Education Union Launches Campaign To Push For Change In Tassie Public Schools

Meeting students’ needs

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Tasmania’s state education union is pushing for each school to employee one social worker and one school psychologist for every 500 students.

The Australian Education Union’s Lifting Learning campaign was launched on Sunday, calling for the State Government to address in public schools teacher shortages, in-class support in the form of more teacher assistants and education support specialists, providing psychological support for students, and offer additional assistance for students with disability.

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A 28-page plan was released by the union to improve student learning and “meet the ever-growing needs of students.”

AEU Tasmania President David Genford warned the state was “in the grips of glaring teacher shortage” and student’s education would severely be affected, while teacher burnout would worsen.

Senior school psychologist Sally Rayner told the Mercury students and their families relied on schools for crisis support and help supporting mental health issues.

“We are seeing lots more young people present with suicidal distress and complex emotional and psychiatric needs for which there are few other services available to support them,” she said.

“These mental health issues severely impact on a student’s capacity to engage and participate at school.”

Australian Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools and the Australian Association of Social Workers has also supported the proposed social worker and psychologist ratio to students, the union said.

Also speaking to the Mercury. Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations President Nathan Reynolds said it was important problems in Tasmania’s public schools were addressed.

“Schools reflect how our future communities will look; our children are our future leaders,” he said.

“It’s not about spending more for today, it’s about investing for a more stable future of the next generation.”

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1 August 2022

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