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Lack of job security bad for teachers and students

Aug 5, 2014News

A new survey has revealed that almost two-thirds of public school teachers in their first five years of teaching are employed on a short-term contract.

The AEU’s annual Beginning Teachers’ Survey also showed that half don’t see themselves teaching for more than ten years, with many citing job insecurity as the factor driving them out of the profession.

AEU Victoria president Meredith Peace said that our 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.

Victorian students are currently funded $1,881 less than the national average and this is impacting on the decisions principals are making in relation to employment of staff and programs and support for students, she said.

Teachers employed on a contract basis must continually reapply for their job, with 70% stating that this has a negative impact on their teaching, as well as personal impacts such as their ability to successfully apply for a mortgage or loan for a car.

Almost all (97%) of beginning teachers also said that they have used their own money to pay for classroom materials needed to teach.

“It is little wonder that so many beginning teachers don’t see themselves teaching in the  long term,” Peace said.

“A strong commitment from the major parties to reduce contract employment would signal to our teachers that they value the work teachers do every day.”

1,043 teachers completed the survey. Results include:

  • Of those teachers on contract, 70% say that reapplying for their job has had negative effects on their teaching;
  • 97% of beginning teachers said that they have used their own money to pay for materials needed to teach;
  • 23% of beginning teachers said that they have been required to teach outside their qualification;
  • 42% of secondary teachers have been timetabled to teach outside of their subject areas; in non-metropolitan areas this proportion increased to 50%.