Park slams lack of teachers

Keira MP Ryan Park said the NSW government has failed to deliver on its election promise of increased teacher numbers. The NSW government has failed to deliver on an election promise to provide 60 extra literacy and numeracy teachers at Illawarra schools, Keira MP Ryan Park has said.

During last year’s election, Premier Barry O’Farrell pledged he would appoint 900 new teachers over five years to improve reading, writing and maths skills at underperforming schools across the state.

Two hundred teachers were due to be appointed by the end of this year, but Mr Park said Education Minister Adrian Piccoli would not reveal when these teachers would be in Illawarra schools or to which schools they would be allocated.

‘‘I don’t know of any schools in the Illawarra who have got one of these teachers and I have asked in Parliament for a list, but the minister has refused to give me one,’’ he said.

However, Mr Piccoli said the government had invested $24million to target literacy and numeracy at government and non-government schools and would deliver on its commitment.

‘‘All education sectors have submitted implementation plans and are on track to meet the government’s commitment,’’ he said.

‘‘In public schools, through the Early Action for Success strategy, 50 high quality instructional leaders providing hands-on support form part of the 200 additional full-time equivalent teacher commitment for 2012.’’

He said the first 17 of these instructional leaders had been appointed and a Department of Education spokeswoman said two had been allocated to Illawarra schools – Warilla North Public and Warrawong Public schools.

However, Mr Park said these figures raised doubt over the government’s ability to deliver on its commitment by the end of 2012.

‘‘I’m furious that this government has let the community down with another failed promise,’’ he said.

‘‘They made a clear commitment that there would be 60 of these teachers across the Illawarra and to date they have failed to identify where they are going, when they will be going there and when the complete roll-out of 60 will be in place,’’ Mr Park said.

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