The Nationals have successfully gained a full inquiry into Victoria’s education system.
Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Region, Gaelle Broad, strongly supported the motion for the inquiry in Parliament yesterday.
The motion by Nationals MP Melina Bath asked Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee to look at a range of key issues.
The inquiry will examine learning outcomes in state school Prep to Year 12 students, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on student learning and wellbeing, and importantly, the state of the teaching profession including teacher retention.
“This issue is of great importance to me and to the thousands of people living in northern Victoria, whether they personally have children of school age or not,” Ms Broad said.
“The state of the Victorian education system affects everyone. Sadly, I have to report that – according to many of the constituents I speak to – our education system is struggling badly.
“The teachers and other school staff do a tremendous job, often under extreme pressure. Many central and northern Victorian schools now rely heavily on casual relief and emergency teachers.
“According to research from Federation University, teachers are leaving the profession in droves citing salary, lack of respect, intensification of workload, assessments, parent issues and the “full-on” demands of teaching leading to burnout, particularly after the COVID pandemic.”
Ms Broad said students were often struggling too.
“I’ve spoken with parents, teachers and students. Young people are struggling with mental health and disengagement,” Ms Broad said.
The inquiry will consider the current state of student wellbeing in Victoria, including the impact of State Government interventions following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Broad also acknowledged the valuable contribution that teachers make.
“I look forward to this inquiry into the state of Education in Victoria, in the hope that we can move forward and make our schools a better place for everyone.”