Action needed on state’s teacher shortage, school attendance

It’s estimated around 50 classes in Tasmanian state schools go without their regular teacher each day.

This is having a real impact on student attendance, with many students opting not to go to school amid a lack of support.

Tasmania’s teacher shortage has reached boiling point in 2023, as the Rockliff Government fails to deliver the resources and funding our schools need to keep pace with growing student needs.

School attendance is critical for a child to learn, develop social skills and create future opportunities.

But disappointingly, there has been growing reports from within schools this year that some students are choosing not to attend classes because of insufficient teaching resources.

Tasmania’s growing teacher shortage is having a significant impact on student learning with class sizes ballooning alongside student needs.

This is adding mounting pressure on teachers, as they are expected to take on larger roles and responsibilities, impacting their ability to provide quality teaching to each student.

Teacher and staff shortages can result in some students feeling unsafe or uncomfortable in the classroom, a situation that is unacceptable and out of line with the Rockliff Government’s ‘every day matters’ advertising campaign.

The Rockliff Government could fix the state’s teacher shortage if they began funding schools to the national minimum standard.

It’s beyond time the Rockliff Government increased funding to the minimum standard for every school and every child, as well as provide incentives to retain and attract teachers that are competitive with other states.

If funded to the minimum required standard, Tasmania’s public schools could hire 1409 additional teachers, potentially reducing class sizes by up to 6, to provide the individual support that helps children thrive in school.

Such an investment in public Tasmanian schools would reduce class sizes, improve student achievement and create lifelong benefits – for students and society.

David Genford, AEU Tasmania President