Legislative Council: Wednesday, June 15, 2022


Agricultural Teacher Shortage

The Hon. S.L. GAME (14:39): I seek leave to make a brief explanation prior to addressing a question to the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Education, Training and Skills, about the shortage of agricultural teachers in South Australia.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: There are 785 schools in South Australia and only 60 of those have a current agricultural studies pathway in line with the mandated national food and fibre curriculum. Out of those 60 schools, eight are unable to secure any agricultural teachers and several have more teachers from non-food and fibre backgrounds stepping into the role without proper training or any guidance from the SACE Board. There was one single graduate of the Master's in Agricultural Teaching in 2021, and there will be potentially two graduates this year.

These numbers are abysmal. There are already shortages and absolutely no room to expand this important curriculum. My questions to the Attorney-General representing the minister are:

1. Has the government consulted with the Agricultural Teachers Association of South Australia on their proposed ideas and solutions to this ongoing problem?

2. Will the government commit to ensuring this key South Australian industry of food and fibre has a future by ensuring that all students have access to this important curriculum?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:40): I thank the honourable member for her question and will refer it to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.