Students miss out

Schools across Victoria were in strike mode yesterday, robbing many year 12 students of valuable learning time as they head toward the most important exam period of their lives.

Kurnai College was among the schools that took part in the action, but college principal Anthony Rodaughan believes his students would be catered for.

“We’re sorry that the kids are missing that vital instruction at this really important time, but it’s a consequence of the lack of progress on the teachers’ log of claims,” Mr Rodaughan said.

“Knowing how dedicated teachers are they’ll be giving up extra time to make up for the lost time today, so I know they’ll be supporting the kids as much as possible, but I also know that they’re dedicated to achieving an outcome in terms of the wage situation.”

With Victorian Certificate of Education exams to begin in early November, Mr Rodaughan said there was a need to find a balance between student needs and the teachers’ aims.

“It’s not ideal for them to be missing class today, and we have concerns about that but we also have concerns about maintaining quality teachers in our system and the need for them to be properly renumerated,” he said.

Mr Rodaughan said no students turned up yesterday despite the State Government campaign for kids to attend school irrespective of strike action.

“Some family situations don’t allow for their children to stay at home but we’ve been prepared for that and there is a duty of care that comes into it in that respect,” he said.

Mr Rodaughan said further industrial action had been foreshadowed unless progress was made.

Lavalla Catholic College was among a host of Catholic schools that partook in the action, despite a lack of legal protection on industrial action, however they were still able to run class for year seven, nine and 12 students.

“These year levels were targeted because of the importance of maintaining the VCE year 12 program so close to the end of term and for year sevens, as arranging supervision for them at home might prove problematic for families,” a Lavalla spokesperson said.