The Liberal Party’s commitment on a significant investment of additional staff into schools is a welcome commitment to a key part of our Quality Education Plan, the AEU said today.
“Due to our members’ actions, all the political parties – The Greens, Labor, Jacqui Lambie Network and now the Liberals – have committed to additional staff into public education which is an important and welcome step in turning around the severe under-resourcing of our schools,” said Helen Richardson, AEU Tasmanian President.
“We welcome the commitment of 80 additional teacher assistants in prep classes, which will offer much needed classroom support. The commitment to take principals off the staffing allocation is also a positive initiative, freeing up 90 teachers to be allocated to schools according to need.
“The additional teachers and teacher assistants are welcome, but a major concern is the omission of any commitments on additional and desperately needed professional support staff – especially school psychologists and speech therapists.
“Our ACER survey found 87.5% of principals need more specialist staff to deal with student welfare. This needs to be urgently addressed.
“Teachers, principals and support staff are still feeling the effects of the 2014 Liberal State Government cuts to teachers and support staff which cut up to two teachers from every school. They are concerned that it has taken an election to get commitments to additional much needed resources into our schools.
“The Liberal Government has also failed to deliver Gonski funding through the school gate with the recent Productivity Commission Report* revealing that the Hodgman Government cut its budget for education by $21.2 million dollars in 2015-2016.
“Unfortunately, this is a Liberal State Government with a track record of cuts and broken promises on education. They have a big job to do to rebuild trust amongst educators in schools, colleges and TAFE.
“We’ll be seeking further details from The Liberals on their announcement today, specifically about what each school will receive from this policy announcement. We will also be seeking further details from all the other parties to take to our elected Branch Executive meeting this week, who will appraise all the party policies.
“We will work with any future state government to ensure that the additional teachers, support staff and other resources are delivered as quickly as possible into schools and colleges. We will also continue to push for the additional staff that we know are needed.
“We eagerly await more detail around the Liberal Party’s policy on TAFE.”
*See Productivity Commission Report Table 4A.10
Helen Richardson, AEU President, 0408 108 885.
Molly Frankham, AEU Communications, 0437 374 125.