McGowan Government must support teachers disenfranchised by profession

The Opposition has called on the McGowan Government to address the growing concerns of West Australian teachers who have considered leaving the profession in the next 12 months.

Shadow Education and Training Minister Peter Rundle said a study published by Monash University last month reported nearly 60 per cent of teachers planned to leave the job.

“COVID-19 has placed a greater workload on teachers and principals and the consequences of a mass exodus of education staff is a threat staring the McGowan Government in the face,” Mr Rundle said.

“Teachers are copping it from all directions at the moment and the McGowan Government needs to provide them with support that empowers them to stay in the vital profession.

“We know our graduate teachers are leaving in droves after five years – it’s time for the Premier and Education Minister to provide a full-scale incentive program that adequately acknowledges WA’s education staff.

“This Labor Government sits on an eye-watering $5.7 billion surplus, the least it could do to support our hard-working teachers is dip into the kitty and give back to those educating our State’s kids.”

Mr Rundle said it was disappointing support in the classroom was lacking, and with the rise of violent attacks in schools, teachers and education staff required further protection and assistance.

“Navigating this is becoming too much to ask of educators on top of an already unsustainable workload, so we can’t blame teachers and other staff for seeking other career pathways,” he said.

“The loyalty teachers show to their role and their students is exceptional, particularly during the pandemic, and we cannot allow them to second guess this loyalty.

“Our education system cannot sustain a drop in teacher numbers and now is time for the Premier and his Education Minister to address this looming crisis.”