Teachers `spending own money'

TASMANIAN teachers may be forking out $1900 from their own pockets for student bus fares, lunches and educational supplies.

A survey conducted by the New South Wales Teachers Federation of more than 1200 primary, secondary, and special education teachers found they would spend an average of $1848 in out-of-pocket expenses a year.

Teachers said they did this because of inadequate school budgets, the desire for students not to miss out, the need to feel the job was being done properly, and an expectation that it was part of the job.

Tasmanian Association of Principals president David Raw said a similar figure was likely to be spent by Tasmanian teachers.

Mr Raw said it was standard professional practice for teachers to buy equipment that would help them in carrying out their jobs.

He said teachers might pay for professional learning courses and travel expenses, or materials and equipment for the classroom.

``Schools provide everything that is required, teachers make a professional decision about extras,'' Mr Raw said.

``There is not a requirement on them to buy those but if you are trying to set up a community of learners, then teachers can make that conscious decision.''

Australian Education Union president Terry Polglase said schools had classroom budgets, possibly a few hundred dollars, but often that could be used up on one activity.

``If you need to buy books and materials and run out of budget but still think your kids would benefit from it, you need to go and buy them yourself, he said.

``Some schools are good with reimbursement, others are not.''

Independent Schools Association chairman Tony Crehan said teachers would have a budget for their classroom, and would be reimbursed if the purchase was authorised and legitimate.

The survey found:

 Primary teachers spend $1953.

 Secondary teachers spend $1503.

 Special education teachers spend $1770.

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