Higher salaries will attract new teachers, not PR campaigns

Today the Sydney Morning Herald has revealed details of the NSW Government’s submission to the Quality ITE Education Review.

The submission is an admission by the NSW Government that there are major problems with teacher shortages, falling completion rates and a decline in the attractiveness of the teaching profession.

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said calling for a Defence-style public relations campaign to attract teachers is a deliberate attempt to sidestep the fundamental issues causing teacher shortages.

“The NSW Government is right to identify teacher shortages, falling university completion rates and a decline in the attractiveness of the teaching profession as major problems that need to be addressed,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“Calling for a Defence-style PR campaign highlights the worrying refusal of the NSW Government to take action on the fundamental issues that are causing teacher shortages.”

“Those issues – unsustainable workloads and wages that have not kept pace with other professions – must be addressed first. If they are not, a campaign like this is going to be a waste of millions of taxpayer dollars.”

“TV ads full of smiling kids and teachers are not going to change the fundamental reality that there is a workload crisis in teaching and the salaries are not commensurate with the skills and responsibilities of teachers.”

“This is an all icing, no cake approach. We are dealing with a critical shortage of teachers that is impacting on the education of children across NSW and will only get worse unless it is addressed.”

“There must be real, lasting solutions not marketing solutions.”

“What is going to attract people to teaching is not TV ads, it is secure, well-paid jobs in schools with the time and resources needed to help each child succeed.”

“The NSW Government has also underlined the flaws in its own plan to fast track people into teaching without the proper training and qualifications by admitting there needs to be more content in university courses, not less.”

“Teaching is an incredibly difficult and demanding profession now and meeting the complex needs of students requires a high degree of skill and expertise. To be successful, new teachers need to be well prepared and if they aren’t, we are not doing justice to them or the students they teach.”

“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need.”