Funding for schools tutorial program
Victorian schools have received their funding allocation from the Andrews government for next year’s tutoring program, which is expected to employ more than 4000 extra staff in Victorian schools to help students catch up after a disrupted 2020. Tutors will be employed under VGSA pay and conditions, and they will need to be VIT registered. To staff the program, schools can use time fractions for current staff, excess staff and those who have registered via the EOI process. If needed, they may use staff currently on leave who wish to return early. Full details have been sent to AEU reps. Members with further questions should contact our Member Support Centre on (03) 9417 2822.
Workload on the agenda for 2021
Staff workload continues to be a key priority for the union. There is evidence that public sentiment towards teacher workload has shifted during lockdown, as parents across the state witnessed first hand the challenging and essential work teachers perform on a daily basis. The issue has also attracted media coverage in recent months. A recent article in The Educator examined the damaging effect excessive workload can have on positive classroom management and teacher wellbeing.
Funding for education in state budget
The Andrews government made a number of significant announcements as part of its November state budget. For early childhood, this included almost $170 million to provide fee-free kindergarten for funded three and four-year-old programs. Public schools will see a $3 billion funding boost for new and upgraded school buildings. The government has allocated $81.6m towards new OSHC programs and $38m to employ pathways co-ordinators and to commence development of a new vocational pathway as part of an integrated VCE. A $1.6bn disability inclusion package aims to double the number of students with disability receiving extra support to 55,000, and is expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025. A pilot program will be rolled out at more than 100 schools, while new facilitator roles will be established to help schools and families work together. This comes on top of the Tutor Learning Program and investment in student mental health.
Joe Biden promising to make America smarter
The recent US election result bodes well for public education in America after four years of aggressive privatisation under education secretary Betsy DeVos. During his victory speech, Joe Biden stressed that there would now be an educator in the White House – his wife Dr Jill Biden is a former high school teacher, now a professor of English.