Let teachers teach — Call to reduce paperwork

May 07, 2018

Federation is seeking a meeting with NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes to call for a review of administrative and paperwork requirements, plus more direct support from the Department to schools in relation to student learning needs.

Mr Stokes will be presented with data showing 97 per cent of teachers, executives and principals report their administrative duties have increased over the past five years.

Deputy President Joan Lemaire says teachers are spending so much time collecting and reporting data that they have to work even longer hours to ensure they support the learning needs of children in their classes.

“Our schools want to focus all their attention on supporting students to achieve their best. The Department must reduce demands for paperwork, data collection and filling in forms and let teachers teach.”

Ms Lemaire explains the increase in administrative and compliance demands are directly related to implementation of the Education Department’s Local Schools, Local Decisions policy.

“Our schools have been implementing major curriculum changes since 2014. This work has been made more difficult by the Department introducing a range of new policies, procedures, initiatives and administrative tasks with only a short time frame for implementation.

“Between 2012 and 2015, the Department cut approximately 700 education support staff who would have helped teachers and principals meet these requirements.”

Federation will inform the Minister about research being conducted by the University of Sydney and Curtin University, commissioned by Federation. Other initial findings include:

  • approximately 95 per cent say their work is more complex and they undertake a wider range of activities
  • 87 per cent report an increase in working hours
  • 40 per cent of teachers report a decrease in support for student welfare
  • 50 per cent of principals report a decrease in support for curriculum, policy implementation and student welfare.

Mr Stokes can expect further invitations to discuss teacher workload, as more research findings are published in the coming months. There will be another report in June and the final report will be prepared in time for Annual Conference in July.

Federation once again thanks the more than 18,000 members who completed the survey in term 1, which has provided the union with a strong evidence base to campaign on the issue of workload.

Federation’s media release
University of Sydney’s media release
Sydney Morning Herald: Teachers’ core job swamped by paperwork