THE FIGHT CONTINUES

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.

 

Now the new Labor Government wants to take more, which will cut resourcing and curriculum support for our children's learning to the bone.

Already jobs have been lost, or moved around, including 23 positions in Aboriginal education, such as coordinators, consultants, liaison and participation officers. Now workloads of teachers have started to increase.

Under the Barnett Government

In their eight years of Government the former Liberal-National Government oversaw severe cuts to Education:

  • 150 central and regional office positions cut in2013.
  • An estimated average reduction in expenditure per student of $520 between 2013 and 2015.
  • More than $200 million cut from public schools in 2014;
  • Over 600 teacher full time equivalent (FTE) cut in 2014.
  • 110 Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers cut in 2014.
  • More than 1,000 education assistants cut in 2014/15.
  • A further 200 teaching and non-teaching jobs cut through redundancies across the sector in 2015.
  • A further $45 million taken from secondary school and redirected to primary schools in 2015.
  • $36 million in savings from the Targeted Voluntary Separation Scheme (TVSS) between 2015 and 2016.
  • Cuts to information and communication/digital technology (ICT) of $20 million between 2015 and 2016.
  • $120 million cut from the training sector since 2015;
  • Increased TAFE fees by up to 600 per cent for some courses
  • Expanded the Independent Public School program without addressing the inequities it has caused
  • Overseen a maintenance backlog of $136 million and reduced support for school staff.
  • Schools of the Air (SOTA) will be about $250,000 worse off each from 2016, transitioned with $50,000 cuts over the next five years.
  • A Workforce Renewal Policy which will cut $257 million over four years, between 2015 and 2019, from the education sector.
  • In the 2016/17 state budget a government funding increase of only $80 million or 1.7 per cent, which is below the student growth rate of 1.8 per cent.

As a result workloads rose, classrooms at many schools are at capacity, work-related stress increased, incentives to attract and retain regional staff were cut and job security decreased.

While the Student Centred Funding Model is supported by principals and teachers, its introduction on the back of cuts to school budgets resulted in its impact being minimal; a concern reiterated by the architect of the model, Professor Richard Teese.

On top of this, the Liberal-National Government continued to reject the Gonski reforms and was the only state to actively campaign against a federal needs-based funding model at the Council of Australian Government meetings.

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.

Under the McGowan Government:

Round 1: September, 2017

  • Minimum $10.5m – maximum $26.5million IPS – between $20,000 - $50,000 per school per year (525 schools)
  • $1145 cut per secondary school student for each student above 1200 enrolments in secondary schools.

Round 2: December 1, 2017

  • 188 positions cut from central and regional office including 23 positions in Aboriginal Education – coordinators, consultants, liaison officers, participation officers (to go to State-wide Services and schools), data analysts and principal advisors.

Round 3: December 13, 2017 – Effective 2019

  • Schools of the Air to close - REVERSED
  • Camp schools to close, Bridgetown, Dampier, Geraldton, Goldfields, Kalgoorlie, Pemberton and Pointt Peron, Rockingham; Broome to stay open.
  • Moora & Northam residential accommodation to close – NORTHAM SAVED
  • Change eligibility for Local Access Funding - Year 11 & 12 DHS students enrolled with SIDE
  • Gifted and Talented programs (GATE) – cut by 25% REVERSED
  • Curtin Theatre funding cut by 20%
  • Reduced funding for Specially Organised Classes (Gifted and Talented) by 50% in 2019 and cease funding in 2020
  • Canning College – to be for overseas fee-paying students only
  • Tuart College to close
  • Landsdale Farm School/Dianella SC (private provider being sought
  • Level 3 Classroom Teacher intake on hold for 3 years - REVERSED
  • Agricultural Awareness Programs – 1 FTE each cut Kiara College and Kelmscott SHS
  • Agricultural College Boarding fee increases
  • Introduce dividend to the Agricultural Education Provisions Trust
  • Teacher Development Schools – reduced
  • Yule Brook College – distinctive school funding cut
  • Raise enrolment threshold from 10 to 16 children in community kindergartens
  • Increase fees for VacSwim
  • Some grants previously provided to external organisations will be reduced or cease
  • Cease Best and Brightest Awards, cash prizes for General Exhibition winners
  • The impact of these cuts have already started to be felt, especially the 188 job cuts to regional and central offices.