Rundle welcomes Public Education review for unveiling challenges and urgent reforms

Shadow Minister for Education, Peter Rundle, has welcomed the State School Teachers’ Union of WA’s review of public education in WA, chaired by Dr Carmen Lawrence.

The review has been 12 months in the making, and it was seen as an opportunity for teachers and principals at the coal-face to vocalise their concerns and experiences within the public education system.

“The Facing the Facts review has reinforced the everyday challenges that teachers are facing under the Cook Labor Government,” Mr Rundle said.

“The report highlights issues including the inadequate support in regional areas, and a notable exodus of teachers from the sector and the limited measures implemented to attract and retain high quality teachers.

“Class sizes, special education ratios, funding models, NAPLAN and the growing complexity of student needs are pushing teachers to the breaking point.

Mr Rundle said Aboriginal Education was identified as a significant issue, and the review presented five specific recommendations to address it.

“The recommendations spell out how the State Government can improve outcomes for Aboriginal students. It is time for the Department of Education fully support their teaching staff and bring about educational reform in this critical area.

“Teachers leaving the profession because they are overworked and undervalued is inexcusable. The Minister for Education must realign the priorities in his portfolio to stop the attrition of teaching staff and use this review as a road map to improve conditions for educators.”

“During Question Time yesterday the Minister refused to commit to any increase in funding for education despite the Cook Labor Government being on track for another multi-billion-dollar surplus.

“The Minister failed to explain what he would do with this grass-roots report and the recommendations contained within it.

“We can only assume the Treasury coffers are being loaded up to be used as a war chest for the coming election, rather than being spent to address everyday challenges facing WA education.”