It’s no better Down Under…

Pressures forcing teachers to quit Queensland schools, reads the Sunday Mail.


“CLASSROOM sizes and behaviour-management issues are driving teachers out of the workforce.

Almost three quarters of Queensland teachers say it is difficult to retain staff because morale is so low.

Teachers and parents are compensating for a lack of government funds by working longer hours and fundraising for school essentials, the State of our Schools survey by the Australian Education Union released exclusively to The Sunday Mail reveals.

Last year, parents and teachers dug deep raising $15 million through fetes, uniform sales and voluntary contributions, with funds going towards classroom essentials and new facilities.

More than 60 per cent of Queensland respondents said this fundraising was ”very important” in keeping the school running, with most of the money going to fund classroom equipment, library resources and sporting goods.

Other results include 44 per cent of Queensland teachers saying student outcomes would improve with smaller class sizes, 18 per cent calling for more support for students with disabilities and behaviour-management issues and 68 per cent saying reduced workloads and help with troubled kids would ease the pressure.

AEU federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said while teachers and principals were ”the glue that held schools together”, the public deserved better.

”Ultimately our public schools are great schools and doing a great job by international comparisons,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

”But what we need to do is put in place resources to ensure the needs of every child can be met.”

The survey was released to coincide with the union’s national campaign launch around the Review of Funding for Schooling.

The union is calling for more equity between the amount of funding given to government and private schools, saying two thirds of federal government funding goes to private schools, which educate just one third of students.

But Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said while this claim was strictly correct, it was misleading because government schools received 96 per cent of their funding from the states.

He said he welcomed the review which was the first analysis of funding in 35 years.

Currently funding for non-government schools is calculated using the SES model (socio-economic status). This measures the income profile of students’ parents through cross-matching postcode and census data.

”It’s a transparent funding model . . . the Government says these non-government schools whose parents can afford it, should receive less,” Mr Robertson said.”

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