'Teachers are suffering.' The ex-teacher who captured the nation's attention last night.

Former teacher Gabbie Stroud has given a bleak assessment of Australia’s education system, suggesting it “must be getting close to rock bottom”.

While appearing on ABC’s Q&A panel, Stroud – who has written a book about her struggle to remain a teacher before resigning in frustration – spoke openly about where she thinks the problems lie.

She said NAPLAN and other forms of standardised testing were having their effects – but so was boredom – with children forced to write the same essays again and again.

“I think we’re seeing a time where education in Australia, we must be getting close to rock bottom, because I think there are teachers that are suffering, there are students that are suffering, and what you’re saying is just exactly that,” she said.

Gabbie Stroud spoke to Mia Freedman about her journey from dedicated teacher to a woman broken by the education system this week on No Filter. 

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Stroud, who was one of several teachers on the panel to discuss Australia’s education system, is not a fan of NAPLAN.

“What we’re seeing now are our students are disengaged, they’re disheartened. They’re not excited to come to school. They’re not enthused about their learning. And this is the effect that NAPLAN’s having.”


“The graphs are going down. The students are disengaged. The teachers are struggling and something needs to change.”

The Teacher author said that educators needed to feel valued, but instead her profession was “demoralised”.

“Demoralisation is this idea where you as a professional know very, very clearly what is best for your students and the direction you should take them in and you are told again and again to go in another direction,” she told the panel, becoming emotional.

“And that is demoralising. I’m going to get upset now, but that is demoralising for me as a professional, for someone who brings herself to the classroom and to the work and to those children every day.”

To other teachers out there, Stroud said she was “sorry”.

“That’s not what it’s meant to feel like. You kids are succeeding in spite of the system, not because of it.”

Do you think Australia’s education system needs an overhaul? Tell us in the comments below.