To help cope with the crisis of the drought, The NSW Department of Education has agreed to suspend forced teacher transfers in parts of the state affected by the dry.
The aim is to help support schools and the community cope with the impacts of the drier weather.
NSW Teachers Federation senior vice president Henry Rajendra said public schools in rural and remote communities across NSW are suffering the consequences of the drought.
He said the likelihood of declining student enrolments in such areas would result in a reduction in staffing entitlements and would usually trigger teacher transfers.
“At a time of high levels of student distress due to drought, now is not the time to remove teachers from our public schools,” Mr Rajendra said.
“We need schools to be fully staffed so teachers can provide support for students and their families as they face the difficulties of drought.”
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Mr Rajendra said teachers from rural and regional areas had sought a moratorium on forced transfers to ensure drought affected schools could properly cope with the crisis and the NSW Department of Education had agreed.
“This will ensure drought affected schools have the resilience to cope with the current crisis and not face additional staffing shortages when the drought breaks,” he said.
The NSW Teachers Federation will be working with the Department to identify affected schools and areas.
“Students and their families in rural areas are undergoing a very stressful time because of the drought,” Mr Rajendra said.
“Teachers and schools play an important role in supporting children to cope with these difficulties.
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“It would have made no sense to reduce the numbers of teachers in rural areas at a time when they are most needed.”
Mr Rajendra said counselling services were also desperately needed in such communities.
The NSW Teachers Federation will continue to pursue with the State Government and Department of Education extra counselling services for drought-affected rural and remote schools.