Supporting parents, supporting public schools

Support for all school staff

WACSSO recognises optimal staffing levels and professional development for all teachers, support staff and, in certain cases, other members of the school community as prerequisites for educational success. Further, the quality of any school is closely related to the quality of its teachers; their skills, energy and enthusiasm, imagination, professionalism, tolerance, sensitivity and perceptiveness, and affinity with young people. ¬This quality is supported by a number of factors, factors which are suffering under the current level of funding and resourcing of our schools. For instance, optimal staffing levels, additional assistance and reduced teaching load for first year teachers, plus ongoing and fully supported professional development.

Since 2013, the WA government education sector has been subject to significant shifts in staffing and budget allocations. In 2014 alone, more than $200 million was removed directly from government school budgets and a further $45 million from secondary school budgets in 2015. While we recognise that the total education budget has increased, this amount has not kept pace with the rate of student population growth. Other significant reductions include:

  • 150 central and regional office positions;
  • 200 redundancies across the sector in 2015;
  • 110 Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers in 2014; and
  • an average reduction in expenditure per student of $714 per year.

During this lean funding period, the student to staff ratio has risen from 14.5 to 15.5. While government school populations are swelling, school staff numbers and support has continued to be axed. Despite several new schools being commissioned to deal with the epidemic, school communities have experienced little relief in the way of staff support.

Position

WACSSO calls for:

  • optimal staffing levels;
  • appropriate and effective professional development for teachers and other staff as well as, in certain cases, other members of the school community; and 
  • systemic, departmental support for schools and school leaders to ensure efficient school management.

For referencing and the full report, click here.