400 new ‘Admin Angels’ will help NSW teachers cut through red tape

Jarrod Brown
Jarrod Brown

Hundreds of support staff are coming to the aid of NSW public schools as part of the Minns Government’s commitment to ease the administrative burden on teachers and reduce burnout.

From Term 3 onwards, an additional 284 public schools can employ the equivalent of 400 full-time extra administration staff, or offer increased hours to existing staff to relieve the bureaucratic burden on teachers.

Encouraging teacher retention

The announcement was made on Thursday, 18 May, at a stakeholder roundtable. NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car aims to address the urgent challenges facing public education that are leading teachers to ditch the profession.

Minister Car said in an accompanying press release that “teachers signed up to teach our children not to fill out paperwork. More time to teach frees up teachers to focus on better outcomes in the classroom.”

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Promising more dedicated support staff for NSW teachers and students daily, Minister Car also said, “The schools administration and support staff are often the friendly face you see first when you visit a school,” says Car. “Now we will be seeing more of them supporting our teachers.” 

Unprecedented investment

Stewart Little, General Secretary of the Public Service Association, an organisation representing staff who assist teachers in NSW state’s schools, says the Minns Government and Education Minister Prue Car should be congratulated on such an unprecedented investment in the education of the children of NSW.

With teachers reportedly spending at least five hours a week on administrative tasks, Mr Little told EducationDaily that these additional support workers would be sent to schools that need them most. 

“While we will introduce staff to assist principals, teachers and students with disabilities, this initial announcement is about reducing the admin of those teachers at schools where there are critical teacher shortages,” said Mr Little. “The announcement today is for additional jobs, targeting those schools desperately in need.”

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With a mission to lighten workloads, these administration staff will be helping teachers in several ways, including:

  • Preparing excursions, liaising with bus companies and their drivers, and organising permission slips
  • Inputting student performance data into spreadsheets
  • Managing parental payments
  • Updating newsletters, social media, and school apps and texting parents about events
  • Filling out health plans for students
  • Lesson timetabling

This will come as a much-needed relief for Australia’s overworked educators, as a 2022 survey by Monash University found that 86.1 per cent of Australian teachers found their administerial workload “unmanageable”.

The new jobs will join the 203 administration roles already in 128 schools as part of the School Administration Improvement Program since term three last year.

Addressing workload challenges is only one of four focus areas of a new statement of intent agreed to by the NSW Teachers’ Federation, Public Service Association, and other key stakeholders.

A brighter future for NSW teachers

Looking to the future, Mr Little told The Bursar that the new government is committed to fulfilling its obligations to NSW schools, promising to offer continuing support for teachers in the coming years. 

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“What we are seeing with the new government is a commitment to converting over 6000 insecure workers – temporary employers – into being made permanent,” says Mr Little. “That means if you are a support worker and have been with a school for over three years part-time, you will be made permanent.”

The Administration Improvement Program is part of a broader suite of initiatives the Minns Government is introducing in NSW schools. The expansion of the program, to around 20 per cent of all public schools, will help identify the best way to scale up the program for implementation across all 2200 schools in 2024. 

 

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. Jarrod established his journalism career working on the education news and information site The Bursar. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.