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Labor’s temporary teacher trap

Freedom of Information data obtain by the State Liberals shows the Weatherill Labor Government has increased the number of temporary teaching staff by almost 1000 since March 2012.

“The adverse impacts of a 35.4 per cent increase in the number of contract teachers in South Australia’s public education system in just two years is being felt by students and families across the state,” said Shadow Minister for Education David Pisoni.

“The fact that 3510 teaching staff are currently on contracts of 12 months or less offers a partial explanation for why South Australia has the worst NAPLAN results on mainland Australia.

“Good teachers need the security of knowing they will have ongoing employment if they are to get the best educational results for their students.

“Good teachers should not be forced to worry about losing their jobs simply because they have been forced onto short-term contracts year after year.

“The relationship between the teacher and the student is damaged when undue uncertainty hangs over the teacher.

“Forcing so many teachers onto short-term contacts will drive many aspiring teachers to other professions in search of greater job security and better pay.

“Dedicated, qualified and respected teachers are at the core of all successful education systems.

“If South Australia is to lift itself from the bottom of the class we need to value and respect the enormous contribution teachers make, not treat them as second class citizens who have no idea how long they will have a job.

“The excessive use of short term contacts is bad for the students, terrible for teachers trapped on those contracts and disastrous for our education system as a whole.”