The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch has welcomed the announcement made by the Victorian government today to introduce scholarships for secondary teaching students with accompanying payments for those who work in public schools for two years after they graduate, and extra preparation time, mentoring and support for graduate teachers and targeted incentives to attract teachers to harder to staff schools.
AEU Victorian Branch Deputy President Justin Mullaly said the announcements are an important and positive step in the right direction.
"Teachers, education support staff, and principals have been calling for clear action to address the workforce shortage, and today the government have responded.
“We are pleased to see the Andrews Government taking further steps to respond to the teacher shortage. Providing financial support for student teachers studying to be a secondary teacher and reduced teaching workloads for teachers as they begin their career are key parts of the AEU’s Ten Year Plan for Staffing in Public Education.
The AEU said that while these announcements are welcome, there is more that must be done.
“Right now school staff are stretched covering gaps because of teacher shortages – they are going above and beyond to ensure students have access to the learning programs they need. This effort is taking a toll causing too many to become burnt out, take extended leave, or leave the profession altogether.
“We need to do more to retain existing school staff in the system. Retention payments are one of the many solutions the government can implement now to acknowledge the key role of teachers, education support staff, and principals, their valuable work, and encourage them to stay in the profession.
“Investment in Victoria’s public school staff is an investment in public school students. No one stands to benefit from well-supported teachers, education support staff, and principals more than our students.
“The AEU will continue to call on the Andrews Government for investments which support existing staff and additional programs to secure a consistent supply of teachers for Victoria's public schools,” Mr Mullaly said.
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12 September 2023