Government axes ‘critical’ teacher training

by Brett Henebery23 Jun 2017
The Queensland Government has announced that it will cease funding the controversial Safe Schools program, which is aimed at providing teachers and students with anti-bullying training.

This means that Queensland schools will need to use their own budgets to provide teachers to access the program's training and professional development.

A spokesman for Queensland's Education Minister told the ABC the move was about supporting schools to make their own decisions.

“Principals, in consultation with their community, are best placed to decide what's appropriate for their schools,” the spokesman said.

Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) president, Kevin Bates, said the training was a “critical piece of professional development”.

“We would hope that at some point in the future, reason will reign and we'll have a situation return to our schools, where they can access this professional development through quality external providers,” he said.

Also concerned about the government’s decision is Janet Berry from the Queensland Action Group for LGBTIQ+ Students, who fears that leaving it up to individual schools to fund training would see many teachers miss out.

“Without the training these teachers do not know what it's like to be a lesbian or gay child, or a transgender child, or a child with intersex variations, and without that knowledge … to know what support they need … there's no way that they can actually offer that,” she told the ABC.

However, Queensland schools will still be able to access the Safe Schools Coalition's resources including lesson plans, pamphlets, and posters.

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