A letter from the Teaching Staff and Principal of St Martins School
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
We greatly appreciate the community support that we have already received following the decision by teachers and principals to strike on Wednesday 29 May.
The decision to take further strike action was not taken lightly by any of us. For the first time, both primary and secondary teachers are striking together because the crisis in education hits us all very hard and we need the Government to understand how serious it is.
Schools are grappling with the fallout of a 40% nosedive in the number of people training to be teachers between 2010 and 2016, even while the population grew by 400,000. While the situation improved a little last year and the Government has announced an urgent $95m package to recruit teachers, this is not sufficient to address the crisis. Schools struggle daily to find enough teachers to meet their relief teacher needs and this will worsen as winter approaches. There is also a desperate need for more support for children with additional learning needs.
The fact is that teaching is no longer considered an attractive profession due to long-term under-funding of the education sector. A significant pay jolt is part of the solution, alongside significant improvements to our heavy workloads. Otherwise our schools will end up with larger class sizes and more teachers leaving.
On Wednesday 29 May we hope you will join us at our local public event, likely to be from midday. We would love to see you and your children standing with us – together we are a community and we can make a difference.
Teaching Staff of St Martins School Principal of St Martins School