ACT public schools are great schools but we can, and must, aspire to make them even greater

2022-08-22

In response to feedback from concerned constituents, today Johnathan Davis MLA took advantage of the first day of Estimates to scrutinise how the ACT Government plans to ensure all schools are safe schools as well as how we recruit and retain a high quality teaching workforce. 

‘I welcome the release of the final report from the ‘Teacher Shortage Taskforce’ and commend the Australian Education Union ACT for working collaboratively with the Government on this important work’ Mr Davis said.

‘The ACT is the only jurisdiction to establish such a taskforce showing the ACT Government's commitment to work through the local implications of the national teacher shortage.

‘The ACT Greens support all 20 recommendations aimed at recruiting, retaining and supporting a high quality teaching workforce. In particular, I am very pleased to see better use of relief teachers in all schools to manage teachers absences and the consideration of covering out-of-pocket expenses for relief teachers including professional development courses, teacher registrations and Working With Vulnerable People cards.

“Additionally, we’ve seen recent media reports of challenging student behaviour in some ACT Public Schools, particularly in my electorate. In response, I’m pleased to see the ACT Government announce $1.14m to establish the ‘Safe@School Taskforce’, to ensure schools are safe places for teaching and learning. 

“Lastly, in the Parliamentary & Governing Agreement between ACT Labor and the ACT Greens, I was keen to ensure the ACT Government made a commitment to no school closures and a commitment to the Tharwa Preschool program.

“I’m delighted to hear the Minister once again commit the ACT Government will not consider any school closures and to learn that Tharwa PreSchool had 13 enrolments for the 2023 school year, ensuring the programs can go ahead.

“I will continue to scrutinise the ACT Government's work while providing new ideas and fresh perspectives focussed on our shared commitment to ensure all Canberra schools are safe, well resourced schools with a well supported teaching workforce.’