The Education Directorate does not know why the ACT is suffering from a shortage of teachers, a budget estimates hearing was told.
A taskforce has been meeting fortnightly following a damning survey conducted by the Australian Education Union which showed 91 per cent of educators in the public system believed their school was negatively impacted by workforce shortages.
When asked what was causing the shortage of teachers in the territory, Education Minister Yvette Berry said that question was why the taskforce had been established.
"We have a taskforce that we're working closely with the Australian education union to understand exactly what is going on as far as the teaching workforce crisis across this country and then of course being felt here in the ACT and we are well onto it, but we're taking it very seriously," Ms Berry said.
"I think we are going over and above, as a city, as a government and clearly the respect and value that our community has for the teaching workforce has been shown very clearly."
Opposition education spokesman Jeremy Hanson asked why there wasn't more funding in the budget for extra teachers considering the current shortage and the government's election commitment to hire more than 400 teachers and support staff.
"The chronic shortage of teachers is now," he said. "Classes are split ... so why isn't the money in the budget to pay for some of those 400 new teachers that you promised?"
Ms Berry said ACT teachers were among the best-paid and longest-serving in the country.
Director-general Katie Haire, who chairs the workforce shortage taskforce, said there were currently 12 vacancies across ACT public schools.
Teacher Quality Institute chief executive Coralie McAlister said 90 per cent of 8400 teachers had renewed their registration each year for the past five years.
Ms McAlister said the largest proportion of people who did not renew their registration were retiring teachers.
"We haven't seen a trend in the ACT which suggests larger numbers of teachers are leaving," she said.
Ms Berry said exit interviews were conducted with teachers at a school level but this data had not been collected or analysed by the directorate.
The process of finding casual teachers to cover absences has been taken on at a directorate level since the teacher shortage taskforce was created to relieve them of the administrative burden.
The 2021-22 ACT budget provides for 42.5 extra full time equivalent positions made up of teachers and support staff as part of an equitable enrolment adjustment.
The number of full-time equivalent staff had dropped by 188 positions as the Jobs for Canberrans funding came to an end.
The Education Minister took on notice questions on how many of the 42.5 positions would be qualified teachers and how many teachers would be hired under other budget initiatives.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: