The Greens have called on the nation’s education ministers to tackle the root causes of the teacher shortage crisis, after today’s roundtable failed to produce a credible plan for real reform.
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“It’s great that teachers had a seat at the table at today’s Education Ministers Meeting. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that the ministers were really paying attention.
“Despite listening to stories of 65-hour work weeks and crippling workloads, we heard almost nothing about that in the media conference that followed the meeting. Instead, the conversation turned quickly to recruitment and training.
“If you want to stop the exodus of teachers from the profession and attract more people into it, governments have to address pay and conditions.
“To tackle teacher workloads, the system needs to be resourced properly. Right now, nearly every public school in the country is receiving less than 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard, which is the minimum funding level required for students to achieve the minimum standard.
“Meanwhile, funding to private schools has increased at five times the rate of funding to public schools, and Australia has one of the greatest education funding inequality gaps in the OECD. This needs to be reversed.
“Similarly teacher salaries have gone backwards when compared to other professions over the last 30 years. Creating higher pay points for a select few won’t address this problem. We need a competitive pay structure for the profession as a whole.
“Frustratingly, none of this is new. Teachers and their unions have been raising these issues for over a decade.
“The December roadmap must include strategies to immediately address under-resourcing of schools and pay and conditions for all teachers. Otherwise it’s still just talk.”