All teachers should care about learning privatisation

Kerri Carr

Preservation of teaching qualifications is critcal

To assume that you can take a person with years of teaching and qualifications and then reclassify them as a clerk is an absolute insult to the profession, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said.

“Mike Baird is a fanatic when it comes to privatisation and attacking the public service,” he told a union meeting of Corrective Services teachers earlier this month.

The Baird government wants to privatise gaol education services, keeping just 20 teaching positions within the Corrective Services department.

The Baird government has already gutted TAFE funding, meanwhile, sending the dollars in the direction of private vocational education and training providers. It has also — unsuccessfully — sought to introduce a new position called “trainer” (paid much less than a teacher and requiring lesser qualifications) into the TAFE enterprise agreement.

The 158 current Corrective Services teachers will be able to apply for 67 new clerical positions to assess inmate education needs and source training or “source and manage the delivery of education and vocational education programs” but the positions won’t require a teaching qualification. Training — as opposed to the educating of inmates — will be provided by an external provider, for which there is no guarantee that educators will be required to be qualified teachers.

“This is a Treasury-designed model. This has nothing to do with Corrective Services or educational services for trying to support the most vulnerable people. It’s all about cost-cutting and shifting public dollars effectively to private providers,” Mr Mulheron said.

“The preservation of teacher qualifications, and any accreditation processes that protect and strengthen those standards, is critically important for the profession.

“Political conservatives around the world, in collusion with huge edu-businesses such as Pearson, are attacking the teaching profession by weakening, and even removing, teaching qualifications,” Mr Mulheron said.

Read more:

Privatisation of gaol learning opens huge risk
Investors take Pearson to task
TAFE back in talks after overwhelming 'no' vote
Federal Labor and TAFE — it's a start but more needed

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