Lifting Learning is...

Gender equity, inclusion, and diversity

Public schools have a proud tradition of inclusiveness and reflect society in all its richness and diversity.

It is important that the diversity of the student population is reflected in the diversity of the teaching population and that the values that we instil in students of inclusion and equity are the values that we also put into practice when recruiting and supporting teachers. 

Teachers need to be treated as whole human beings with complex lives inside and outside of school and policies and measures must support teachers to be the best they can be when they are in the classroom. 

A supportive working environment makes for a great learning environment. 

Just as we demonstrate care and compassion toward students and account for the complexity of their personal and biological lives, we need to show the same care for teachers. We also must recognise that teachers are biological beings with associated events, issues and life stages that they need to manage. That’s why we are advocating for Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave for all teachers.

Working in a feminised profession, I think it’s particularly important that we provide women with leave to manage reproductive related issues. Life stages and cycles like menstruation and menopause are not illnesses but they are currently treated as such and teachers must use sick leave if they require time away from work. Instead, these natural processes should be recognised as life events that are not illnesses but that may require paid time away from school to manage.

In a profession with rising stress and burnout rates, it has never been more important to spotlight the importance of educators exercising self-care and this new leave is an important step in that direction.

We want teachers who are feeling sub-par to be able to take time to recover so when they are in front of our students they are at the top of their game. And the old adage is true – a great working environment is a great learning environment.

Lifting Learning

Reproductive Health and Well Being Leave • Increased Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave • Support for LGBTIQ+ educators • Improved parental leave provision