Alternative Supervision Arrangements Survey fact sheet

This fact sheet was originally published 23 October 2023.


About the survey

The department surveyed schools daily between 14 August – 1 September 2023 (Term 3 Weeks 5 to 7). Each day, schools were asked to submit the number of casual teachers they required and the number of casual teachers engaged that day. Where there was a shortfall of casual teachers, schools were asked to record the alternative supervision strategies used to ensure duty of care requirements were met.

The survey provides a measure of the casual teacher shortfall across all NSW public schools. A shortfall exists where the number of casual teachers engaged is less than the total number required to cover all classes. The survey also provides insights into the alternative arrangements used by schools.

Key findings

  • NSW public schools had an average casual teacher shortfall of 42% per day across the survey window. This ranged from 38.8% to 44.4% on individual days.
  • This equates to an average gap of 3,184 casual teachers each day. This ranged from 2,798 to 3,574 on individual days during the survey window.
  • These staffing challenges were widespread, with 87% of all public schools reporting a shortage of casual teachers during the survey window.
  • Casual supply challenges and impacts were greatest in Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs), with a 68% casual teacher shortfall. Primary (41%) and secondary (40%) schools had similar average casual shortfalls.

Some geographic areas and individual schools were more greatly affected by casual teacher shortfalls, and experienced greater lesson disruption, including at twice or three times the state average.


  • Educational data
  • Statistical

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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