Release type: Transcript

Date:

Press Conference - Parliament House, Canberra

Ministers:

The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education

JASON CLARE: Thanks for coming along. Today Education Ministers across the country got to meet in person for the first time in a long time. New Ministers as well. Some Ministers have been in their portfolios for some time, but some are brand spanking new, like myself. And I think collectively, we feel like we've got the best job in the world. Are we right? Our jobs are so important because if we get it right, the things that we do together can really change the lives of so many people. We got to meet today with the people who have the most important job in the world. Teachers. The things that they do more than anything that we do, really will create the world that we're going to live in in future. And we don't have enough of them. We don't have enough people who are signing up to be teachers. Too many people are walking away from the profession. I was moved by what I heard today. I suspect many of the journalists here would have got an opportunity to talk to some of the teachers. It kicked off with Angela. Angela was almost in tears herself. Almost brought me to tears. Talking about working 60, 70 hours, working on weekends. Thinking about whether she was going to stay in the job or not - but knowing that she loved the kids that she teaches. Being in the job for all the right reasons. Wanting to change those kids lives. We had another teacher who talked about doing lesson prep on Mother's Day, putting the kids to bed, and then going back and doing more work once they're asleep. But we heard great things as well from teachers. Talking about if we do things a little bit differently, how we can change work for them, and how we can encourage more people to become teachers.

Prac was one of the big things that came up again and again and again. Practical experience right off the bat when you first become a teacher. As well as paid internships in final year. Seeing having student teachers in the classroom as an asset rather than as something that just gets in the way. And helping to make sure that young people who are at university know what they're getting into and really want to be there for the right reasons. As well as better preparation in teaching kids how to read and how to do maths. One principal there talked about how in the university courses they do to become teachers, only about 12 per cent of the time is focused on teaching to read, and 12 per cent focused on teaching maths. So more focus there. Mentoring came up time and time again. Not just mentoring for first and second year teachers but mentoring right throughout their career. If we think about it, whether we're pollies or journalists or anything else, having somebody to pick their brain and get their advice is really important. Principals talked about retired teachers or principals about to retire playing that mentoring role and creating time and space for that to happen as well.

I think collectively, we got an enormous amount out of today. I sort of capture it in three areas. One, what are the things that we can do to encourage more people to become teachers? What sort of national coordinated action can we take on that front? Secondly, what can we do to prepare student teachers for the workforce they're about to enter? And thirdly, what do we do to keep the fantastic teachers that we already have? There are great ideas that came out of that conversation right across the board. We caught up after the meeting and agreed that we want a national action plan prepared by the secretaries of our departments, drawing on the expertise of the teachers, as well as the unions and the Catholic schools, as well as the independent schools, and to put that action plan together for us to tick off when we meet again in December. That's it in a nutshell out of what we got today. I'm going to invite the Ministers to give us their snapshot of their experience today as well, and then we'll throw it open to questions.

SARAH MITCHELL: Hi everybody. Those who I don't know I'm Sarah Mitchell, I'm the Education Minister from New South Wales. Can I say first and foremost that I think today was a really relevant and rewarding roundtable. To bring educators from right across the country together and for us as Ministers to hear firsthand from our teachers about some of the challenges that they're experiencing, but also some of the ways that collectively we can help address the issues. I do want to give a shout out to our New South Wales teachers who represented our State there today. The most amazing educators that we are just so lucky to have in our State. They really did all of our thousands and thousands of teachers in New South Wales very proud today. I think what's most important, though, is that we get some actions and some outcomes, because it's really lovely to have great conversations and we certainly did that this morning. But as Minister Clare has just said, the fact that we will now be working on a national plan that Ministers can look at and agree to, hopefully in December, I really think is an important step forward. Because no matter which State Minister would be speaking to you now, we're all dealing with the same issues and challenges. We all know we've got fantastic teachers working in all of our schools day in, day out. We need to be working collectively on ways to keep them there. We've got to attract new people into the profession, and we also have to look at that workload issue. And again, that was something that came up quite consistently from the educators in the room today. I would also say it was pleasing to see that some of the initiatives that we are doing already in New South Wales were commented on today as being steps in the right direction. I'm sure that any Minister, again, in their own jurisdictions will be able to point to ways that we're working on this. But to have a national plan, to have a national opportunity today to speak, I think was important. But again, what's most important now is we put those words into action.

GRACE GRACE: Can I say, as Minister in Queensland, today was really terrific. We do have some of the best educators in the world and I think they're in that room. We heard firsthand some of the struggles. We heard firsthand some of the glories of being a teacher, and we heard firsthand what we needed to do to go forward. And I know Queensland is looking forward to working collaboratively and cooperatively, not only with all my colleagues, but with the Commonwealth Government. It is a breath of fresh air. We are really going to tackle this issue. I'm looking forward to looking at the action plan to do with attraction, retention and advancement, because that's what every child in this country deserves. They deserve the best teachers in front of them and we're going to work cooperatively together to deliver that. I can't wait. Apart from all the stuff we're doing in Queensland and New South Wales and right around the country, there is more we can do. And together, on a national scale, we can do a hell of a lot more. And I can't wait to do it. So thank you, Jason.

NATALIE HUTCHINSON: I'm Natalie Hutchinson. I'm the Minister for Education in Victoria. To our teachers, I just want to say that we've heard you and we see you and we thank you for all that you've done. We know that COVID has presented so many more challenges in our classrooms and to our teaching. Even post-COVID, we've heard today how teachers are dealing with issues that they've never had to deal with in the past, with increased mental health on the rise for students and for teachers themselves. We've heard that people are feeling burnt out and we want to say that we are working collaboratively across all of the States to deliver better outcomes for you. Certainly in Victoria, we have a real focus on mental health of our teachers and our students going forward, and we've made those investments in our budget. Certainly today is all about the future and about how we attract people into our workforces, into teaching. So anyone out there that is considering a career change, please think about teaching. You certainly would have an opportunity and a pathway, and you'd be welcome. And we look forward to building on the action plan that we've started to discuss today. So thanks.

SUE ELLERY: Thank you. Sue Ellery, Minister for Education and Training in Western Australia. Can I echo the comments that today was a breath of fresh air. These meetings have been really difficult over the last few years and I've been coming to them for five years. So I want to commend Minister Clare for the roundtable this morning. I think, in addition to what's been said already, really two key messages. The first one was that probably 2022 has been the hardest of the years of the pandemic for teachers. Now, I expect that's because it's the cumulative effect of what's happened. But the second point, which I think can't be underestimated, was from the educators in the room themselves, who described the kind of pressures that they're under. And despite those pressures being incredibly powerful and difficult for them, the sense of vocation is strong. Despite working in intense circumstances, the clear message was that they're not in this because it's a job, they're in this because it's a vocation. Now, we owe them because of that vocation. We owe them the obligation to get the kind of pressures that they've described to us fixed and right. Every jurisdiction has a range of measures in place. In WA, we've just completed our enterprise bargaining agreement with teachers, which includes measures around well being, workload and compliance, reducing compliance for them. But we owe those who spoke today, and those they spoke on behalf, to recognise their vocation by seriously tackling the issues that they presented today.

BLAIR BOYER: Blair Boyer Administrator Education in South Australia. There was a real sense of optimism in the room today, even though some of the issues that we were talking about were upsetting. Mr Clare mentioned that there were tears shed. The staff and principals from around Australia who have the opportunity to come in and speak to Ministers today did so really passionately and frankly. And I think it's a really good reminder for all of us about how important it is to have people from the professions that we represent at these national meetings. So that reminds us of how important our task is to support them and, of course, attract more of them to teaching as well. I want to give a shout out, of course, to Rebecca Huddy, who is the principal from Westport Primary School in Adelaide, who is here representing the profession in South Australia. [She] spoke wonderfully about not only the challenges that face her and other principals, but also came to the table with some really practical ideas about what we can actually do to help principals like Rebecca. I should mention that Mr Clare was down in Adelaide only about six weeks ago and I took him to Westport Primary School, where he had the chance to meet Rebecca. Here we are just six weeks later in the nation's capital, and Rebecca got the stand before all the education Ministers in the country and share her thoughts. I want to thank Mr Clare for giving people like Rebecca the opportunity to come and speak on behalf of the profession. But I also walked away from the meeting in the National Workforce Plan that we discussed, feeling that there is real symmetry across all the States and territories about what the problems are and a real willingness to work together from everyone, including all the Ministers behind me, to actually find practical solutions.

ROGER JAENSCH: Hello, Roger Jaensch Minister for Education, Children and Youth from Tasmania. Like many of the other new Ministers in their portfolios, we've all spent a lot of time understanding the circumstances of our education systems and our workforce shortages and challenges in our own jurisdictions, particularly in preparation for a discussion like we've had today. What's been very reassuring is that the problems are the same in every jurisdiction. They're national challenges and they need a national solution. We've gone and put together a framework for that today and I'm looking forward to working with colleagues from right across Australia on how we deal with these challenges. Because they're not only challenges for us as government, they are fundamental challenges for our society and how we prepare our young people to lead us in the future and for them to be their best so that we can succeed as a nation and as individual States. So with this framework agreement on what the national priorities are and a commitment to work together, I'm confident that we can do better than stealing each other's teachers. We can steal each other's ideas, share each other's information and come out with some real solutions to ensure that we're elevating the status of teachers and teaching as a profession in our country and ensuring that we've got a pipeline of gifted people who can give our kids the best tools for their lives in the future. So it's been wonderful to be here today and I thank, Mr Clare, for that opportunity. Thank you.

YVETTE BERRY: Hello, everyone. Yes, this has been a wonderful meeting today and hearing from educators, teaching professionals and their unions. In my time in the role of Minister for Education and Early Childhood Education in the ACT, there has never been an opportunity for people, for educators, for teaching professionals, for their union to be sitting at the same table as the Federal Government and the policymakers, the Ministers in every State and Territory to be part of that decision making. So there has been real hope. We heard it today and we've heard it in the community leading up to this meeting, that they will see some action in a national plan to deal with this terrible problem that we're all trying to manage at the moment around a teacher shortage across the country. That action will be taken nationally and that we'll be able to work together on a national plan to really tackle that issue. I wanted to acknowledge and thank Federal Labor Minister Jason Clare for the comments that he's made already across the country, reassuring teachers that he has their backs. Because that's something they haven't heard for a number of years and they felt undermined and undervalued for some time now. So having the chance to share their stories with us today has been incredibly powerful, and I thank them all for their contributions and I can't wait to get onto the work that we need to do together to tackle this problem that we're all experiencing across the country with regards to a teacher workforce problem. We are renegotiating a system that existed before COVID that doesn't work anymore. We already saw the teacher workforce issues before COVID, and COVID has definitely exacerbated on that and provided even more challenges for our school staff and our teaching communities and also in our early childhood space as well. So tackling this together as a nation is an incredibly powerful message that we can get out today. And again, I acknowledge Minister Jason Clare for his leadership in that space. It certainly has been a breath of fresh air, a warm breeze that is definitely building momentum. Thank you all.

EVA LAWLER: Lucky last. Eva Lawler from the Northern Territory. It's been an absolute pleasure to be here today and to be with my colleagues, education Ministers from across Australia. I think the Northern Territory principal that was here today, Renezz Lamon, she probably provided one of the most insightful sessions or the insightful talks because she talked about, as a principal, having to go on the oval and drag a kangaroo off the oval as a job of the principal. That’s part of the job we face as principals. So our principals, our teachers, the workloads have been increasing. So whether it is dragging a kangaroo off an oval in the Northern Territory or dealing with the complexities of teachers with mental health that are facing mental health issues. Students with mental health as well. Complexities around disability that we're seeing in our schools as well. Our teachers. We understand our teachers are facing an increased workload and that has exacerbated some of the issues that we see around the difficulty of recruiting teachers and also retaining teachers.

But as the Minister in the Northern Territory, the complexities in the Territory, it was reassuring to hear today that those issues that we face in the Northern Territory are issues that are across Australia. So we aren't just due unique. There are things that are unique about the Territory, but the issues that our teachers face, that our profession faces in the Territory are also issues that are shared across Australia. So reassuring for me, as the Minister, to know that we have a Federal Minister that's focused on addressing these issues, that I have also colleagues in other States and territories that also want to see improvements around our Initial Teacher Education. For too long, we have felt that Initial Teacher Education hasn't provided us necessarily as employers with a set of teachers that we need, with the skill sets that we require in our system. So looking forward to a focus on that initial teacher education, looking forward to a focus on how do we retain teachers, but also how do we talk about the profession in a positive way. I spent 30 years in education, I was a previous teacher, a principal and an education executive, and it truly is a wonderful profession. We need to keep reminding people of that. And I look forward to being able to leave that work in the Northern Territory to say, this is a great job, let's talk to young kids and let's talk to school leavers, let's get them putting up their hands to be our future teachers. Thank you.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: And just to clarify, the kangaroo was dead. [Laughter]

JASON CLARE: And it is your birthday today. We'll have a cake a little bit later on. Sarah.

JOURNALIST: You mentioned mentoring. Was there support from News South Wales/Victorian proposal to use master teachers to get paid as much as a Deputy Principal and to teach in classrooms and mentor other teachers? Was there support for that and will we see it the National Plan? And a second if I may? Regarding the Apprentice Degree model proposed by Universities Australia to get student teachers into classrooms sooner, say 6 months. Was there any support for that?

JASON CLARE: What if I start with the second one? And colleagues correct me if I get it wrong. There was a lot of support for that idea of the paid internship model. What Universities Australia have talked about, got a lot of nods in the room. Anything that gives you that practical experience early on people thought was a really terrific thing. People were talking about practical first year, but also paid internships in the last year. So that will be part of the action plan that will ask secretaries to work up for us so we can see what that would mean in practice. When I talk about mentoring, I'm talking about something slightly different to that master teacher model. They're talking about when a teacher first arrives at school fresh out of university, that they need a mentor, that they need a proper induction process, that they need some hands-on experience about behaviour management and that in different States and jurisdictions done differently. The Lisa Paul review said, let's have some national guidelines for that. I think in principle that's a good idea. One of the things we're going to look at is how do we create national standards around that?

The second part of your first question was around how do we pay teachers better? We all want to pay teachers better. We've all got limited budgets to do that. Sarah maybe can talk in bit more detail about some of the really good things that are happening in New South Wales there. We didn't do a deep dive into that, though, today. What we looked at was what are the things we need to work on together? There are some things that only the Commonwealth can do, there are some things that only States can do. We're not going to get anything done if we don't work together on this, and we're certainly not going to have the impact that we want if we just talk to ourselves. Some people might say, well, this was just talking. It's not just talking. By listening to teachers, we got ideas we didn't have before today. So today was about listening to teachers, harvesting those good ideas and now working on a plan that we can implement to make a real difference. We didn't come to Canberra because we wanted the plane food. We came to Canberra today because we do want to fix this. This is a big deal, this is a massive challenge. It affects all of us. We care about the kids in those classrooms, we care about the teachers that are providing such extraordinary learning in those classrooms. And we want to help to make sure there's more of them.

JOURNALIST: Minister will the Government consider more skilled visas for teachers to help fill that labour shortage in the interim while other solutions are being considered?

JASON CLARE: This is something Sarah and I have been working on. Again, Sarah, feel free to jump in if you want to. One of the things we've got to do is prioritise visas for teachers from overseas who want to come and work here. And States, independently of the Commonwealth, work with teachers who are keen to come and work here. Make sure that they meet the standards that individual States have to be accredited and registered to teach here. And then when they want to come here, make sure that they get the visa as quickly as possible. So Clare O'Neil, who's the Minister for Home Affairs working with me, and I want to thank her for it, has agreed to prioritise those visas. There's a whole bunch of teachers who are already in the queue. Sarah, maybe to explain to colleagues here there's a whole lot more people who potentially might want to come here and work as well.

SARAH MITCHELL: Well, obviously, for us in New South Wales, we had a teacher supply strategy that we released and funded last year, and there were a range of initiatives as part of that. And one was looking to recruit, sorry everyone, from other jurisdictions but also from overseas. And what was interesting is that we've literally had thousands of people apply who are interested in coming and working in New South Wales. Now, we need to go through that proper process of making sure they've got the right skills, that they've got the right accreditation to meet the high standards that of course, we want from our teachers. But one of the concerns and challenges has been that wait for a visa. And I think that has also been turning off prospective people from coming. So I just want to acknowledge Jason and also his Federal colleagues, who really responded quite rapidly when we put the call out in New South Wales saying, “can we start to prioritise these visas”? I actually think that we could look at potentially even going further. I wonder what opportunities there might be for fast track to citizenship, for people who are highly skilled, who are coming to work in areas particularly where there's high demand, things like STEM subjects, for instance. So there's a lot that we can do in this space if we work collaboratively. And I think today is a really good step in the right direction.

JOURNALIST: Will the Terms of Reference of the National Plan include the ability to consider our funding related questions, things like the costs of the teaching degree and increasing the pay of teachers? And just for the States and territories that mentioned the Commonwealth approach being a breath of fresh air. Was any of that related to a willingness to tip more into the system? Is funding in the Terms of Reference?

JASON CLARE: I won't speak for my colleagues, but maybe it's just a willingness to get around the table and talk. I think the first part of it was around cost of degrees. Is that right, Paul? What came out really clearly out of the conversation today, and I got a better insight into it than I think I had before I went into the room, was that initial teacher education is screaming out for reform. That we need some reform here if we're going to make sure that one more people who go into ITE, who go into a teaching degree, complete the degree. Also that we improve what they get out of it. I talked about prac and I talked about paid internships, I talked about what you learn when you're at uni in terms of teaching reading and teaching maths. Mark Scott was with us today, the Vice Chancellor from Sydney University, but he's also been the head of Education in New South Wales as well. One of the things that we've agreed that we want to do is we want Mark to lead an expert panel that's going to look at this. Now, we won't finalise the Terms of Reference for that today. We'll work together on what that will be. But what struck me - and colleagues tell me if I'm wrong or add to my comments - but I think there's some terrific work that we can do in reforming the way it works. One of the things Mark said to us, for example, is that the way unis work with hospitals for medical students is very different to the way that unis work with schools and education departments for teachers. There might be some lessons for us there where we can get better practical outcomes. I'm keen to pick Mark's brain, work with him and others on how we can improve Initial Teacher Education.

JOURNALIST: There have been dozens and dozens and dozens of reports initial education courses over the years, most recently in 2014, and released the Paul report. I mean, it's a situation that just keeps going around and around. How do we resolve issues with the quality of courses that universities are putting out?

JASON CLARE: One of the things I talked about this morning with PK was about whether you potentially prioritise the allocation of Commonwealth Supported Places to the universities that are getting the best results.

JOURNALIST: What are the results?

JASON CLARE: Completion. That's one of them. It's not the only one, I hear you. It's not the only one, but that's part of it. I talked about what the results should be. We want teachers and Grace you talked about whether we're getting teachers of a different capability today than in the last decade. One thing that really came out of today, though, is that we want to make sure that teachers are better prepared for the classroom: so that's prac; that's those internships. What we haven't spoken about yet today are mid-career. We might touch on that in a minute. But that practical experience teaching to read, teaching maths, but also completion. What I said on PK this morning is 50 per cent of young people who go into a teaching degree finish it. On average, it's about 70 per cent of people who go into any other degree finish it and what's going wrong there? If there are things that we do, whether it's prac early on so you get a real sense of what being a teacher is, and if there are other changes that we can make that means, let's say, 60 per cent of people finishing a teaching degree, then we'll go a long way towards tackling the supply issue. Grace did you want to talk about that?

GRACE GRACE: Look, I guess the answer to the breath of fresh air is that everything is on the table. And I think everyone here agree that there's not one thing that's either not one thing that is out but we do want to work around is a comprehensive plan about all the different elements that is going to turn out a better teacher. Now we've made a lot of changes over the last few years. And I don't know if the answer to that question is that we necessarily have a better teacher today than what we had 10 years ago. So what are the barriers? What do we need to do, and the breath of fresh air is we're discussing, we've got great educators in that room today telling us what they need. We're all collaborating together. We're all in the same boat. And we all want to get a better outcome. And I think working and having everything on the table, and congratulations, Mr. Clay, on doing that. I've been education and assistance 2018. In Queensland, we haven't had this kind of discussion. So we're now starting on a course I think that will come about a better outcome. And hopefully the longer you're in education, the better the outcomes will be by the time we finish. But it was a great question.

JOURNALIST: Can I ask one of the State Ministers. One thing teachers have raised is flattening salaries. Will you pay teachers more as they advance so they don't leave the profession? And then you secondly, Jason, do you think that higher pay is [inaudible]?

SARAH MITCHELL: I'll have a go first, because obviously some of you might have seen yesterday in New South Wales, we released our intention to look at exactly what you're asking about, which is rewarding excellence and making sure that our best teachers don't feel that they have to leave the classroom in order to get a higher salary or to get a career progression. Indeed, we had one of the teachers in the room today say how much she loved teaching. She won't leave. You’d have to drive her out of the classroom, I think were the words that she said. But it does get really hard when sometimes the new system will hit that ceiling. So obviously we announced yesterday that Professor John Hattie will be doing some work for us in New South Wales about what that pathway will look like. We are talking about offering opportunities for much more substantial salaries for teachers who are performing well, who are excellent in their career, who want to stay in the classroom. I think that's in line with every other profession. You know, one of the things I hear in New South Wales is that the graduate salary, the starting salary for teachers is pretty good. But it's when you go higher up in, the longer that you're in the profession, you do kind of hit that ceiling, and then you feel you've either got to move into a leadership role, or perhaps into a department to get more money and more prestige. And we want to change that in New South Wales. So I'm excited about that work that Professor Hattie will do, very happy to share that with any colleagues around the table who might be interested, because I think it's an important way that we can not only reward excellence, but also modernise the profession. And I think it's time we did that.

JASON CLARE: One of the principles might be that you don't just fix this with salary. It's more than that. Of course, we want to pay teachers more. It's about it's about salary, it's also about workload and conditions, and it’s about wellbeing too. When the conversation turned to talking about mental health. First, we heard about students contemplating suicide, suicide ideation. We heard about people with anorexia, and that coming back, and being a bigger problem for schools than it's been in years and years. Linking that to COVID. Then it quickly switched to the wellbeing of teachers themselves. What was I guess stressed to us by a couple of the principals is don't just think that there's one thing. I’ve got lots of mates that are teachers, they say, sure, I’d love to be paid more. Sarah’s right, that pay for teachers when you start is pretty competitive, and then it goes up in grades for 10 years, and then it sort of tops out. Teachers often have to make the hard decision “do I leave the classroom to become an assistant principal? Or do I leave the profession altogether and go and do something else?” So those sorts of ideas that Sarah’s talking about, are the good ones we wanted to talk about today. But it's not just that, that's the key point, my mates tell me it's also about the work they do after school. And I've said it earlier today, I've said it in the room, this idea that teachers start at 9, and finish at 3 is rubbish. Anybody that's a teacher knows that anybody who has friends that are teachers know that. If there's one thing that we can do collectively as a team, is to help to send that message to the country, to help celebrate the incredible work that our teachers do, and to recognise that we know that your job doesn't start at 9 and finish at 3, that you're doing all of this extra work. And that you want a little bit of help and understanding from us about how we can give you more time to teach to be able to do more extraordinary things.

JOURNALIST: So what are the measures around that thing for retention to keep them for the teachers that are working today, who probably won’t watch this until very very late tonight when they finish all their work? What hope can you give them that their workload is going to ease? You know, like I said, beyond salary, what are the measures that you’re considering there?

JASON CLARE: Again, I'll ask Sarah to talk a little bit about this because you've got some good examples of it. Sue, you've just finalised an agreement, so might be able to help us as well as the employers there are there on the ground doing this. It's about admin. It's about a teacher sometimes having to spend time filling out forms for an excursion or for you know, ordering the materials for the art class. It's also about lesson planning, as well. You've got the curriculum, but there's a lot of work that goes in to preparing for every lesson. New South Wales are doing some terrific things on admin, as well as when it comes to lesson planning. I told the story in the room. My mum never went to high school. She got she got rheumatic fever and was crook in bed for two years. By the time she got better it was year 9 she was behind. She spent 30 years at school in the admin office at school I went to. That was okay for me because I was a bit of a nerd. But my brother got in trouble a lot, so whenever he got sent to the principal's office, he was more worried about Mum seeing him at the admin office. The contribution she made to that school was incredible. It's not just the teachers in the school it’s everybody. How we how do we make that work that can make a real meaningful difference. Sue do you want to talk about it?

SUE ELLERY: So as I said, we just completed our EBA with the teachers union and registered at a week ago. So in addition to a pay rise and cost of living increase, we included around $30 million worth of measures in schools to do things like reduced appliance time, additional duties other than teaching, as in our last EBA, recognising when two principals in particular get called in on the weekend, because the fire alarms gone off, or whatever replacing that time, and a whole range of other measures around wellbeing. I think you'll find between us all States are doing various things to address the issues, we haven't been silent. This is not the first time we've talked about these issues. We need to understand this is the first time we've been able to engage with the Federal Government that has appreciated the issues that we're dealing with. The point about going forward is that we share now, all of the things that we're doing, we have a Federal Government that is committed to using the levers that it controls. For example, some of the things Jason has talked about, about universities, which are in the Federal control, not in not in our control, there are a range of things we're already doing, we can do more. And when the federal government that is committed to assisting us, we will do it much better.

NATALIE HUTCHINSON: I'd like to add something to our workload. Now recently, EBA in Victoria also had gone to the heart of the workload issue. It was probably even a bigger focus out EBA negotiations, and then the pay issue. That was teachers were telling us that they were spending too much time in their own time doing work, and doing follow up. So as part of our outcomes, we've committed to an hour and a half out of the classroom, additional starting next year, that rolls out. But that comes at a massive investment of around $700 million, which equates to an investment in 1900 more teachers. So you can see that there's no one size fits all when it comes to the challenge of workforce shortages. But certainly, by making our teachers feel that they're being supported in their workflow, that's a really big step forward.

ROGER JAENSCH: Just a quick comment in relation to the question earlier about the fact that we periodically review, initial teacher education we've been here before, and what's going to be different this time. I think one of the answers to that is that this time is unique. We're dealing with a different generation of people, we're competing in the different market for the best people. We need our universities, as well as looking at how to teach, to be looking at what else they're up against, what the circumstances are of the people we want to have in our classrooms, what their options are and how we appeal to them. How are we going to appeal to people who are returning to the workforce after an absence? What do we need to do to make it worthwhile for people to leave a career and train for teaching? And how do we make that something that a family can afford to do and make practical. So we need to rethink everything about how we're preparing people for these roles, and meet the demands of the market as it is right now. And it's not just about the science of teaching teaching, it has to be about how we compete. And part of that is about making teaching a sought-after profession that's valued in the community. And that's one of our priorities. And then we have to look at the machinery of the ITE, from an employer perspective, as well and make sure that the universities and the people that are educating our teachers understand the market that they're working with.

JASON CLARE: Just to add on that Karen. Roger’s made the important point, one of the things Mark said and I'm sure he wouldn't mind sharing with you is he said there's always only going to be a limited number of individuals who choose to go into teaching from school. That's made more difficult at the moment by people leaving school after the experience in the last two years with COVID and not wanting to go to university at all. In a tight labour market - and boy is it tight - then you've got some people choosing to go from school straight into the workforce as well. Mark’s advice to us in the room was that people choosing to switch to teaching mid-career is a rich opportunity, but we've got to make sure that the model is right.

JOURNALIST: That teaching time from two years to one year if someone has an undergraduate degree in law, science. Is that in the picture?

JASON CLARE: We didn’t really go into that level of detail. There are different views about whether you go for a one-year model or two-year model. But what Mark said, and I think what we all agree on, is people mid-career in their 30s, two kids and a mortgage can't afford to take two years out of the workforce about pay. So if you're going to have a model that works, people are going to pay that's where that paid internship model is critical.

JOURNALIST: Sarah Mitchell’s idea about citizenship. Do you support that? Fast tracking citizenship for teachers - was it a good idea?

JASON CLARE: Well, first step is prioritising visas. I want to have a conversation at the Jobs and Skills Summit about a number of things that we can do in this space. I know this isn't a press conference to do with that, but you might have heard me talk about it before. We have international students who were here at the moment, I'm not talking about pathways to permanency, I'm talking about potentially changes to work visas, or international students who are already here studying in areas of skill shortage. The sort of work visas that we offer at the moment are not as competitive as they used to be compared to what other countries are offering. I've said, I think this would be a good topic to have on the table. At the Jobs and Skills Summit. I think we might take one more question to get back to work.

JOURNALIST: You mentioned Angela, the teacher who was probably the tears today we spoke with her not long ago, she told us three hours this morning was just not enough to speak about these issues that educators are facing. Do you think this morning's meeting people like Angela was enough to hear these stories from educators? And can we expect to see more meetings with educators?

JASON CLARE: It's not enough and it’s not the end. I don't want this just to be a conversation and then we walk away from it. This is just the start. I spoke to Rebecca West, the former Australian Teacher of the Year, whose contribution was incredible. I said to Rebecca, and the same is true for Angela, as we now move to the next step of developing this action plan we don’t have to do it do it on our own. We want to do it with them. Because otherwise we're going to make a mistake, we're going to get it wrong. We don't want to get it wrong. So as we get the secretaries together as we get the unions, employers together to build muscle on the bones of what we've agreed today, I want to talk to Angela. I want to talk to Rebecca, to make sure that what we come together to implement is what they think we need to do to make it right.

Thanks very much.

ENDS