Survey reveals education in decline

A LOOMING shortage of teachers, large class sizes and a lack of teacher training are some chief concerns revealed by the Staff in Australia's Schools survey.

Australian Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos said the study showed Australia's quality of education had been adversely affected by oversized classes.

"This is the first time the SIAS survey has asked about class sizes, and we have discovered that class sizes in Australian primary schools are at an average of 24.5 students," Mr Gavrielatos said.

"But what is more concerning is that we have a situation where 40% of primary school classes have 26 or more students," he said.

"This is far too high and makes it hard to provide students with the individual attention that they need and parents expect.

"This figure backs up previous research which has shown that Australian teachers are working longer hours than the OECD average, doing more administrative tasks, and that our class sizes are bigger than the OECD average, and far bigger than some high-performing systems such as Finland."

Young teachers said they were concerned about the lack of training to prepare them for modern aspects of education.

"We believe that all teaching degrees should do two-year postgraduate degrees to ensure that teachers are properly trained before they enter the classroom," Mr Gavrielatos said.

The survey covered about 20,000 teachers and school leaders from state, Catholic and independent schools across the country.

- APN NEWSDESK

CLASS SIZES

WA

25.6 students

QLD

25.3

SA

25.1

NSW

24.8

TAS

23.6

ACT

23.1

VIC

23

NT

22

STATE AVERAGE

24.5


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