Number one tax on teachers' time solved

New resources to support high-quality lesson planning will transform education in NSW.

Image: NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell at Cammeray Public School with Year 6 students (from left) Mimi Woodhouse, Harriet Barnett and Tyler Hogan and principal Kerry McConaghy and Aboriginal artist Bibi Barba.

In an Australian-first initiative, NSW teachers will have access to a full suite of high-quality, sequenced curriculum resources to assist with lesson planning – the number one concern reported by teachers in a national study.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the new resources would have a revolutionary impact on teacher workload.

“Teachers have told us how much they love their profession but the number one tax on their time is finding or producing high-quality teaching resources,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We want to ease that workload by providing online access to universally available learning curriculum materials they can draw from to free up lesson planning time each week.

“This will be further supported by more than 200 new administration and support staff in schools from Term 4, to allow our teachers to focus on what they love – teaching.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the new resources will transform education in NSW.

“This is a game-changer for teachers in NSW,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Teachers have told us that finding or making high-quality resources that align with the curriculum is the number one tax on their time.

“We’ve listened closely to our teaching staff, developing online, high-quality, centralised, universally available learning materials they can draw on.”

Ms Mitchell also said the new universally available resources would lift student outcomes across the board.

“This is not about taking the creativity out of teaching – that’s what our teachers do best. It’s about providing teachers with a basic recipe for student success, while allowing them to contextualise how they use the ingredients to get the best outcomes for their students,” Ms Mitchell said.

Feedback from more than 4,000 submissions to a review of teacher workload identified the need for universal curriculum resources.

These findings are supported by a recent national study by the Grattan Institute. Its research found that centralised resources could save teachers an average of three hours per week – with 86 per cent of teachers across Australia reporting they ‘always’ or ‘frequently’ do not have enough time for high-quality lesson planning.

A competitive tender process is currently under way for qualified organisations to partner with the NSW Department of Education in developing the new quality-assured online curriculum content, which will begin rolling out from Term 4 2022.

The NSW Department of Education’s Quality Time mid-year update found that despite COVID-related disruptions, the NSW Government had exceeded its target to reduce the time principals and school-based, non-teaching staff spend on low-value administrative tasks by 20 per cent, and is on track to meet this target for teachers by the end of 2022.

The Quality Time mid-year update can be found on the education website.

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