The State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia (SSTUWA) is the industrial and professional organisation representing more than 17,000 school leaders, teachers, TAFE lecturers and school psychologists working in WA public schools and TAFE colleges.

This discussion paper outlines the commitments and recommendations that will be sought from all political parties in the 2021 Western Australian state election. The issues outlined in this document reflect the views of SSTUWA members, Executive and the broader public education and TAFE communities in WA.

Every state election presents an opportunity for the SSTUWA to influence the public education agenda for the benefit of our members working in public schools across the state. It is also an opportunity to generate positive change for public school students, staff and the sector generally.

WA schools are still feeling the burden of previous funding and staffing cuts from successive state governments (2013-14 and 2017-18); our TAFEs continue to be asked to deliver increased numbers of student contact hours with fewer resources.

As the world continues to emerge from and deal with the health and economic outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more crucial than ever to ensure that there is a strong investment in our public schools and TAFEs.

Public education is critical to the success of rebuilding Australia’s economy and society. To support this we need additional funding, increased support for teachers and school leaders, and improved education infrastructure, particularly IT requirements which support the integration of emerging technologies with on-site teaching and learning.