Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3333 ..


Questions without notice

Education—teachers

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, a recent survey by the ACT Education Union—the largest survey of its kind in ACT history—found:

Respondents overwhelmingly reported that their school is negatively impacted by a shortage of staff (91%), and that these negative impacts are serious (95%).

… … …

Almost all (98%) of our school leaders who responded to the survey believe staff absences are undermining teachers’ capacity to consistently deliver high quality education. Similarly, almost all (97%) of classroom teachers feel that students are being disadvantaged and their learning outcomes are being compromised by split or modified classes.

It also said:

Almost all (98%) of our school leaders who responded to the survey believe staff absences are undermining teachers’ capacity to consistently deliver high quality education. Similarly, almost all (97%) of classroom teachers feel that students are being disadvantaged and their learning outcomes are being compromised by split or modified classes.

The report concludes:

The staffing shortage has revealed systemic issues for which a superficial solution will not suffice.

Minister, why is there no substantial increase in the full time equivalent positions for registered teachers in the budget to address these systemic issues?

MS BERRY: I thank Mrs Jones for the question. I guess the AEU has highlighted a teacher shortage crisis that the country is experiencing, and of course the ACT is not immune to that. Immediately on receiving a briefing on the survey, the ACT government’s Education Directorate set up a taskforce with the Australian Education Union to investigate and understand why we are experiencing a teaching workforce shortage in the ACT and to understand how we can recruit and encourage more teaching professionals to come and work in the ACT.

Under the ACT budget, the ACT government committed to employ over 400 teachers in this term of government, and once our schools are built we will be able to employ teachers. In the estimates meetings, Mr Hanson asked about the number of teachers short in our schools. The response at the time was that there were 12 vacancies for full-time teacher professional positions, but this year we have seen that an additional 90 teachers and support workers have been funded in the ACT government’s budget.

MRS JONES: I have a supplementary question. Minister, what do you say to teachers who the AEU says are overworked and under-resourced?


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video