously to take part in the program, as did the school’s support and administrative staff.

“The outcome of the extensive consultation means the school has an obligation to continue its participation... Taking part in the trial gives the Kyogle High School community an opportunity to see if more local decision-making can benefit the students,” Mr Wright said.


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