AUSTRALIA’S teacher shortage crisis is deepening, with no immediate solutions on offer, according to Shadow Minister for Education, Sarah Henderson.

Ms Henderson said Education Minister, Jason Clare has failed to take urgent action to support schools desperately trying to fill thousands of teacher vacancies at the start of the school year.

“Jason Clare has been sitting on his hands while schools are desperately scrambling to fill teaching jobs,” she said.

“This is putting the education of many young Australians at risk.

“School principals, along with Australian parents and their children, deserve urgent answers – not next year, not next term, but right now.”

In Victoria, the workforce crisis is particularly grim in Melbourne’s west and the outer suburbs, as well as regional cities like Shepparton.

As the Victorian Department of Education’s jobs website shows, in Melbourne’s west there are 87 teacher vacancies in Wyndham, 33 in Melton and 31 in Brimbank.

Manor Lakes P-12 College in Wyndham Vale is advertising for 12 teachers and Wyndham Central Secondary College has nine teacher vacancies.

There are 79 teacher vacancies in the Casey LGA, with Narre Warren South P-12 College crying out for 19 teachers.

Greater Shepparton Secondary College has 20 unfilled teaching positions.

“With teachers leaving the profession in droves in the first five years, Labor should be stripping funding from universities which deliver poor quality teaching courses that leave young teachers unprepared for the classroom,” Senator Henderson said.

“Labor has also failed to take any action over high levels of classroom disruption, another leading cause of teacher attrition.

“Apart from teacher scholarships which discriminate against non-government schools and a glossy ad campaign, Jason Clare has done next to nothing to get more teachers into classrooms.

“Jason Clare should immediately cut short post-graduate teaching courses to encourage more mid-career professionals to switch to teaching for which the Coalition has long advocated.

“In the face of Labor’s cost of living crisis, very few people can take two years out of the workforce to study a masters of teaching.”

The federal government established the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan in December 2022, agreed upon by all Education Ministers.

The action plan has 27 actions to attract more people into teaching, and to retain those already in the education system.

More than $300 million has been invested by the federal government into this plan, which includes piloting initiatives to reduce teacher workload.

Mr Clare acknowledged the shortage of teachers was at crisis levels, but hoped the action plan would help alleviate some of the issues.

“We have a teacher shortage crisis in this country, 10 years in the making and it will take time to fix,” he said.

“Being a teacher is the most important job in the world and we don’t have enough of them.

“Some universities are already offering accelerated courses, for example, where the degree can be compacted from 24 months to 16 months.

“Last year the Albanese government launched new teaching scholarships worth up to $40,000 each to encourage more people to study to become a teacher.

“We’re also improving teacher training to make sure teaching students are taught the fundamentals about how to teach children to read and write and how to manage disruptive classrooms.

“The Albanese government also wants to change the way that Australia views teachers. That’s what the ‘Be That Teacher’ campaign is all about, valuing our teachers and elevating the profession.”

The Be That Teacher campaign was launched in October 2022, to promote teaching as a valued and rewarding profession, and encourage more people to become teachers.