Teachers have been facing unacceptably high levels of violence for years and deserve an urgent budget response from the government to deliver more professional support staff, according to their union, the AEU.

“The Australian Education Union has been demanding more professional support staff such as psychologists and social workers in schools in response to high levels of violence that we have faced for years now,” said Helen Richardson, President of the Australian Education Union Tasmanian Branch.

Professional staff are qualified and focused on targeted support for students who have experienced violence and trauma, which reduces the likelihood that they come to perpetrate violence on others.

“Tasmanian students arrive at school with the highest rates of disadvantage in the country, yet the government has failed to put the additional support in place to turn this disadvantage around and improve safety in the workplace for teachers and principals.”

“Year after year we submit to the government that more professional support staff are required in schools to support students with disadvantage, assist with behaviour management strategies and improve workplace safety, but in response governments have cut funding to education.”

“Violence is unacceptable and has no place in any workplace, particularly schools. It’s another part of the challenges teachers face every day and it’s time the government listened and backed a response with genuine funding for measures that benefit students and staff.”

“The government has our budget submission, but we also look forward to sitting down with the Minister and Department to discuss in more detail the solutions teachers are demanding to make their workplace safer.”