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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3341 ..


DR PATERSON: I have a supplementary question. Minister, can you talk to what new schools these 400 teachers will be working in?

MS BERRY: There are a number of schools being built across the ACT. We have the new high school at Denman Prospect, which will start operation next year. There will be a new school at Throsby, an expanded primary school in Taylor and a new high school in Kenny, as well as a school being planned for Strathnairn, out in West Belconnen at Ginninderry. So a number of schools—as I said, one every year—making sure that all our students have a place and a great education at their local public schools.

Education—relief teachers

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, according to the survey of ACT educators, a major problem exists with relief staff. It reports teachers as saying:

‘We really need to treat relief staff with the value and respect they deserve as they are actually fully-fledged teachers in their own right.’

And:

‘The school I am employed at has stated that we do not have a budget to pay for relief staff …

Minister, will your recent supplementation for relief teachers be enough to meet the urgent need?

MS BERRY: Yes, absolutely. As a response to the Australian Education Union survey of the teaching workforce in the ACT, the Education Directorate immediately took over the role of providing relief and casual teaching staff to our public schools. One of the issues that had been raised by the Education Union’s membership was that that work of identifying a relief or casual teacher to work in a school was taking up some significant amount of time in administration. The Education Directorate has immediately taken over that work, and it is one of the things that the task force will be considering through its work with the AEU.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, how is the new funding being allocated to each school?

MS BERRY: Each school is funded to provide relief staff.

DR PATERSON: Minister, can you outline further what this task force will look into?

MS BERRY: I thank Dr Paterson for her supplementary. As I said, the task force has already had a couple of meetings to try and understand the complexities around the recruitment of teachers and retaining of teachers in our teaching profession in the ACT. I should say that the teacher shortage across the country suggests that teaching professionals leave the career of teaching within five years; in the ACT it is around


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