Unvaccinated teachers who refused to get jabbed are allowed to return to the classroom in Victoria

Unvaccinated teachers who refused to get jabbed are allowed to return to the classroom in Victoria as the state battles a teacher shortage

Unvaccinated teachers, school staff and childcare workers will be able to head back to work next week in Victoria.

The mandate which required these workers to be triple vaccinated will expire on Friday.

Parents will not be informed of teachers’ vaccination status and won’t have the right to ask if they’ve been jabbed,.

The mandates will be scrapped in mainstream schools but will continue in specialist schools.

‘Parents do not have the right to ask for this information and no one at the school should have this information,’ an information sheet for principals says.

 Unvaccinated Victorian teachers to return to schools next week

‘Principals do not hold information about the vaccination status of staff or students. 

It comes after 351 education staff were fired in April for not getting the jab and a further 280 staff were stood down for failing to get a third jab.

Victoria is battling a teacher shortage, with teachers being offered $700 a day to work in regional schools as principals struggle to fill key positions.

There are currently staff shortages across regional Victoria as well as in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs as sickness coupled with absenteeism hollows rosters. 

Principals say the teaching workforce appears to be declining, with applications for positions drastically dropping this year.

This has led to those in the field picking up more work to cover empty positions, and subsequently becoming burnt out.

‘We are getting no applicants for positions we are advertising. English, humanities, usually we’d get several applicants, and we have got none,’ Anthony Rodaughan, principal of Kurnai College in Morwell, told The Age.

‘The teachers that aren’t sick are taking extra classes, so their energy levels drop.

‘The whole place becomes thinner and thinner, so some people need a mental health day, they just need to get out, and that leaves a hole someone else must fill, so it can spiral.’

Victorian Principals Association chief executive Andrew Dalgleish said more needed to be done to entice students into taking up teaching.

He said those in the industry keep discussing ways of increasing the attractiveness of the profession but it does not appear to be happening as quickly as desired.

Melbourne-based teachers are already eligible for initial payments of up to $50,000 if they take up a long-term job at a regional government school.

As part of his pre-election promise, Anthony Albanese announced $150 million plan to get more high achievers into teaching and boost the numbers of science and mathematics teachers.

Under the plan, 5,000 students with an 80 or higher ATAR will be able to receive $10,000 a year to study teaching, plus an extra $2000 if they move to the bush.

The plan will also fund 1500 extra placements to retrain mathematicians and scientists and support them as they work part-time as teachers while getting their masters degree in education.

If the proposal goes ahead, it will mean students will be able to earn up to $40,000 for studying teaching and up to $48,000 if they are prepared to work in a regional area.

More to come. 

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