What is your local member doing for NYR?

12 02 2012

This year is the National Year of Reading 2012.

Time to ask your local state and federal member:

  • How many government schools in your electorate do not have dual-trained teacher librarians in charge of their libraries? Of these, how many are new or refurbished BER libraries?
  • How many government secondary and primary schools in your electorate do not have centralized school libraries?
  • Are you aware of the well-researched link between literacy and well-funded and professionally staffed school libraries
  • Are you aware that there is no research linking principals’ right to hire and fire with increased literacy and learning?
  • In this National Year of Reading, what strategies will you put into place to assure students have the advantage of a qualified teacher librarian in every school, such as increased funding and scholarships for teacher librarian tertiary training and adequate funds to government schools so that they can afford to staff teacher librarians?

I look forward to hearing from you regarding your support for literacy and the advantages of a teacher librarian for students in your electorate.

Make the National Year of Reading count!

See one response in the comments from Greg Combett, and what you might write back.  Don’t let them wiggle out of facing the issues. And you have asked fair questions.  Demand answers, not evasion and buck-passing.

The Shadow Minister of Education in the ACT has responded positively to our plea to “Please ask the government what they are doing to ensure that the funds/staffing points are there to support specialist staff and that the tertiary training programs for teacher librarians are reinstated and scholarship incentives provided so that principals who want qualified teacher librarians will be able to get them.”

See his speech in Parliament at http://on-demand.parliament.act.gov.au/speeches/on_item/4802  four minutes almost at the end.  You will be surprised to at last hear a politician advocating for teacher librarians!!

And through Questions on Notice in the NT, Peter Chandler has been able to get us all the statistics on school library staffing.  Of 151 government schools, only 13 qualified teacher librarians!




2 responses

14 02 2012

this was the reply from a staffer of my local member to the above questions

Thank you for your email to Mr Combet regarding teacher librarians in public schools. Mr Combet has asked that I respond on his behalf with the following advice provided by the Hon Peter Garrett MP, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth.

On 24 November 2011, the Government tabled its response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment report, School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that all young Australians have access to a world-class education system and the highest quality teachers in all parts of the school, including the library. The Government agrees that qualified teacher librarians have an important role to play in the success of a school’s learning and teaching programs.

While the Government plays a leadership role and supports Australian schools, state and territory education authorities are responsible for the day-to-day management of schools, including allocation of staff such as teacher librarians. The report noted this division of responsibility and made eleven recommendations directed to the Australian Government.

The Government has existing initiatives in place to address some of the issues raised in the report, for example the Government already provides significant funding for programs that support reading. The report also indicated areas where the Government could work in partnership with states and territories, and these will be progressed through the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs.

A copy of the Government’s response is available at http://www.deewr.gov.au.

Kind regards
MELISSA CLEARY | Electorate Officer

Office of the Hon Greg Combet AM, MP | Federal Member for Charlton |

15 02 2012

Your reply, Sandy, might include (cuz we don’t let them get away with form letters do we:-)

1) Currently 2689 federally funded school chaplains are being funded by the federal government for a total cost of $151,235,687.24 So let’s not fall for the “we don’t interfere in state staffing” excuse. The federal government already funds school staffing.
2)Principals who want trained TLs can’t find them. The federal government can offer scholarships for TL training. It already has done so for early childhood education where it offers to pay 50% of fees.
3)The FEDERAL Productivity Commission MUST include teacher librarians in their workforce survey. We need the data to make decisions.
4)There is no section of the DEEWR to provide information or guidance to school leaders on the development of excellent school libraries to improve quality teaching and student literacy and learning. There needs to be a central federal agency and national guidelines for 21st century school libraries.
5)AITSL needs to supply access to a clearinghouse for the use of school leaders on developing excellent print and digital school library services and excellent teacher librarians to support quality teaching and improve learning outcomes.

This is just the start of what the FEDERAL government to do. I ask you now to respond to each point and tell me how you will progress action on it.

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