School teacher numbers protected as government announces assistance for drought-affected rural communities

Nyngan Central School has been included on a list of schools where teacher numbers will be protected if enrolments decrease. 

The NSW Government announced the support for rural families by listing over 200 public schools in drought-affected rural communities across the state. 

With some areas seeing a decline in student numbers, the schools will be guaranteed their staffing entitlements in 2019. 

Staffing entitlements at the impacted schools next year would have dropped by about 100 across the state without the intervention.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said typically the resourcing formula for schools meant staffing requirements were based on student numbers, with schools that lose students also see a reduction in staff. 

“Our announcement means that isolated school communities severely impacted by the drought will have certainty and be able to continue to support local students and their families,” Mr Stokes said. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the move would also help prevent schools from exhausting their resources and having to recruit more staff once the drought breaks.

“Schools are a vital part of our regional communities and that is why it is so important that the NSW Government can offer this support to those that need it most, and ensure schooling communities throughout regional NSW continue to thrive,” he said.

The list of schools will be regularly reviewed and more schools may be added as a result of changing drought conditions.