Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

Many Wannabe teachers in victoria fail Year nine literacy and numeracy tests.

Victoria University in Melbourne was one of the worst performers in the literacy and numeracy tests introduced in 2016 for wannabe teachers.

27 per cent of Victoria University education students failed literacy and 24 per cent failed numeracy.

They could not reach a Year 9 standard of literacy and numeracy. 


The median ATAR of wannabe teachers offered places in two of Victoria University initial teacher education courses in 2018  was 58.45 and 56.65 respectively.

The lowest ATAR of a wannabe teacher who was offered a Victoria University place was 45.3.

Victoria University offered the interesting explanation that once they had adjusted the raw ATARs to account for special circumstances, such as social, economic or geographic disadvantage, every student accepted into their education course had an adjusted ATAR of 65. 


Pressure on universities to raise the entry level for teaching courses, Rebecca Urban, The Australian, 23 April 2018 

Victorian teacher suffers PTSD for three years after assault at school.

More than 15,000 teaching days were lost in Victorian public schools from July 1, 2011 to September 30, 2016, because of assaults on Victorian teachers and principals.

The worst case of abuse left a teacher off work for 1147 days - more than three years - as they dealt with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Another teacher, also with PTSD, spent 907 days away from the classroom. 

Parents are more likely to be behind the attacks in primary school, while students are largely responsible for assaults in high schools.

Some of the injuries have been kept confidential, but the cause of most days off school were joint and cartilage disorders, accounting for 2552 teaching days off.

2532 days were lost because of PTSD.

2361 days were lost for other reactions to stress.

Teachers and principals also suffered from back pain, bruising, concussion and fractures.

Stressed Victorian teacher off work for years, Stefanie Balogh, Sean Parnell, The Australian, 15 March 2017 


How many Victorian teachers have suffered mental health injuries?

Victorian teachers and principals made -


172 WorkCover claims for mental injury during 2015.

137  WorkCover claims for mental injury during 2014.


It is not known how many Victorian principals and teachers are sick today.

Not all sick employees make WorkCover claims.

They are afraid that they will lose their job.

But during the past five years mental health claims to Teachers Health Fund have almost doubled.

'This is not something anyone should go through, especially over a job': the sickness plaguing our principals, Henrietta Cook, The Age, 23 October 2016


Do you want to teach in a remote area - or would you prefer to live and work in Melbourne?

About half of Australia's young teachers resign within five years of starting work because they have not developed enough resilience, according to a study published by The Australian Journal of Education.

Victorian Principal's Association (Secondary) president Judy Crowe said young teachers might become more resilient if they worked regionally after graduating.

"Sadly, what we don't see is young people wanting to move to areas beyond Melbourne and experience living in a more remote environment," she said.


Badapplebullies editor : Notice here how the problem has been spun into the young teacher's lack of resilience, not their poor working conditions.

And that the suggested remedy is to send the teachers out to remote areas - where the young teachers don't want to work.

Principals urge remote placement to prepare teachers for workload, David Henning, Herald Sun, 27 November 2016


Only the top 30 per cent of Victorian students will be allowed to train to be teachers.

The Victorian government has passed laws to ensure only the top 30 per cent of students will be able to study teaching degrees.

Education Minister James Merlino said this would provide young people with more skills to take into the job.

Principals urge remote placement to prepare teachers for workload, David Henning, Herald Sun, 27 November 2016


Grattan Institute report : intelligent Victorian children in disadvantaged schools are making poor progress.

The Grattan Institute report Widening Gaps : What Naplan tells us about Student Progress reveals that equally capable Victorian students make much less progress if they came from families with limited education.

When students had similar Year 3 scores, disadvantaged students fell between one and two years behind by Year 9.

Intelligent students in disadvantaged schools missed out the most.

Public vs private school funding a distraction from what matters, Peter Goss, school education program director, Grattan Institute, Julie Sonnemann, school education fellow, Grattan Institute, The Australian, 1 April 2016


WorkCover Victoria : more than two Victorian teachers a week are violently attacked by their students.

WorkCover Victoria claims show more than two claims a week on average being made for injuries sustained by teachers in violent attacks in Victorian schools.

843 attacks or threatened acts of violence against teachers were recorded in the Victorian Education Department's incident reporting information system in the past three and a half years.

Victorian school teachers, aides, principals, vice-principals and even office and support staff have been stabbed, kicked, punched, headbutted, bitten, scratched, pushed over, choked and spat on.

They have also been hit with a variety of weapons from tables and chairs, to knives, rocks, bottles, bats and other sporting equipment, pieces of wood, skateboards, school bags, boxes, computers, books and even shoes.

Some have been sprayed in the face with aerosol or paint, kicked in the groin or threatened with axes, knives, scissors, knitting needles and even an iron bar.

At least 105 Victorian teachers have required medical triage in the past three and a half years.

More than half of the teachers needed an ambulance, hospital bed or surgery to treat broken bones, stab wounds, or other injuries.

Almost as many were treated  at school medical centres for various cuts, abrasions and bites.

Countless other teachers were left sore, bruised, scarred or emotionally traumatised after encounters with violent students.

Some are left black-eyed, bloody-nose, or with chipped teeth, lumps on their heads or with a variety of sort-tissue injuries.

Violence is so endemic in some schools that staff are given formal training in restraining students.

Police were called on more than 200 occasions to arrest or remove young offenders, including some students below the age of 10.

Assaults by prep and year 1 pupils are common.

Police called to Victorian schools more than 800 times as students attack teachers, Peter Mickelburough, Sunday Herald Sun, 5 December 2015


Australian Education Union : the true level of violence against Victorian teachers is often hidden.

The Australian Education Union says the true level of violence in Victorian schools is not reflected in the official data.

"The prevalence of violence in our schools and centres is often hidden due to the normalisation of such behaviours and the acceptance that "It's just part of the job", said one union organiser who asked not to be named.

"Even when violence results in injury or trauma, it may not be officially reported or result in a WorkCover claim."


The union says violence against teachers comes from four main sources -

 * pupils with extreme and challenging needs and behaviours

 * parents or family members of students

 * intervening when students are fighting

 * threats in cyberspace or on social media.

Police called to Victorian schools more than 800 times as students attack teachers, Peter Mickelburough, Sunday Herald Sun, 5 December 2015


25 per cent of  Victorian school principals received threats from angry parents during the past year.

One in three Victorian school principals say they have been physically abused, mostly by children, in the past year.

One quarter of Victorian school principals say they received threats from angry parents in the past year.

Police called to Victorian schools more than 800 times as students attack teachers, Peter Mickelburough, Sunday Herald Sun, 5 December 2015


Hume and Whittlesea area : a quarter of students estimated to be missing school up to two days a week.

The average number of days absent in Victorian Primary Schools is 14.

Disadvantaged schools in Victoria are grappling with absence rates of 20 per cent.

Some students in grades five and six have missed more than 400 school days (more than two years).

A quarter of the primary school students in the Hume and Whittlesea area are estimated to be missing up to two school days a week.

"There is no one within the education department at this point in time who polices student attendance," said Nicky Leitch, executive officer of the Hume Whittlesea Local Learning and Employment Network.


Chronic absenteeism may be the result of -

 - periods of religious or cultural significance

 - homelessness

 - family violence

 - parent's own negative experience of school

 - students needed to be caregivers for babies or sick family members

 - a struggling single parent

 - mothers wanting the children to stay at home to keep them company.

Primary school kids missing years of schooling, Timna Jacks, The Age, 6 November 2015


Standards are falling in Victorian schools.

42,000 teachers are employed in about 1500 Victorian state schools.

During 2009-2014 standards in subjects including science, arts, history and information technology declined.

Big bonuses for education department officials despite fall in school standards, Benjamin Preiss, The Age, 21 October 2015


Very few overseas maths or science teachers are attracted to work in Victoria.

A Victorian government visa nomination scheme designed to ease acute shortages of maths, physics, science, language and special education teachers has been operating since 2003.

The scheme resulted in only eight successful applications in 2014 and seven in 2013.

17 overseas teachers applied in 2014.

21 applied in 2013.

Eight teachers from Britain, Ireland, Europe, Asia and North America were successful in 2014.

The teachers must agree to teach in Victoria for two years.

They must have qualifications that allow them to be registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

They must be proficient in English.

They must have a minimum of two years' teaching experience in their home country.

Visa scheme fails to ease shortage of maths, science and language teachers, Kate Nancarrow, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 October 2015

Victorian education graduates have a one-in -three chance of finding some sort of teaching job in a Victorian state school.

Victoria hired 2500 of the state's 7251 education graduates in 2015 - barely one in three - including teachers on casual or part-time contracts.

Teacher glut hits university graduates 'job hopes, Natasha Bita, The Australian, 12 October 2015


Victorian teachers paid less than unskilled construction labourers.

In Victoria, unskilled construction labourers covered by enterprise bargaining agreements are being paid $49 an hour.

Teachers and nurses in Victoria are paid $40 an hour, according to a report by Deloitte Access Economics.

Victoria's labourers better paid than engineers, teachers, police, Michael Bleby, Financial Review, 30 August 2015


Monash University : one in four new teachers suffer emotional exhaustion.

A recent Monash University study found that one in four new teachers suffer from emotional exhaustion, with some even experiencing forms of post-traumatic stress.

The main causes behind teacher burnout were found to be a lack of administrative support and onerous compliance measures. 

Associate Professors Paul Richardson and Helen Watt of Monash University made their findings from surveys of 612 primary and secondary teachers.

SCHOOLS IN CRISIS : One-in-four new teachers 'burnt out', Home News, The Educator, Brett Henebery, 9 December 2014


 65 per cent of new Victorian teachers are on fixed contracts.

About 19 per cent of all Victorian state school teachers are on contracts.

But the Australian Education Union's annual survey of new Victorian teachers showed that -

 * 65 per cent were on fixed contracts.

Teachers who are on contracts have to continually re-apply for their jobs.

And they have difficulty obtaining mortgages or car loans. 


 * 42 per cent of new secondary teachers were required to teach out of their subject area. 


 * 97 per cent of new teachers said they had used their own money to pay for some of the materials that they needed to teach.


Many Victorian beginning teachers do not see themselves teaching in the long term.

Two-thirds of new teachers on contracts  , Jewel Topsfield, The Age, 5 August 2014.


Entry requirements for teaching are falling at many Victorian universities.

Entrance requirements to study education are falling in many Victorian university courses.

The clearly-in entry ranks vary wildly for education courses, ranging from 73.05 at Monash's Berwick campus to as low as 43.35 at Ballarat University's Melbourne campus.

''In order for teaching to be a career of choice for our best and brightest, we need to make teaching an attractive profession,'' said a spokesman for Victorian Higher Education Minister Peter Hall.

Teacher entry ranking tumbles, Benjamin Preiss and Craig Butt, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 January 2013 

Victorian teachers say parents are neglecting their duty to enforce boundaries - they are fixated on being "friends" with their children.

A major Herald Sun survey of 816 primary and secondary Victorian teachers found -

 * Nearly half of the teachers surveyed had considered resigning over the past 12 months.

 * But the majority of teachers said they would choose teaching if they could start their careers again.

 * Half of all teachers surveyed have been verbally abused by a parent;

 * Three in five teachers say students do not show them enough respect;

 * Almost eighty per cent of teachers say cyber bullying is a problem at their school, but that students are still largely unaware of the dangers of social networking sites such as Facebook.

 * Seventy-five per cent believed "parents expect teachers to provide all the discipline for their children".

 * But sixty-seven per cent of teachers say parents support their authority in the classroom.


Educators say parents have become too fixated on being "friends" with their children, and are increasingly neglecting their duty to enforce boundaries.

Victorian Principals Association president Gabrielle Leigh believes "we've got to a situation where often kids are asked (by parents), 'What do you think, darling?' But kids sometimes don't know best - it's important that parents make those decisions; important for the kids and their development."


And the proliferation of social media meant round-the-clock problems, such as cyber bullying, were taking up learning time.

One  teacher said: "On more than five occasions this year, parents have brought in excess of 200 pages of Facebook transcripts and (said), 'We'll leave it to you to sort out'."

"Parents don't monitor their children and expect teachers to 'watch the dog' 24/7."

Raise your own kids - teachers, Evonne Barry, The Herald Sun, 30 January 2012 

About 8000 Victorian teachers are on fixed-term contracts.

The Australian Education Union surveyed more than 1000 Victorian government school teachers in their first five years.
58 per cent of these teachers were on fixed-term contracts, mostly for 12 months or less.
Australian Education Union Victorian president Mary Bluett said the problem was not confined to new teachers, with some teachers who were eligible for long service leave still on fixed-term contracts.
About 8000 teachers in Victorian government schools - or 18 per cent of the total number of Victorian teachers - are on fixed-term contracts.

No job security for new teachers, Jewel Topsfield and Craig But, The Age, 4 January, 2012 


Which five Victorian schools have been sent improvement notices because of workplace bullying?

The Victorian Government has been accused of trying to cover up workplace bullying incidents in schools.

Departments won't name schools that have been investigated for alleged workplace bullying.

A request was made to WorkSafe Victoria for improvement notices sent to schools over alleged workplace bullying in the past year.

Five notices were released but the names of schools were deleted, despite the full information being released under a similar FOI request last year.

Victorian Government accused of silence over school bullying, John Masanauskas, The Herald-Sun, 11 October 2010


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