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Early Childhood Campaign

Our Vision

Every young child deserves universal access to quality learning in a school environment, no matter who they are or where they live, which nurtures their social and emotional wellbeing while building the solid foundations to be a successful learner.

The State School Teacher’s Union supports teachers in K-2, known as Early Childhood, to teach a play-based curriculum in line with the National Quality Standard and Early Years Learning Framework.

The Problem

Child-initiated and self-directed play-based learning is disappearing from kindergarten, pre-primary and Year 1 and 2 classrooms and the school yard despite being central to healthy development and learning for children. It is a red flag for societal concern when we need to justify the right of young children to learn through play.

Many people find Early Childhood Education confusing which has led to extreme views of what Early Childhood Education Kindergarten, Pre-Primary, Year 1 and Year 2 programs should look like. 

Many school staff, parents and community members have raised concerns about questionable practices in some Early Childhood classrooms. 

In many of these instances pedagogical decisions have been made with little knowledge and/or experience in Early Childhood, and with little consultation with trained Early Childhood staff. 

Changes have been made without accessing available support including the Early Years Learning Framework, revised guide to National Quality Standards, K P Statement and Early Childhood Phase of Schooling (Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority), Early Years of Schooling statement (Department of Education) and the Early Childhood Branch of Professional Associations.

In Western Australia, despite the introduction of the EYLF, playful learning has been marginalised to such an extent that universities report:

  • Pre-service teachers have limited opportunity to see it in practice when completing their school practicums;
  • Health professionals advise that we are raising a generation of anxious and at-risk kids who are buckling under the pressure to perform and compete from the age of three and;
  • Our teachers confirm that they have seen first-hand how didactic approaches and push-down of developmentally inappropriate activities in early childhood have impacted negatively on children's social skills, emotional regulation and problem-solving capacity.

Questionable practices include direct instruction models, removal of play-based learning and applying similar teaching strategies across K-6 classrooms.

Deep understanding of Early Childhood pedagogy in line with the NQS is widely misunderstood in terms of how it can be used to teach the curriculum - Kindergarten Curriculum Guidelines and WA Curriculum.

We need to stop schools making decisions to apply a pedagogy designed for older students to the classrooms of younger children who have different learning and developmental needs.

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2018 Budget

WA BUDGET RESULTS IN REAL CUTS TO PUBLIC EDUCATION WA’s public schools will be forced to operate with even less funding after today’s budget delivered an unsustainable 1.1 per cent increase to the education budget, which will affect the quality of education in both our public schools and TAFEs, according to The State School Teachers’ Union of WA (SSTUWA). SSTUWA President Pat Byrne said for eight years teachers and classrooms endured cuts from the Barnett administration and now a Labor budget continued to devalue education.
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In their eight years of Government the former Liberal-National Government oversaw severe cuts to Education amounting to $230million and 1400 staff including 550 teachers. As a result administrative workloads rose, classrooms at many schools are overcrowded, work-related stress increased, incentives to attract and retain regional staff were cut and job security decreased. All of these cuts meant staffing reduction, reduced teaching, support and education assistant staff, fewer programs, increased class sizes and cuts to classroom resources. So when we say there is nothing left to cut, we mean it.  
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Our Videos

Vote for a party that puts our kids first

The cuts to public schools over the last three years have really hurt. Every child deserves the individual attention they need to get a great education. This state election, vote for the political party that puts our kids first.
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The Human Cost of Barnett's Education Cuts

With 90 per cent of public school students receiving less funding this year and next, there are real human costs in our schools. Check out and share our new video.
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What They Promised

Here you will find information about public education policy announcements made by major political parties
at the 2017 Western Australian State Election. 

See announcements