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Nearly 10,000 lessons a day have been left without teaching staff, with classes across NSW being merged, collapsed or minimally supervised as a result.

The figures were uncovered in a new survey by the NSW Department of Education, with the state’s daily 3000 casual teacher count only 58 per cent of what is required to meet demand.

With more than 9800 lessons a day left uncovered, the numbers suggest that on average NSW requires an additional 2100 extra casual teachers every day, with 87 per cent of public primary and high schools impacted by the shortage.

Education and Early Learning Minister Prue Car said the survey result “lays bare the extent of the crisis”.

“We already knew from listening to teachers and parents that NSW has been facing a teacher shortage crisis leaving huge numbers of students without quality teaching every single day – but the former government told teachers it was a ‘lie’ they had made up,” she said.

“It is vital for a child’s education that they have a qualified teacher in front of them for every lesson, and that is what we’re working towards.”

As a result of the shortages, 40 per cent of primary school lessons required existing staff to merge or collapse classrooms, with 28 per cent of high school lessons going without a teacher and covered by minimal supervision.

Schools in Sydney’s metropolitan south and west, rural north, and rural south and west zones, programs under the Connected Communities strategy for Aboriginal students, and schools for specific purposes were most impacted by the gaps in casual teachers.

NSW Teachers Federation acting president Henry Rajendra said the results were “no surprise” but hoped the recent pay deal, which was slated to come into effect this week, would help attract people to the profession.

“Casual teacher rates have been adjusted upwards, meaning a typical casual teacher will now take home much higher pay than they would have previously,” he said.

“However, more work is needed to address the unmanageable and unsustainable workloads of teachers in order to make the profession attractive once again.

“We will continue to engage with the government on this matter.”

In addition to boost wages, the NSW government has also promised to reduce teacher admin loads and convert more than 16,000 teacher and support staff roles into permanent positions.

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By Rahul

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