School Workforce

Overview

The Liberals will:

Increase teaching staff by 90 by removing principals from the existing calculation of teaching load, and increasing teaching resources commensurately. Schools will be prioritised for this funding on the basis of need.

Conduct a workforce scan and create a workforce strategy to reduce the prevalence of out-of-field teaching in government schools.

Transition 25 specialist literacy and numeracy teachers to become literacy and numeracy coaches, and hire an additional 35 coaches. All government schools will have access to a coach under this plan.

TasCOSS Commentary

Total teaching load would then exceed their 2013-14 level, before staffing cuts instituted by this government. Teaching FTE has been increased gradually back to this level over the past years.

Evidence does suggest (not always conclusively) that out-of-field teaching diminishes student results. As such, action to better align teacher expertise with classroom work could be expected to be equitable and future focussed, and aligned with an evidence base.

The initiative does build on an evidence base, with its reference to the Raising the Bar, Closing the Gap programme. Focus on building core literacy and numeracy skills can pay lifelong dividends, and addresses core inequalities faced by disadvantaged students. The policy promises equity of access by providing access to literacy coaches to all schools.As part of a package of policies, the initiative is supported by an evidence-led focus on early learning, where the potential benefits are greatest.


More Education & Training Election Policies


Industry Initiatives & Training

The policy is laudable insofar as it protects TasTAFE within a contestable funding market it cannot succeed within for structural reasons.

Built Infrastructure

While investment in better facilities for Tasmania’s state schools is welcome, as is the investment in early learning and years 11 and 12, it is not clear whether capital works should be the most urgent area of education expenditure for the Tasmanian Government.

Early Childhood Intervention Service

If the ECIS were discontinued—a possibility this policy leaves open—there would be a vacuum of support for children with a disability or a developmental delay at their schools.

Access to Education

The existing scheme relies on IQ cut-offs and does not conceive of funding matched to a diversity of student needs and capabilities.

High Schools & Colleges

The policy is evidence-based, equitable, and supports a strong future for Tasmanians.