PRINCIPALS are being set up to fail by the proposed changed to the education system, Parramatta organiser for the Teachers Federation Thor Bougatsas says.
This concern will be among the topics at a community forum organised by the federation in Baulkham Hills next week.
Mr Bougatsas said Blaxcell Street Public School at Granville was one of 47 schools to trial the Department of Education and Communities program designed to give principals more autonomy.
"Under the trial the school received extra funding as a sweetener to ensure structural change can happen, but our concern is that the budget will be retreated [from all schools] after the trial and the result will be larger class sizes and less permanent positions for teachers," he said.
In its evaluation of the trial, the education department revealed 171 permanent teacher positions were filled by casuals — an average of 3.6 a school.
"No permanent positions were lost under the trial," a department spokesman said.
"Some schools taking part in the trial filled vacant positions with temporary teachers for a variety of reasons, determined by the school, with some of these to support specific programs for specific lengths of time.
"As this was a trial, any changes to positions were by necessity regarded as temporary."
The trial has now been rolled into the Empowering Local Schools Program and expanded to include 228 schools.
"Under this [scheme], all the executive positions are up for grabs, so you might end up with no heads [of departments] but teachers filling their roles," Hills Teachers Association president and Model Farms High School teacher Martin Neville said. A department spokesman said this was not the case.
"Teachers, executive and principals who are in permanent positions will retain tenure."
Mr Neville said the proposed changes would result in fewer curriculum choices for students.
"In the past, curriculum choice was based on student need and numbers, not the availability of staff and funding," he said.
He said the only thing that bound the government legally to the current student-to-staff ratios was the staffing agreement, which expired at the end of this school term.