Thursday, 14 March 2013
That the Senate—
(a) recognises that:
(i) improving teacher quality is one of the various important components to raising education standards in Australian schools,
(ii) measures to ensure trainee teachers have the necessary skills and aptitude are fitting but should be complemented with other incentives to attract candidates to the profession,
(iii) school teachers must be appropriately remunerated and supported in the challenging functions they perform, through fair wages, suitable career structures, ongoing professional development and adequate time for out-of-classroom preparation, and
(iv) adequately resourcing government schools creates optimal conditions for raising education standards; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) include measures which will enhance morale, professional development and job satisfaction among teachers, to complement teacher training, and
(ii) address the under-resourcing of government schools by implementing the Gonski recommendations without delay.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
I am very disappointed that the Labor Party and the coalition have not been willing to support this Australian Greens motion. Raising education standards in Australia is crucial. It is crucial that we raise standards so that every Australian child can have access to a world-class education. No matter who they are, no matter where they live and whatever their background, it is crucial.
Opposition senators interjecting—
There are many components to raising educational standards and having quality candidates is very important. We do need to attract the best to teaching and we need to keep them there once they are in the workforce. But it is not just a matter of increasing scores for university. We actually need to create a demand for teaching, and we do this by truly valuing teaching and treating it as a profession, with fair wages comparable to other professions, suitable career structures and ongoing professional development and support. We know from the Gonski review that our current system is that particularly government schools have concentrations of disadvantage, and these educate the majority of students with higher needs. It is for this reason that we need to prioritise the payment of that additional investment in government schools.