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Parents Could Be Brought Into Aussie Schools To Address Teacher Supply Shortage

Stewart Perrie

Published 

Parents Could Be Brought Into Aussie Schools To Address Teacher Supply Shortage

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Parents are being considered as an option to address a teacher shortage in New South Wales.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen tens of thousands of people forced into isolation after contracting Covid-19 or being declared a close contact.

It's led to staffing shortages in many industries, including education, and the state government is looking at ways to ensure kids can keep learning.

One of those methods is sending mums and dads into the classroom to watch over students as they study.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

They won't be leading any lessons but could be used to keep classes orderly while a teacher runs lessons remotely from their home via Zoom.

The Association of Independent Schools of NSW chief executive Dr Jeff Newcomb said they're looking at all options.

"Even we could have parents in schools under a supervisory role where the teacher might be at home doing an online lesson if they have to isolate," he said.

"Like we're not going to put an unqualified person in front of a class to teach maths. But I think we can use a cross section of people to assist if this gets to the crisis stage."

Imagine rocking up to school and having your mum or dad shushing everyone. At least it would be the only time you call the teacher mum and not cringe.

Dr Newcomb added to the ABC that they've warned the state government they'll need to be prepared for huge staff supply shortages.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"They're anticipating anywhere between 15 to 20 per cent staff shortages. We would support, you know, retired teachers or new graduates who have their qualifications, getting accreditation, so they can assist," he said.

He also mentioned how some schools have been earmarked to host vaccination clinics to ensure as many kids can get the jab without travelling too far from their classes.

Plans are still vague about how New South Wales schools will be able cope amid the Omicron wave.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports principals have been told they could hold high-risk activities like school excursions 'if they did their own risk assessments and COVID-safe plans, and ensured parents could make an informed decision about their child's participation'.

It's expected the NSW Education Department will submit their plans to the National Cabinet meeting later this week.

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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