NSW Teachers Federation says administration tasks are taking up too much time

ADMINISTRATION and red tape demands are weighing on teachers who would rather be spending their time in the classroom with students, according to their union. 

The NSW Teachers Federation recently commissioned a survey of more than 18,000 teachers and principals in the state, finding 97 per cent of respondents believed their administration duties had increased. 

Teachers believe the increase in duties such as administrative tasks, record keeping, data collection and other paper work directly correlate to the introduction of the Local Schools, Local Decisions initiative in 2012. 

NSW Teachers Federation union representative at Leeton High School, Luke Di Salvia, said the extra burden was weighing on teachers. 

“These administration tasks are certainly increasing and it’s taking teachers away from what they really should be doing,” he said. 

“To get everything done teachers are having to work late, during the school holidays and they are taking work home with them. 

“It eats into the time they should be doing things like lesson planning, so instead they are having to work longer just to get it all done.”

The survey found 95 per cent of teachers and principals found there work was now more complex as they have to undertake a wider range of activities and 87 per cent were working longer hours. 

Forty per cent of teachers believe there has been a decrease in support for student welfare and 50 per cent of principals believed there was a decrease in support for curriculum. 

“It’s not that teachers weren’t doing this before, but there is a lot more keeping of records on everything and more ‘dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s,” Mr Di Salvia said. 

“Teachers were already doing this, but it’s at a much deeper level that takes up a lot of time.”

Mr Di Salvia believes one solution would be bringing back more staff to district education offices such as the one in Griffith, which would help relieve the administration work on teachers.

“The big concern many teachers have is this extra admin work or tasks isn’t helping the students to achieve their best,” he said. 

Teachers in regional areas are also having to pitch in to cover their colleagues when they are on excursions or on leave as there aren’t as many casual teachers to call on in rural areas as there once was. 

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