Queensland Government

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Queensland children attending Prep in state schools 2007 will get a raw deal, thanks to the Qld Government’s penny pinching over teacher aide hours.

Under the previous system, pupils attending State preschools would have had a teacher aide accompanying their classes for the entirety of their time at preschool (around 15 hours per week per class). However, with the introduction of Prep and the subsequent increase of pupils’ at-school hours (to a standard school week of 30 hours), pupils will now have the assistance of a teacher aide for a maximum of 15 hours per week per class.

This leaves classes of up to 25 children, aged between 4 and 5 years, with only one adult to supervise, educate, and keep them safe for at least half the week.

How is this going to work, for example, when for three hours of the day, no child will be allowed to go to the toilet because there will be no one to accompany them to the amenities block because the lone teacher must supervise the rest of the class?

How is this going to work when teachers have to take on the roles that teacher aides usually do -- preparation and cleaning up of artwork, putting away of toys and puzzles to create a safe environment, supervision of children toileting and washing hands, comforting of a child who is upset etc.

In an interview recently, Education Minister Welford seemed that he hadn’t entirely convinced himself of the benefits of this scheme, let alone convinced parents and teachers.

He claims to have seen the trial Prep classes working well, with the restricted teacher aide hours. However, he relies on counting parents and other non staff who happen to be in the classroom at the time, in his calculations of adequate adult to child ratios.

The Government has magnanimously offered a pool of 10, 000 extra teacher aide hours to ease the prep introduction over the entire state. But with every state school in the same boat, it won’t be long before that allocation is used.

We, the undersigned, call on the Queensland Government to fund full time teacher aide positions for Prep classes in Queensland state schools.

We feel that each Prep class MUST have a teacher and a teacher aide in the class room at all times.

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The Petition to increase Teacher Aide Hours for Queensland Prep Classes petition to Queensland Government was written by Peter and is in the category Education at GoPetition.