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Insecure teaching jobs means poor education outcomes for Victorian students

Aug 4, 2016Media Releases

Beginning teachers survey Australian Education Union A new survey released today shows 62.5 percent of public school teachers in the first five years of teaching are employed on short-term contracts in Victoria.

The Australian Education Union’s Beginning Teachers’ Survey 2016 also shows 77 percent of teachers believe the requirement to continuously reapply for their positions, has a negative effect on their teaching.

“The Andrews Government has committed to reducing the levels of contract employment. We now need to see that commitment become a reality if Victoria is going to properly support teachers and become the Education State,” said Meredith Peace, AEU Victorian Branch President.

“Victorian schools are forced to offer contract positions because the State Government does not provide enough funding certainty for principals to make long-term, informed decisions about the resourcing of student programs.

“The contract system is broken. Too many teachers on short-term contracts are forced to continually reapply for their positions, facing no job security into the future. The survey results show that on average teachers are submitting 16 applications for positions in their current school, or other schools.

“Forcing teachers to apply again and again for their job causes undue stress and insecurity, it takes their attention away from the learning and welfare needs of students. This process significantly undermines their ability to build ongoing relationships with students, staff and parents to achieve positive outcomes for their students and the school community.

“The Andrews Government needs to make changes to the rules around contract employment to ensure teachers, principals and support staff are supported to deliver for our students. Victoria cannot become a leader in education if we don’t attract and then retain our early career teachers.

“If Premier Daniel Andrews is really serious about making Victoria the Education State, he needs to considerably reduce the number of teachers on contracts,” said Ms Peace.

The survey of 1,033 Victorian teachers found that:

  • 62.5 percent of public school teachers in the first five years of teaching are employed on short term contracts;
  • 77 percent of teachers believe the requirement to reapply for positions has a negative effect on their teaching;
  • 44 percent of teachers do not see themselves teaching in the public system for more than 10 years;
  • 21 percent of teachers said ‘lack of ongoing employment’ would be the main reason for leaving the public system.

The statewide survey report can be downloaded here.

MEDIA CONTACT: ELISA FERNANDES, 0438 021 203