We start term three under some staffing duress. A number of secondary teachers have either picked up positions at schools closer to home, promoted externally, or have had to resign due to personal reasons. Compounding this is the first week of our new timetabler. This has resulted in a disorganized start for our secondary staff and students, as the timetable was unable to be completed due to the complexity of the school. That complexity is sheer size. I will be considering options to address this as a future issue, however, this is obviously a ‘shutting the barn door’ exercise.
The supported program is also beginning the term in staffing difficulty due to significant staff absence because of Covid/flu, either staff who are personally unwell or family members requiring staff to stay home for care purposes or be in isolation.
The primary program is today operating with no more than the normal range of absences and difficulties. Obviously, this situation can change with a few unwell staff.
A number of short term arrangements have been put in place for this week in secondary and supported to manage the situation. This will come at the expense of staff accessing noncontact time, clear timetables and the usual range of supports. A number of programs will be cancelled, however, supervision will be maintained for all students. Some requests may be made in the near future for secondary students to remain home where they can, but I hope this does not eventuate.
Sector leaders, Secondary – Renee Liprino, Supported – Francesca Ahearn, and Primary – Michael Lanyon, will work with me and communicate to parents about sector arrangements to manage staffing issues.
The staffing issues we are experiencing are statewide, but possibly exacerbated by our staffing profile which draws heavily on the Geelong and Ballarat regions, (Deakin and Federation University). This means we have teachers who are looking to move closer to their living area and the statewide shortage of teachers makes positions at schools that previously were very hard to pick up, much more accessible. Additionally, the supply of teachers has been seriously undermined during the COVID restrictions, and the changes to work after two years of lockdown, and personal situations has resulted in a substantial number of staff opting to resign.
I apologise for the issues that have been a result of school organisation, but I believe that these are outside the control of the school. And I also thank all in advance for their cooperation assistance and over the next period.
Manor Lakes P12 College
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