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.
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.