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Review of public education in WA


The SSTUWA has commissioned an independent review of public education in WA.

The review is chaired by Dr Carmen Lawrence. Dr Lawrence served as WA Education Minister in the late 80s and in February 1990 became the first female Premier of an Australian state when she became WA Premier.

Subsequently, Dr Lawrence served in the Keating Federal Cabinet. Dr Lawrence was also a member of the original Gonski panel which established the Schooling Resource Standard as a fairer basis for funding school education in Australia.

In 2022 Dr Lawrence was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for “distinguished service to the people and Parliaments of Australia and Western Australia, to conservation and to arts administration”.

Dr Lawrence is joined in the review process by fellow panel members Dr Scott Fitzgerald of Curtin University, Colin Pettit, former Commissioner for Children and Young People and Robyn White, former principal of Perth Modern School. Pamela Pollard, former principal of Victoria Park Primary School, is the executive officer to the panel.

Submission process

Submissions have now closed. Thank you to all members, non-members and organisations who have contributed their viewpoints.

Consultation sessions

Twenty-two consultation sessions were held at locations across Western Australia as well as two virtual sessions. We thank all members and stakeholders who attended for their valuable feedback.

The review’s terms of reference

1. What is the state of public education in WA currently?

Focus issues:

a. How have state government policies regarding the structure of public education since 2010 affected the operation of government schools in WA?

b. How have curriculum content, pedagogical expectations and reporting and accountability processes changed during this time?

c. What changes have occurred to the community expectations of our school leaders and teachers?

d. What has been the impact of COVID-19?

2. What has been the effect of these changes on school leaders and teachers in WA?

For example:

a. Attraction and retention challenges:

· The recruitment of new teachers to the profession.

· Appropriate career opportunities.

· The development and selection of school leaders.

· Principal and teacher morale and well-being.

· The changes to teacher and principal workloads.

b. Respect for teacher professionalism:

· The effect of current accountability mechanisms.

· The ability to apply professional judgement.

· The commercialisation of curriculum products.

· The impact of technology.

c. The impact on schools’/teachers’ capacity to deliver:

· The core curriculum; and

· An equitable education provision across diverse student populations and regions.

3. How do we best respond to the needs of teachers and school leaders in addressing these issues?