THE Education Department is preparing to send in emergency strike breakers, including backpackers, after NSW teachers decided to ignore an Industrial Relations Commission order to lift their ban on supervising national literacy and numeracy tests.Schools in inner Sydney and the north shore will be hit the hardest, warned the NSW Director-General of Education, Michael Coutts-Trotter. One in five schools in those areas could be left without teaching cover.Principals or teachers who obstructed the tests faced disciplinary action, including the sack, he said.Recruitment agencies have put out a call to ”anyone”, including backpackers with working holiday visas, to supervise the NAPLAN tests for an hourly rate of $19.11 for about five hours a day.Applicants for the 2000 jobs would need to pass a police check which can take up to six days to process.Invitations to help supervise the tests have also been sent to 8000 School Certificate and Higher School Certificate markers.”The phone has been running hot,” Mr Coutts-Trotter said.The department said it had received 2500 positive responses to a text message sent to casual teachers asking them to also help supervise the tests on May 11, 12 and 13.Mr Coutts-Trotter told the Herald he was confident that 85 per cent of schools in the state would deliver the NAPLAN tests with either their own or outside staff.NSW has up to $1 billion in government funding tied to the national test data, which will be used to guide how money is distributed to the most disadvantaged schools. A reward payment of $94 million is at risk if the state government fails to deliver test results for all schools.Principals and teachers who actively tried to sabotage the tests would be subject to disciplinary action, including sacking in the most serious cases.Mr Coutts-Trotter said he would contact school principals to ensure they understood their professional responsibilities as public servants.”The question to school leaders is will you meet your responsibilities under the Teaching Services Act. It would be a very serious breach of professional and moral responsibility if you were to actively obstruct a child getting the assessment. Some people could react in a way that could trigger disciplinary action,” he said.”It is extremely unlikely [any teacher would be sacked] given what I know of their professionalism.”The department would next week identify alternative test sites for children from schools that refused to deliver them.Mr Coutts-Trotter said it was ”outrageous” that the NSW Teachers Federation had resorted to ”intimidation” on its website which urges casual teachers to reject the department’s offer to supervise the tests.”You should be aware that if you accept the [department’s] offer, you may quickly find yourself in a hostile environment,” the site says.The president of the Teachers Federation, Bob Lipscombe, said the federation ”remains committed to the national moratorium on NAPLAN 2010”, despite a contrary order by the Industrial Relations Commission yesterday. He described plans to recruit backpackers as ”disgraceful” and ”desperation on the part of the department”.The national teacher ban on NAPLAN tests is a protest against the use of results to rank schools on the federal government’s My School website. The site has been used to create league tables.”Teachers will only support NAPLAN when the government takes action to protect students from damaging league tables,” Mr Lipscombe said.The NSW Education Minister, Verity Firth, said: ”We are absolutely determined to do everything we can to make sure these tests proceed. It is not fair that only public schools will miss out.”