Alarm at shortage of relief teachers in Tasmania’s city and rural schools

SUE BAILEY, Sunday Tasmanian

TASMANIAN schools are struggling to get relief teachers and students’ learning will suffer, the teachers’ union says.

The Australian Education Union’s Tasmanian president David Genford said there was a relief teacher shortage in both city and rural schools and colleges.

He said he had recently visited schools across the state and the lack of relief teachers and disability funding were the two biggest areas of concern.

“I think Covid has played a part because before the pandemic a teacher who was unwell might go to school but now they do the right thing and stay home,” Mr Genford said.

“University students also stopped being available and after we had the lockdown, older relief teachers decided teaching wasn’t worth the risk.”

Mr Genford said it was important to attract more people to the teaching profession.

“It is difficult to solve the lack of teachers in the short term but we need to encourage more people to the profession and we need to reduce workloads for teachers.

“At the end of the year Tasmanian teachers will be the lowest paid in the country and our young teachers will want to move interstate for better experiences and lower cost of living.”

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