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Howard Government to blame for widespread teacher shortage, says Labor.

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Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Education






"If your child’s class has no teacher this year, you can lay the blame fair and square on John Howard and his Government,’ said Senator Carr acting Shadow Spokesperson for Education.


“With the new school year about to begin all States are likely to suffer significant shortages of teachers,” he said.


Teacher shortages expected in Australian schools, both public and private, are due to the Howard Government's “starvation" policies in the university sector, where teachers are trained, according to Senator Carr.


Senator Carr noted that teachers were the education system’s most valuable resource.


“It is the Federal Government’s shortsighted policies, and the massive cuts in funding it has delivered to universities, that have brought about this serious shortage in newly-qualified professionals emerging from teacher education courses.” said Senator Cam


Senator Carr was commenting on the figures released recently by the Australian Council of Deans of Education in its Report, Teacher supply and demand to 2004.


"For 1999, the ACDE report predicts that,


* With the intro duction of the new Youth Allowance, there will be an overall shortfall of over 3,000 secondary teachers, with recruitment able to provide only 63% of those required,


* Only 89% of the necessary new teachers will be available In primary schools Australia-w ide.


* In Victoria, there would be an extremely serious shortage of primary teachers with the system only able to provide 46% of the 2,000 teachers required in the State’s primary schools. This would result in part from the State Government’s decision to appoint 1,000 extra literacy teachers.


* By the year 2004, the shortages would be even more severe, in both primary and secondary schools, with the nationwide primary teacher shortfall reaching 20%, and 34% of new secondary teacher posts unable to be fill ed.


"The Commonwealth Government must, as a matter of urgency, provide additional funding to universities so that more teachers can be trained.


“The Howard Government has neglected its responsibilities and has run Clown the supply of trained teachers nec essary for our schools to provide children with a high-quality education.” Senator Carr said.



Senator Kim Carr 0419563922