Parents and teachers put pollies on notice: invest in every school and every child

AEU SA Branch media release: Sunday 18 July 2021

Every School Every Child logoAs students head back to school for Term 3, teachers and parents have put the South Australian Government and Opposition on notice to ensure every South Australian school and every South Australian child has the resources and funding support they need to thrive.

Launching a new campaign ahead of the forthcoming state election, Australian Education Union South Australian President Lara Golding warned South Australian students are being left behind.

“South Australian educators are dedicated, highly-qualified professionals. They are doing their absolute best. But excessive workloads, crowded classrooms and a lack of appropriate resources means some students miss out.

“Disturbingly, the lack of funding is particularly evident when it comes to the support services required by students with additional needs.”

Results from the AEU’s 2021 Student Support Survey, of more than 1000 public school and preschool teachers, principals and support staff show: 

  • Almost nine in 10 educators say the level of support funding for students is not adequate.
  • On average, at least three students in every classroom need extra support.
  • In some classrooms, that number approaches almost a third of the class.
  • A single IESP application can take over 20 hours to complete.
  • A third of IESP applications for student support are rejected.
  • As few as one in ten IESP applications are funded in full.
  • This is a shocking indictment on the lack of support for the next generation of South Australians,” Ms Golding said.

“Educators are crying out for more funding for ongoing, permanent support staff, as well as behaviour coaches, educational psychologists, speech pathologists and mental health support, in order to improve the support available for children.

“Our schools need more investment so every student can learn to the very best of their abilities, and every teacher has the support they need to do the best for their students.

“In the lead-up to the next state election, we’re calling on all sides of politics to make South Australian children their top priority. Parents and teachers will be campaigning for more teachers, more support for children who are struggling, more support staff and smaller classes.

“It’s time for political leaders to deliver for South Australian families and educators.”