Children penalised for not attending school during stop work meeting

Parents and the State School Teachers' Union were incensed that children who did not attend school during last Thursday's stop work meeting were being penalised for it.

Parents and the State School Teachers' Union were incensed that children who did not attend school during last Thursday's stop work meeting were being penalised for it.

More than 20,000 teachers, Principals, Education Assistants, school staff and parents attended meetings around the state to protest over the government's education cuts.

The union has been told that schools have been instructed to mark those children who missed just two hours of school as having an 'unacceptable absence' on the Integris system, which records students' attendance.

SSTUWA President Anne Gisborne said parents were furious their children's attendance records were being tarnished unfairly.

"The Department directed parents to follow the advice of their schools and keep their children home if the school couldn't provide adequate supervision.

"Now their children are being penalised for following the Department's advice.

Ms Gisborne said parents who chose to support the stop work meeting by keeping their kids at home were being bullied by the Department.

Ms Gisborne  said it was just one of the issues she raised in a meeting with the Premier Colin Barnett today.

"The meeting got us absolutely nowhere," she said. 

"Mr Barnett still refused to admit that he is making cuts to education, even when he was presented with evidence from two Principals at the meeting about the impact on their schools.

"All the Premier sees is the overall budget, but children are not numbers, they are individuals with individual needs which will not be met if he continues with his cuts."

Ms Gisborne said the unions would continue campaigning to get the government to reverse its budget cuts.

"We will consider every action necessary, including political and industrial."