The National Teacher Shortage VS Our Federal Government: Who Will Win?

If teachers were paid what they deserved, then the upper 1% would include your high school’s cantankerous librarian. This is because these people aren’t being properly compensated for literally educating the next generation, not to mention planning lessons, grading papers, and helping their students outside of work hours. Moreover, inside of work hours, these folks are grinding hard, moulding the future, and not earning bank.

Thanks to this lack of money, the COVID pandemic, and some other nasty factors, not many teachers want to stay in this profession. A recent study asked 2444 Australian primary and secondary school teachers if they wanted to continue being teachers. Only 41% of its respondents said that they plan on remaining in the industry. 

To make matters worse, Australia is currently on the precipice of a massive teacher shortage. According to the Federal Government’s own data, they’re expecting a shortfall of over 4000 high school teachers by 2025. That is less than three years away.

Now, the government knows that this is a massive problem so they have just dropped a draft of their National Teacher Workforce Action Plan. This plan aims to entice people to become teachers and stop educators from leaving the industry. Here are some of the juicy details from their draft:

The Government Wants a $10 Million Ad Campaign

To kick things off, the Federal Government wants to run a campaign that demonstrates how invaluable teachers are to our communities. This campaign will cost $10 million. 

“The campaign will showcase teachers’ contributions in a wide range of settings and include a focus on First Nations, rural and remote, early childhood and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics teachers, and the support that teachers provide for children with additional needs,” said the report. 

While $10 million is a chunk of money, it’s worth noting that some teachers want such a campaign. In fact, in the aforementioned survey of 2444 Australian primary and secondary school teachers, some of these folks floated this idea.

As one anonymous teacher said, “The public perception of teaching is often extremely negative and the media portrayal of teachers and teaching as a profession, often leaves me feeling quite despondent about my chosen career.”

5000 University Scholarships Will Be Up For Grabs

The Federal Government has also committed to creating up to 5000 bursaries for Initial Teacher Education students. Undergraduates will score $10,000 per year, over four years. Postgraduates will score $10,000 per year, over two years.

The report said, “These will be offered in 2023 for students enrolling in teaching in 2024 and will be targeted at high achieving school leavers, mid-career professionals, First Nations people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and other underrepresented communities to encourage them to choose teaching as a profession.”

Related: Pay Them More — NSW Teachers Could Start Earning Extra Cash

Related: The WA Government Gave a Pay Rise and Cash Bonus to These Workers, But Is It Enough?

The Plan to Employee More Teachers From Overseas

At the Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit, the permanent Migration Program went from having 160,000 places to 195,000. Overseas teachers are currently a priority in this program.  

“Targeted communications and marketing materials are being developed to inform potential skilled migrants and employers, including in the education sector, of visa options and encourage skilled migration to Australia,” said the report. 

More First Nations Languages in the Classroom

The Australian Government has put $14.1 million towards teaching more First Nations languages in our classrooms. Moreover, they’re collaborating with First Nations education organisations to make this a reality. It’s hoped that this program will put more First Nations teachers in our schools and provide these educators with positive opportunities. 

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