A House of Representatives committee has been discovering hard lessons about teachers' true work hours and the level of attrition in the profession.
A House of Representatives committee has been discovering hard lessons about teachers' true work hours and the level of attrition in the profession.

Pollies hear the truth about teaching

PRESSURES being brought to bear on school teachers have been described as an eye-opener by a federal politician who heard submissions from the profession as part of a round table by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training.

Fisher MP Andrew Wallace (LNP) said testimony would suggest the profession was on the edge of a demographic cliff, with insufficient new recruits being trained to replace those who were either set to retire or who were leaving to do other things.

Mr Wallace said contact time in the profession may be 9am to 3pm but many teachers were pressed for time, doing between 55 and 65 hours-a-week when planning and other responsibilities were included.

"There's a 50 per cent attrition rate in the first five years teachers are in the profession," Mr Wallace said.

"We are burning them out."

He said despite all the technological improvements there was no doubt listening to teachers, education professionals and principals both in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast that those in the industry were under a whole lot more stress and pressure.

Do you think teachers are under too much pressure?

This poll ended on 06 April 2019.

Current Results

Yes, something needs to change.

75%

I don't think so.

8%

Maybe, but they're not the only ones.

16%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"One of the best things would be to free up time for collaborative planning," Mr Wallace said.

What had also emerged was the need to better mentor graduates, teaming them with skilled senior teachers.

"We talked at length about the partnership between teacher and parent," he said. "There is such time pressure on parents they sometimes have no time to play that partnership role with education left to the school.

"For a meaningful education what is taught in class needs to be re-enforced at home and vice versa."

The forum gave schools and universities the opportunity to give feedback on how to improve the status of the teaching profession.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training headed by Andrew Laming, would address how to increase the attractiveness of the teaching profession and reduce the burden of out-of-hours work, provide appropriate support for teachers, and how to improve retention rates in the profession. 



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