Aussie teachers splash $150m on struggling kids

Teachers are spending thousands of dollars of their own money to buy classroom supplies. Picture: Richard Walker

A new Australian Instruction Union (AEU) survey of 12,000 point out faculty lecturers and principals has exposed they expended a whopping $a hundred and fifty million of their very own income to get basic faculty materials in the earlier calendar year.

Just about every instructor expended an ordinary of $874 on critical faculty materials these kinds of as stationery, with major lecturers averaging $1067.

One particular in four lecturers expended extra than $a thousand of their very own income – and 12 for each cent expended extra than $2000.

Most of the income was expended on stationery, these kinds of as pencils and work out publications for pupils also very poor to get them.

Some generous lecturers even chipped in to shell out for faculty excursions for pupils who would otherwise pass up out.

Teachers attained into their very own pockets to get classroom products, textbooks, participate in products or assistance for specific pupils.

7 for each cent of lecturers donated income for pupils to attend excursions with their classmates.

AEU president Correna Haythorpe stated lecturers had been paying out at least $a hundred and fifty million a calendar year of their very own hard cash on “essential supplies’’ in government-funded educational facilities.

“Teachers spend their very own income mainly because they care about their pupils and really do not want to change these more charges onto moms and dads,’’ she stated.

“They really do not want their pupils to potentially pass up out when government funding does not extend as considerably as it should really.’’

The AEU’s survey of 9733 lecturers, 1787 assistance team and 787 principals in Could reveals that a quarter of government educational facilities are fundraising to shell out for basic faculty maintenance, and 8 for each cent have to elevate income to assistance pupils with a disability.

Ms Haythorpe stated principals and lecturers had been paying out useful time fundraising, when they should really be paying out time training pupils or preparing lesson options.

“Teachers should really not be paying out time organising sausage sizzles and other fundraising activities – their time should really be expended on training and discovering,’’ she stated.

“Teachers and principals should really be offered time to do their positions appropriately and the assets to educate pupils.’’

About fifty percent of all government educational facilities throughout Australia have to elevate income for participate in and sporting activities products, textbooks and basic library assets, the survey displays.

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More than a 3rd elevate income for computer systems, and extra than a quarter depend on fundraising activities to shell out for basic maintenance.

Colleges from wealthier communities are extra most likely to run fundraising activities than educational facilities in poorer suburbs, where by moms and dads are also very poor to donate.

In accordance to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there had been 206,784 lecturers performing in public educational facilities in 2019.


Main schoolteacher Natalie Montague-Clarke keeps a stash of stationery in her garage for pupils who run out of work out publications and pencils for the duration of the calendar year.

She spends as much as $a thousand a calendar year on faculty materials – particularly when training in suburbs with superior unemployment.

“A ton of households are battling and they just really do not have the income,’’ she stated.

“I glance at the kids and feel, ‘This is not your fault, so what can I do to make factors less complicated?’’’

Ms Montague-Clarke, who is training aspect-time at Brisbane faculty, stated the charges swiftly incorporate up.

“I discover I’m acquiring a ton of stationery – pens, pencils and publications – and a ton of assets to boost discovering,’’ she stated.

“We did a science device and I bought a complete ton of soil and pots and seeds.

“I’ve bought a ton of posters for spelling and multiplication, and reward charts which I have had laminated.’’