Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said up to 4000 extra teachers could be required by 2020.
Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said up to 4000 extra teachers could be required by 2020. Renee Pilcher

Door open for Warwick's future educators

THE opportunity for Warwick's next generation to get involved in teaching has never been greater.

A shortage in the future stocks of Queensland's teachers has been identified, as educators brace for an overload.

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said a number of circumstances have contributed to the future shortage.

"We have the half-cohort that started prep 10 years ago moving into the year 12 system,” Mr Bates ssaid.

"In any given year you're looking at roughly 30,000 at a particular level. This one is around 17,000 which is much smaller.

"There will be a growth of 15,000 instantly which is significantly an additional demand.

"There is a strong and growing public education system. There has been a drift back to public schools and strong growth of enrolments.

"With large numbers coming into early years, this strong growth will be reflected over a number of years.

"With the general growth and half-cohort situation, 2020 is the first major roadblock.”

Mr Bates said a number of hurdles introduced to teaching should be re-visited to address the issue.

"Almost an extra 4000 teachers are needed by end of this decade 2020, and between 5000 and 9000 by 2030,” he said.

"There has been an introduction of literacy and numeracy tests for students at the end of their course before they can get a job.

"I think the test should be at the start as a sensible gateway. After four years of study it seems a ridiculous scenario.”

More had to be done to encourage teacher stocks said Mr Bates.

"We need to build teachers up, not knock them down,” he said.

"All we hear is about failing schools and constant criticism. Occasional respect from the federal government will help make it more desirable.

"People are a bit sick and tired of being mistreated.”

USQ Head of School (Teacher Education and Early Childhood) Professor Stephen Winn said a different attitude towards teaching was required.

"The status and respect of teaching has an influence on potential numbers of students, and there are lots of factors that have lead to that viewpoint,” Prof Winn said.

"The perception around teaching is that it doesn't actually realise the critical importance of educating young people, which is disappointing.

"Remuneration should match the importance of the profession in the community. They should be proactive in the space of education with ways on incentivising coming into the profession.

"I'm passionate about teaching. There's no other profession that makes such a difference to young person's lives.”