Feeds

NSW may fire 610 school tech support officers in March

Jobs in peril if digital education revolution funding not renewed

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The New South Wales Department of Education and Communities has written to staff, advising them that 610 Technical Support Officers (TSOs) in the State's schools may lose their jobs in March if the federal Digital Education Revolution program is not offered renewed funding.

The Reg has obtained an email sent by Greg Prior, the State's deputy director-general for schools, that outlines the situation as follows.

"You may have noticed in recent media reports that the NSW Government has not received the 2012/13 funding from the Commonwealth Government under the Digital Education Revolution National Partnership. If the Commonwealth Government fails to provide the promised funding the impact for NSW government schools will be significant.

Based on the Commonwealth Government funding commitment, the Department was able to extend the temporary appointment contracts of Technology Support Officers who support schools with the DER program up until the end of 2013. If the Commonwealth Government does not honour the National Partnership Agreement, the Department will be denied the funding to continue the contracts of the Technology Support Officers beyond the end of March 2013.

The Department has confirmed that the email is authentic and was sent from Prior's office.

The Digital Education Revolution was a key Australian Labor Party policy at the 2007 election, when its promise of a free laptop for every senior secondary student was used to establish its credential as a forward-thinking alternative government. The eventual package included funding for the laptops, curriculum development and for assistants to maintain the laptop fleet and assist teachers.

But funding for the program runs out this year and the Federal Government is yet to indicate if it will be renewed.

Prior's email can therefore be understood as representing the fiscal reality of the situation, as NSW is unsure of whether it will be able to pay its TSOs.

Complicating matters is that the Federal Budget, the most sensible moment at which the national government would announce new funding, is in May. By letting it be known that TSOs will be let go in March, NSW places pressure on the feds to hurry up and announce funding, or risk the program falling into disrepair in an interregnum between TSOs being despatched and funding resuming. Such an outcome would play badly for the national government, which could be criticised for wastefully orphaning a program it once touted as critical to national development.

Prior's letter will not please the 610 TSOs, who already enjoy poor job security thanks to contracts The Reg understands run from late January to December, leaving workers unemployed over the Christmas period. Teachers are, of course, paid for the school holiday period. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.