Support for rural communities was extended to local families on Monday when the NSW Government confirmed that falling school enrollments in drought-affected areas would not impact teacher numbers at their local public schools.
With drought forcing families to relocate away from Northern Tablelands, there was a decline in student numbers at some smaller rural schools.
Local MP Adam Marshall said 22 schools in our region received this guarantee for continued teacher employment.
The last thing our communities need right now is to lose valuable local jobs.Adam Marshall
“I'm very well aware of how tough the drought has been on families and communities across the Northern Tablelands and pleased to see this decision made to help ease its impact."
Mr Marshall said NSW public school staffing requirements were based on student numbers, so schools that lost students would typically have had a reduction in staff.
“However, this decision means that isolated school communities severely impacted by the drought will have certainty and be able to continue to support local students and their families,” he said.
“This will also help prevent schools from exhausting their resources and having to recruit more staff once the drought breaks.
“Schools are a vital part of our country communities and that is why it is so important that the NSW Government can offer this support to those that need it most, and ensure schooling communities throughout rural and regional NSW continue to thrive.”
Mr Marshall said staffing entitlements at the impacted schools next year would have resulted in about 100 job losses across country NSW without this important intervention.
More than 220 schools in isolated areas suffering from intense drought conditions across NSW have been guaranteed their staffing entitlements this year, with a further 35 schools on the border of drought-affected areas also able to apply for the concession.