Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 June 2022) . . Page.. 1502 ..
What is that shortfall? How many teachers have left the system? How many have been recruited? This is pretty basic information that I think we need to know. As the AEU said:
It is a mystery to the AEU as to why we do not have projections for what numbers of staff we need, the teaching staff we need and in what specialisations we need them.
This motion calls on the government to provide that. We agree with the AEU that that is information that should be provided.
In part, this motion calls for some information that the government needs to have, in order to do the next step which I am calling for, which is to develop a plan. If you do not know how many teachers you need in the longer term, and in what classifications and so on, you will not be able to develop a plan to recruit and retain. That is what I am calling for—a clear plan, with costings and delivery dates, to recruit and retain the teachers to address the crisis in teachers in the ACT, and to provide that to the Assembly by the first sitting of 2023.
I hope that that is not actually controversial. Hopefully, that is something that we would all support here. It seems reasonable that the government should have such a plan and provide assurance not just to us but to teachers and to parents, who are on the front line and who are currently looking to this government to provide some sort of leadership and a way out of this crisis that they have created.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (3.17): I move the following amendment to Mr Hanson’s motion:
Omit paragraph (1), substitute:
“(1) notes that:
(a) for several years, critical staff shortages in the ACT school system have been noted by teachers, parents and the Australian Education Union;
(b) in the 2020 election, ACT Labor committed to hire 400 new teachers and school staff for ACT public schools;
(c) the Productivity Commission Report on Government Services shows that ACT public schools are the best funded in the country, with the exception of the Northern Territory;
(d) recent incidents of violence, bullying and assault, which have led to notices from Worksafe Act, have been reported as being ‘a direct result of the teacher shortage’; and
(e) the ACT Government routinely reports on staffing in public schools; and”.
Rather than going along with all of the negativity and talking down of our public schools, which Mr Hanson has made a habit of since he has been the spokesperson for