The State Government has slammed the NSW Teachers' Federation for "betraying" the Walgett community by "using" their school as an example of the teacher shortage felt across the state.
Teachers from Walgett Community College High School walked off the job last week, in protest of their less-than-half staffing capacity.
MP Roy Butler has now stepped 'publicly' into the fray, calling on Education Minister Sarah Mitchell to "immediately" commence an investigation into how the school is being managed and the assistance provided by the department.
To use this school to paint the state with a 'staffing crisis' is deliberately misleading and betrays the Walgett community.Education Department spokesperson
He said he'd avoided speaking out about this issue as "I know the effect media attention has had on the mental health and wellbeing of the Walgett community".
An Education Department spokesperson told the Leader they've been "working to fill vacancies", but the Federation shouldn't use the school to "paint the state" with the same brush.
"Walgett is a very particular school with unique challenges that the school community is committed to solving," the spokesperson said.
"To use this school to paint the state with a 'staffing crisis' is deliberately misleading and betrays the Walgett community."
The spokesperson said teacher vacancies are "slightly down" from this time last year, sitting at about 1350, a vacancy rate of 1.8 per cent, "a very low figure given we employ 74,000 teachers".
"We have been working to fill [Walgett School's] vacancies, and placed the Acting Executive Principal at the school at the start of Term 1 this year," the spokesperson said.
Mr Butler has "attempted" to work constructively on the issues that have been raised with him regarding the college.
"I have done this in private with parents, concerned residents and the Minister for Education because I truly want a long term stable future for this school," he said.
"[T]he Walgett community deserves better than the current circumstances. The kids of Walgett deserve better."
The department outlined the 'holistic' approach to getting teachers to Walgett.
The spokesperson said permanent teachers receive a rural teacher incentive of $30,000, a 90 per cent rental subsidy, a 'retention benefit' of $5,000, an 'experienced teacher' bonus of $10,000, a one-off recruitment bonus of $10,000, a 10 week trial placement, four additional professional development days and four additional personal leave days, priority transfer after three years, and Service for Transferred Officers Compensation after three years.
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