Crisis in the classroom as thousands of teachers flee Queensland’s education system

Apr 8, 2024

In the last four years, a total of 12,375 teachers and teacher aides resigned from state schools across Queensland painting a stark picture for the future of education in the Sunshine State.

The government has touted progress towards meeting its four-year teacher recruitment target, however new figures have revealed a 60% spike in resignation rates over the past four years, far outweighing the recruitment uptake.

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto, said that teachers were leaving their chosen profession in droves for a variety of reasons including workload, lack of support, occupational violence and disillusionment with the system.

“The reality is, teachers have limited tools to deal with student behaviour and combined with an increase in reporting and paperwork, most of which occurs outside the classroom, the situation has become untenable for many educators,” Mr Dametto said.

“It is imperative that we address these concerns to ensure the stability and quality of education in Queensland, otherwise I hold very grave fears for the future of education in this state.

“It doesn’t help matters when we currently have an Education Bill before the Parliament that seeks to change the current school disciplinary absences appeal process, something which many teachers feel strongly about and my office has been inundated with their concerns.

“Changes such as this only result in further weakening of a principal’s powers when they should really be armed with the necessary authority to make decisions that are best for that school and the whole student cohort.

“Teachers and principals are rightly concerned that this bill will diminish any remaining autonomy and also severely restrict a school leaders’ ability to operate their school in a safe and orderly manner.

“As much as we love and appreciate our teachers, this State Labor Government is giving them very little reason to continue in their profession and good luck trying to attract quality teachers in the future if you don’t have experienced teachers for training and learning of the profession.

“The Education Minister can spend all the money she wants on shade sails and playground equipment, but until the focus is shifted to the fundamental issues of what is driving teachers away from the classroom, we will continue to have a failing Queensland education system.”

Mr Dametto is a member of the parliamentary Education, Employment, Training and Skills Committee which is currently considering the Education (General Provisions) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 (the Bill).

The committee is expected to hand down their report on the 19th of April 2024. Subject to the committees’ recommendations, members of the KAP plan to introduce amendments to the bill when it progresses to the second reading.