Stokes gets daily mail on shortage

September 22, 2018

Education Minister Rob Stokes is now hearing on a daily basis — school-by-school — the effect of the casual teacher shortage.

In light of the Department’s inaction to address the shortage, Federation developed an online proforma to inform the Education Minister of the extent of the problem.

Federation Representatives have been asked to hold a Federation meeting seeking a decision from members to use the proforma, and then inform the principal of the meeting’s decision.

Then, having set up a process for collating the number of classes affected, Federation advises representatives to visit Fed Reps Online and complete the proforma for each day their school experiences a casual teacher shortage.

By doing this, the Education Minister, Secretary, relevant officers of the Department and politicians will be informed of the effect the casual teacher shortage is having on students.

The digital proforma is easy to use to report the number of classes not covered at a school and list the programs that were not able to run that day.

Reporting every day that there is an absence/s not covered by casual relief, which results in classes being split or programs being collapsed, will assist campaigning for the provision of permanent, fully funded, in-built relief teachers in schools.

Since 2001 there have been various campaign actions to alleviate the issue of casual teacher shortages in schools and the associated impact these shortages have on teaching and learning conditions.

Local Associations and individual high schools have provided information to Federation and a succession of education ministers to inform them of their school’s inability to engage casual teachers to undertake short-term absences.

In September 2016, teachers across metropolitan, rural and remote areas provided a list of 213 schools to the Department that were experiencing difficulties in accessing casual teachers.

Federation Officers have continued to meet with the Department requesting its data on casual teacher shortages seeking ongoing solutions. However, the Department has not provided a resolution to the issue.

Federation remains committed to ensuring schools are able to support teachers and student learning through the provision of relief teachers to ensure that teaching and learning programs can be implemented.

Teachers must continue to be able to access their entitlements as well as undertake professional learning in line with the requirements of the Performance and Development Framework.

Julie Moon is a City Organiser and Officer responsible for casual and temporary teachers

Brett Bertalli is a Country Organiser