A few days a ago, an occasional commenter told us about the teacher shortage at their school. They suggested the shortage was going to “play havoc” with their teaching load. We’re not quite sure how that works, since we thought there were strong and weird restrictions on what could be demanded of teachers, but we’re not doubting the reality on the ground. Our teacher correspondent also offered tentative reasons for the shortage: boomer teachers retiring, both naturally and motivated by covid; little incentive for people become new teachers; new teachers not lasting.
Now, today, there is a report in the Herald-Sun: Victorian public schools short almost 1000 teachers (Murdoch, paywalled). The report doesn’t speculate upon the reasons, simply giving the numbers dressed up with a “deeply concerning” declaration from Meredith Peace, a union rep, and an “everything’s going swimmingly” declaration from an unnamed “Department of Education spokesman”.
It is not difficult to think of reasons, and deeper reasons, for a teacher shortage, along the lines suggested by our teacher correspondent. But we have no real details or concrete theories. We’d be interested to hear what readers think, and what they know.
RF has noted that the ABC has a similar report (not Murdoch, not paywalled). The ABC report has more flesh, also quotes Peace, and includes the same Panglossian DoE quote:
The overwhelming majority of government schools are fully staffed for the start of the school year and the delivery of school programs are expected to continue as normal.
A reasonable guess is that the education union has been stirring up trouble by pointing to trouble. The Department of Education is, of course, somewhere close to Mars.