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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3334 ..

MS BERRY: I have listened very carefully to the teaching workforce in the ACT—first with the Developing the Future of Education strategy. The Education Directorate has over 5,000 contributions made by teachers, school parents and school students to the development of a strategy to take us forward to provide an equal and fair education for every young person in the ACT. As far as the education union survey goes, we have committed to work with the Australian Education Union and immediately set up a taskforce, on their request, to address these issues.

MR HANSON: A supplementary question. Minister, will you guarantee that no student will be disadvantaged, or their learning outcomes compromised, due to the lack of teachers in the classroom?

MS BERRY: There is not a lack of teachers in the classroom. I disagree with the presumption that has been made by Mr Hanson. Of course there is a crisis with regard to recruiting teachers to the profession. We have 12 vacancies—we have just provided that information to Mr Hanson during the estimates hearings—and we are working very closely with the education union and its members to understand what more we need to do in the ACT to encourage more teachers to work here in the ACT and to join our public education system. But the public education system and all school education systems are not immune from the teacher crisis. It is something that we need to consider carefully, and that is why we have put a taskforce together to undertake careful work to understand what is going on and what we can do better. Remember that in the ACT we are the highest-paying jurisdiction for teaching professionals—

Mr Hanson: Point of order: the question was whether the minister can guarantee that no student learning outcomes will be compromised because of a lack of teachers—the teacher shortage. I ask that she be directly relevant to that question.

MADAM SPEAKER: She is being directly relevant to the question, Mr Hanson. Do you have anything to add, Ms Berry?



MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, according to the Australian Education Union report:

Staffing shortages have a direct impact on the workload of teachers. Almost all (97%) respondents describe their workload as at least a little difficult. More than three quarters (78%) describe their workload as ranging from ‘difficult’ to ‘extremely difficult’.

… … …

Nearly all (97%) said they work more than their maximum weekly hours. This includes working on the weekends, at evenings and during periods of leave or stand down.

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