The IEU recently conducted a survey of its regional members in Catholic dioceses about staff shortages. Here’s a sample of some of the comments received.
A lot of experienced teachers are burnt out and say that the joy has gone out of teaching due to increased compliance, overcrowded curriculum and other factors that have changed the nature of teaching. They are quite vocal about this, and they are not encouraging young people to go into the profession.
As our younger teachers get more city-centric, the regions are getting the more difficult task of finding teachers.
At times we have difficulty in attracting large or strong fields for permanent and temporary jobs, despite being a major regional centre. This problem would be greatly increased in smaller centres or more isolated schools.
Each time a new casual comes through they are picked up straight away either with a block or just completely booked out within days.
Executive can be on the phone for up to 60 minutes trying to book a casual for sick leave or PD release.
Executive staff are covering classes which strains the leadership and compliance requirements of the school. Wellbeing of executive staff is low.
Getting and keeping good casuals is hard. The better they are the more we share them with other schools.
I believe the expectations placed on teachers at the current time are overwhelming. Unless issues are addressed, we will face teacher shortages well into the future.
In the last two years the number of applications for both permanent and temporary positions have dwindled. The system needs to do more to support new graduates who are working casually to gain skills and to retain experienced teachers already working.
I believe there will be a significant shortage of teachers in country areas within five years.
It is a daily struggle to have an adequate number of casuals available. Staff often struggle into work as there are no casuals available.
It is unfair that staff are having to cover other classes and go over their allowed ‘extras’ or not being able to go to training because of lack of staff.
Operating a school without the minimum number of teachers is an OHS issue. Staff are overtaxed, quality learning is compromised and limited supervision could lead to playground accidents and issues.
Our diocese needs to prioritize our lack of casual teachers as a matter of urgency.
Our teacher assistants do an amazing role, but they are almost impossible to replace casually due to the limited support staff available and the hours they offer.
Society needs to see teachers in the same light as doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. Teaching in the 21st century is extremely challenging, and we all need more support financially.
Sometimes we must employ a casual who is not a good fit for our school due to lack of choice.
Teacher assistants are being run into the ground with everyone overworked, tired and emotional.
Teacher workload is killing the profession.
The situation is quite desperate. I would suggest that in the past week I have spent up to at least five hours ringing around, juggling and organising staff shortages.