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Year 12 results day: does the ATAR really matter that much?

Damien – It affects which university courses you can enter directly from high school. Beyond that, it affects nothing at all. It's a high stress ranking tool with limited relevance and even less importance beyond a short moment in time immediately following completion of Year 12. It is certainly useful in its way, but we need to do a better job as a society in working to restore a more balanced perspective to it.

Debbie – Pressures put on students for the HSC are so unrealistic. Most adults wouldn't be able to handle the pressure these kids are put under. The ATAR is only a number. As I tell students, most employers will not even ask what mark you get – stop worrying, it doesn't determine where you will end up in life.

Ian Chubb, government chief scientist says primary school teachers are not ready yet for digital curriculum:

Pamela – And tell me why would you take this on as a teacher for the pittance of pay they give you, not to mention the lousy conditions – facing 30 kids for six to seven hours a day? If you skill up and can do all that, then why stay in a school – get paid better out in industry. If the government is serious about this, then it needs to come up with better pay options, better conditions, and to make sure all the infrastructure is there for the long haul . . . no short term stop gaps of supplying computers then reneging on it, not supplying the finances for infrastructure, for tech support (and well paid tech support to attract really cluey decent ones) . . . get serious Turnbull, stop playing games with children's lives and futures!

School principal one of the most dangerous jobs in the country:

Michael – No different to teachers at all. The intense politicised scrutiny of the last decade has done it.

Sharon – Parents are not parenting but trying to be their child's friend and the media is invading children's lives. A child is believed before a teacher who now has to prove their decision making regarding the child's behaviour.

Why are our 15 year olds falling behind in reading and writing?

Jane – The problem begins way before high school. So many children these days arrive at school with poor vocabularies as a result of too little time spent conversing with their parents and too much time spent on their ipads. Their poor oral vocabularies make it more difficult for them to learn to read, particularly when the texts they are expected to read become more complex than their own oral vocabularies.

In 2016, early childhood teachers will undergo the same professional accreditation as school teachers.

Grace – If the qualification and accreditation are the same (or comparable) then there should definitely be salary parity.

Lyd – They may not be paid the same, but there are two to three people usually doing the job that one school teacher does. And childcare is more expensive per kid than a private school. I paid the same amount for two days of preschool as I did for five days of private school last year . . . and the preschool was on the cheap side for cost per day. I don't think they should get paid the same as full teachers.

Chris – Perhaps look more carefully at staff to student ratios in schools. I think you'll be surprised. Early education is certainly not overstaffed, especially when you look at additional care responsibilities including toileting and feeding.

Kirsty – Our work hours aren't all that different. We work 7.5 hours with a half hour lunch break and are responsible for planning, teaching and assessing students in accordance with a curriculum. Similarly we are responsible for developing a safe and supportive environment where students' socio-emotional skills are gradually developed whilst also laying the foundations for early learning (that will be continued in schools) across all of the major KLAs…

Francesca – How can you say we get paid a fair wage? And I am aware that I may have ‘signed up’ for it but quite frankly I didn’t get into this job for the pay, I got into it for my love and passion of early childhood! I work my butt off eight hours a day and even in school holidays because I want to make this world a better place and to teach everything I can to our children. We are all professionals who all studied at university. I think we are entitled to equal pay!

Teachers fear digital divide

Michael – Laptops are better than tablets after seeing both in the classroom for a few years now. Laptops for work, ipads for play in my opinion.

Anthony – It is the new social divide.

Daniel Long
Online Journalist