New report confirms NAPLAN compromised
The national report into the debacle behind the 2019 NAPLAN online testing regime confirmed earlier criticisms that the data from the test was compromised due to connectivity issues experienced by many students taking the test. According to the report, comparing the results between the online and paper version should be done “with care”, given the extensive disruptions experienced by students. AEU federal president Correna Haythorpe said the lack of credibility that has plagued NAPLAN for many years meant that “the Commonwealth has no real option but to replace NAPLAN completely”.
AEU welcomes more state support for graduate teachers
AEU Victoria has welcomed an announcement by the Andrews state government of new support for graduate teachers starting their careers. The $73.4 million pilot program will offer improved mentoring for some graduate teachers and ease their workload to help prevent them being overwhelmed or becoming burnt out. As part of the pilot, all new graduate teachers will be given a mentor and those in rural and remote areas will be given targeted support.
The AEU has been calling for measures to address workload for graduate teachers for many years as part of our campaign to reduce workload for education support staff, classroom teachers and principals. The union also welcomed the recognition of the important role mentors play for new teachers and supports allocating time which is dedicated to mentor-teacher relationships.
Victorian public schools remain the lowest funded in Australia
The annual Australian Productivity Commission Report into Government Services (ROGS) shows that Victorian government school students are still the lowest funded in Australia. The most recent figures for 2017-2018 show that Victorian government school students are receiving $1,449 less than the national average per student from state and commonwealth sources – a gap that widened slightly from the previous year.
Due to agreements under the Commonwealth’s Australian Education Amendment Bill, non-government schools in Victoria will reach 100% of their schooling resource standard (SRS) by 2023 while Victorian government schools will only be funded at around 90% of the SRS and may never reach 100%.
The AEU condemns the Andrews government’s 2014 amendment to the Education and Training Reform Act, which delivers Catholic and independent schools at least 25% of the per-student funding that goes to government schools, regardless of whether those non-government schools need the money.