Teacher shortages problem now and in future, new data shows

Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch

New data revealed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) supports what the Independent Education Union of Australia has been saying for a long time. Teacher shortages are at crisis point and not likely to improve in the near future.

The data shows that the current rate of teacher workforce growth will not keep pace with increasing student demand. The IEU has long argued that uncompetitive salaries, crippling workload and insufficient preparation time are the chief drivers of teacher dissatisfaction.

The union notes AITSL found that in 2020 teachers working full time reported doing 55 hours in a typical week, or 45 per cent more hours than they were being paid for. Part-time teachers working a four-day week reported working 40 per cent more hours than they were being paid for.

The IEU represents 33,000 teachers, support staff and principals in non-government schools in NSW and the ACT as well as degree-qualified teachers in the early childhood sector.

IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam said; "The retention strategies required to maintain equilibrium in the workforce are relatively straightforward.

"The union has been ringing the warning bell on teacher burnout, teacher shortages and the impact on students for some time. Unfortunately, the employers have not been listening.

"The AITSL data underpins the IEU's campaign calling for significant reform to the decades -old release-time arrangements for teachers, the introduction of mandated release time for beginning teachers and for competitive salaries.

"Australia's current and future school students deserve better. Unless this crisis is addressed, high quality education in this country is under threat."

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