Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford



    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007


    The State Government has tapped into the experiences of teachers and teacher aides in Queensland State schools to get an accurate snapshot on the introduction of the new Prep Year.

    The survey responses from 946 Prep teachers and 816 teacher aides will help Education Queensland fine tune its systems to further improve the Prep Year for next year’s intake of students.

    Premier Peter Beattie and Education and Training Minister Rod Welford released the results at Parliament today.

    Mr Beattie said more than 60 per cent of Prep Year teachers had responded to the survey.

    “Overall the feedback from those who teach the 23,000 Prep students in Queensland’s state schools has been very positive,” Mr Beattie said.

    “But we always knew there would be some teething problems and that is also reflected in the survey results.

    “Our survey has revealed that more than 75 per cent of Prep teachers rated the implementation of Prep as either successful or highly successful. Prep teachers were most satisfied with the way children settled into Prep and with the parental response to Prep.

    “The teacher aides were most satisfied with their level of knowledge and skill in supporting Prep and with how well the children had settled,” Mr Beattie said.

    “Overall the teachers and teacher aides have given us good marks for the introduction of prep – but they have added the rider that we can still do better.

    “For example, while 69 per cent of teachers were satisfied or very satisfied with Prep facilities, 22 per cent were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

    “When researchers burrowed down into the written responses they found concerns ranged from easily fixed problems like delays in connecting phones and computers at the start of the year, to requests for toilets to be closer to the classroom and more easily accessible for Prep students.

    “In a similar vein, 68 per cent of teachers were either satisfied or very satisfied about access to resources for Prep while 21 per cent were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

    “These concerns ranged from access to the curriculum materials and play equipment to the allocation of teacher aide hours in schools, particularly in First Term when children are settling into the Prep routine.”

    Mr Welford said an estimated 36,700 Prep students would start school as part of the first full Prep intake in Queensland state schools and approximately 600 additional full-time teachers would be allocated.

    Additional funding of up to $3 million for extra Prep teacher aide time in 2008 also will be provided to support the increased enrolments.

    “We will continue to monitor Prep this year and we’ve reached agreement with the union representing teacher aides to continue reviewing the situation until the end of Term 1 2008,” Mr Welford said.

    “Schools that have reported great success with the introduction of Prep will be held up as examples to other schools. By sharing what has worked, other schools will be able to adopt similar strategies.

    “I am confident staff, students and their families are adapting to the change as experience grows in managing the new curriculum.

    “Schools will also be able to draw on their experiences this year to improve preparations for the full implementation of Prep next year. There’s obviously always room for improvement, which is why we’re carefully monitoring how Prep is going in our state schools.

    “Some of the concerns that have been brought to our attention include the particular challenges of teaching the Prep curriculum in composite classes and ensuring schools have in place good practices to help students with the transition to school routines.

    “Parents have also been surveyed and that data is still being collated and analysed,” Mr Welford said.

    Mr Welford said his department was also considering the results of initial surveys conducted by the Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Association, the Queensland Teachers’ Union and Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (representing teacher aides).

    Media contact: Premier’s office 324 4500
    Minister’s office: Marnie Stitz 3235 4593
    8 August 2007