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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1943 ..


our ACT public schools. This commitment provides universities with the confidence to enrol more students and provides prospective teachers with the confidence to commit to a career of teaching in the ACT.

The ACT government has also committed to hiring 25 teacher librarians and 25 youth and social workers by the end of the term of government. We know that teacher librarians support literacy in schools by working directly with students, providing specialist advice to teachers, and fostering a love for learning and school communities. To achieve this increase in qualified teacher librarians, we are providing 10 scholarships each year to teachers to complete the required master’s degree. The additional youth and social workers will add to the existing team of wellbeing experts and allied health professionals working across public schools.

The government’s significant investment in school infrastructure will also support approximately 1,200 jobs across the territory, with a strong pipeline of work in the coming years.

DR PATERSON: Minister, why are public schools such a great place to work?

MS BERRY: As we have just been talking about, there is a nation-wide teacher shortage, which is why it is so important to ensure that ACT public schools are great places to work. The ACT government is committed to attracting and nurturing a workforce of teachers who do the important work of educating the next generation. I am proud of ACT public school teachers and of the fact that they are the highest paid in the country, with strong conditions backed by the effectiveness of their union, the ACT branch of the Australian Education Union.

The ACT government is committed to ensuring that government jobs are safe and secure. Since 2019, the government has converted more than 500 public school teachers from temporary to permanent employment, giving those people more certainty in their future. Like the rest of the country, ACT education does face workforce challenges. I am committed to continuing to work with teachers through their union to keep improving the working lives of our teachers and all our school staff.

MR DAVIS: Minister, what does the directorate do when a teacher resigns from teaching because they have self-identified that for them teaching has not been a fulfilling profession?

MS BERRY: I will have to take that question on notice, but as I said in previous answers to questions, the Education Directorate does conduct exit surveys with the teachers who leave our system. Of course, they cannot be compelled—it is not compulsory—but we do our best to understand and ensure that our workplaces are great workplaces, and we work with the Australian Education Union to ensure that they continue to be great workplaces.

Housing ACT—maintenance

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, in answer to a question on notice, you stated that, for houses


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