Thank you Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education.
Minister, recently in budget estimates it was reported that there are over 80 teaching vacancies in Tasmanian schools and colleges and a 35 percent increase in teacher resignations to March this year.
For a school in my electorate such as Montrose Bay High which is between five and six teachers short, this means that around a third of students do not have a fully staffed program and teachers who are already overworked are left to plug holes, cover classes and facilitate programs the best they can.
This has created a cycle where existing educators are either burning out or walking away, and it’s our children who are missing out on the quality education they deserve.
Tasmania already has the worst literacy rate in the country and we are at real risk of falling further behind and failing our children again and again.
Our teachers are an amazing group of dedicated, caring and committed professionals who deserve to be supported, heard and appreciated.
We simply can’t afford to lose any more.
Minister, what will you do to urgently address this crisis and what plans do you have for retaining and recruiting the teachers our children most desperately need?