It figures: lack of specialists grips the school system

AMSI Director, Geoff Prince, comments on the findings of the Productivity Commission.

ABOUT 30 per cent of 15-year-old Australian students are enrolled in schools where a lack of qualified mathematics teachers is hindering teaching, the Productivity Commission has found.

The commission has released a report on needs of the schools' workforce in which it highlights a persistent shortage of qualified maths and science teachers. A lack of qualified teachers affects about 24 per cent of secondary science students. These shortages are forcing many schools to use "out of field" teachers in those subjects.

Professor Geoff Prince, director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, is not surprised by the findings. He and other experts have been warning for years about a mathematical crisis in the school system while pushing for initiatives to attract more qualified teachers.

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Download the full Productivity Commission report here.