The Western Australian launch of the national campaign to secure full funding for public schools is taking place in Perth today as new evidence shows the importance of the additional investment.
The For Every Child campaign aims to secure full funding by 2028 to allow public schools to cut class sizes, increase the one-on-one support for students with additional needs and provide more time and classroom assistance for teachers.
AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said WA public schools are funded below the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), which is the minimum level that governments have agreed is necessary to meet the needs of all students.
“Funding public school systems at 100% of the SRS across Australia is the only way to ensure every child gets every opportunity to succeed and we have the teachers we need for the future,” she said.
“The needs of our children are growing but the funding from governments hasn’t kept up. Principals and teachers are delivering a great education for students in WA public schools, but they are being asked to do too much with too little.”
An AEU survey of 752 WA teachers and principals reveals:
Ms Haythorpe said WA public schools are currently resourced at 95% of the SRS, but 4% of the state’s 75% SRS share was taken up by non-school spending, making the actual proportion 91%.
She said the WA Government needed to fund a full 75% of the SRS with the Albanese Government lifting its contribution from 20% to 25% of the SRS by 2028.
“The Albanese Government must take the lead in negotiations with the states and territories in the next 12 months and ensure all public schools are fully funded by 2028.
“By increasing its share from 20% to 25% of the SRS by 2028 the Albanese Government would be providing an additional $1 billion that could be spent cutting class sizes and improving the one-on-one support for students in WA.”
State School Teachers’ Union of WA President Matt Jarman said WA teachers and students were giving 100% and it was time for the politicians to do the same.
“We have fantastic principals and teachers in WA public schools and full funding will allow them to increase the individual attention and support each child receives,” she said.
“Smaller class sizes will make a huge difference to children across WA. Full funding also means we can give teachers more time for lesson planning and collaboration and make their workloads more sustainable. That will help lift results and ensure we can attract and retain the teachers we need for the future.”
Ms Haythorpe said the For Every Child campaign includes targeted advertising, events and activities in WA school communities.
A comprehensive national plan outlining the need for the additional funding and all the areas where it should be invested is now available.
NOTE: The WA launch of the campaign is taking place at Carine Senior High School at 11 – 11.30am today, Tuesday 22 August.
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Authorised by Mary Franklyn, General Secretary, The State School Teachers' Union of W.A.
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