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Not enough teaching places under Howard Government.

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Media release by…

Jenny MacklinMP


The Howard Government must create more tertiary places for teaching or Australia’s teacher shortage crisis will continue to escalate, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Education, Jenny Macklin, said today.

Ms Macklin said that reports in today’s newspapers that school principals were still struggling to fill teaching vacancies showed that there were not enough trained teachers to staff our children’s classrooms.

“Students will be returning to schools tomorrow and the required teaching staff in some cases won’t be in place,” Ms Macklin said, “How can we expect our children to learn and perform their best when there aren’t enough teachers to go round?”

Ms Macklin said that the ongoing teacher shortage was intolerable in light of the fact that universities are currently forced to turn away applicants for teacher training because of lack of available places.

• Monash University received 1107 first preferences for 169 places available on its undergraduate teaching program. • RMIT received 1730 applications for 99 places available in its four year Bachelor of Education degree - 416 of those were first preference. • The University of Sydney received about 400 first-preference applications for 110 undergraduate

primary teaching places, and about 130 first-preference applications for the 80 places on the university’s undergraduate secondary teaching course. • The University of Tasmania received 851 first-preference applications for 430 teaching places. • The University of Newcastle received more than 1000 first-preference applications for about 500 places. • QUT received 1750 first-preference applications from school-leavers and graduates for a total of about 1200 places

Ms Macklin said that it was astonishing that would-be teachers in their thousands were being turned away from universities when Australian schools desperately needed more - not less - teachers.

“We are experiencing a much needed surge in interest in teaching as a profession,” Ms Macklin said, “The Howard Government should be capitalising on that interest, not stifling it.”

Ms Macklin said that the fact that the Howard Government had spent $187 million in advertising in 2000-01 was shocking in light of the teacher shortage.

“If the government had spent just half of its 2000-01 advertising spend on teaching places, there could be an extra 10,000 students learning to become teachers,” Ms Macklin said

More information: Jenny Macklin 0419 593 622; Joanna Brent 0408 473 278

28 JANUARY 2002

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Employment, Education, Training & Science

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