A plan to deliver 250 new teachers into Tasmanian classrooms over the next six years has begun.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff and Tasmanian Principals’ Association Malcolm Elliott announced the collaborative work at Punchbowl Primary School on Friday.
Mr Rockliff made the commitment to employ an additional 250 teachers ahead of the state election, held on March 3.
He said on Friday the effort to train and employ the new teachers would be a collaborative one.
“We want to reinforce the good work happening in our schools,” he said.
Mr Rockliff said the state government had committed to having 197 more teachers in classrooms in the next four years, with the remainder being employed in the following two years.
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By 2024, the full 250 new teachers will be employed in Tasmanian schools, across primary and high schools.
The state government has begun talks with the Principals’ Association, the Australian Education Union and the University of Tasmania, among other key stakeholders, to begin planning to enact the plan.
Principals’ Association president Malcolm Elliott said the issue of teacher shortages was a national one and not unique to Tasmania.
However, Tasmania was experiencing a shortage of teachers across disciplines and across schooling levels.
“This will make a material difference in the issues we are facing,” he said.
Mr Elliott said he didn’t believe there would be a problem attracting people to the positions and he believed there were enough people training to become teachers.
“We are looking forward to being able to advertise the positions to ensure we get the best situational fit.”
A move by the state government to remove principals from the organisational staffing quota for teachers also helped to alleviate the pressure, as it showed the gaps where teachers were needed.
Mr Rockliff said the lower GST allocation for Tasmania would not present a threat to the plan to employ the teachers.