Hanson calls for plan to end school teacher shortage


After the most distressing and tumultuous school year in memory, Shadow Education Minister Jeremy Hanson will call on the ACT Labor-Greens government to provide a real plan to address the critical teacher shortage in the ACT Education system.

“This problem has been growing for years,” said Mr Hanson.

“It has been noted by parents, teachers and students, plus multiple reports to the Assembly of continued shocking incidents of violence. Then, we had the unheard-of step of a school being closed by Worksafe ACT because it was simply unsafe for students and teachers.

“In 2020, ACT Labor promised 400 new teachers to address the shortage. That has not happened. In fact, the Productivity Commission Report on Government Services shows the ACT Government has actually cut real expenditure per FTE student in ACT public schools.

“Despite repeated questioning, the Minister has been unwilling or unable to provide adequate or complete information on the current situation in the ACT or to clearly identify a plan to recruit and retain the teachers needed to address the crisis.

“To date, the Minister cannot even tell how many teachers are needed, what support staff are needed or where they are coming from. This is utterly unacceptable.

“If the Minister will not do the work, the Assembly can call on that work to be done, and to be made public.

“The Minister has had many opportunities to be upfront and transparent about the problem. All we are asking for is a plan.

“If the Minister cannot come to the Assembly and provide parents and teachers with a plan to properly staff our public schools, then she should no longer be in that position,” concluded Mr Hanson.