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Western Teacher

Union welcomes funding announcement

The State School Teachers’ Union of WA has described last month’s funding announcement for public schools as a very positive first step.   

SSTUWA President Matt Jarman said the agreement to deliver 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) for all public schools in Western Australia will be life-changing for both educators and students.

“(This) sees the start of fixing public education in WA and begins the long work of rolling back years of neglect and underfunding of the system,” he said.

“It is a sign that the state and federal Labor governments have faced the facts and accepted that fixing public education requires full and proper funding.

“It is a moment to congratulate everyone who has stepped up in this fight for full funding, especially SSTUWA members, their AEU colleagues across the nation, parents, school communities and supportive local MPs at both state and federal level.

“It took a massive community effort, driven by teachers, to reach the point where we can start rolling back the damage done and deliver the public education system Australia needs and deserves.”

Mr Jarman said the independent review commissioned by the union, Facing the Facts, had laid out the problems and the solutions for the public education system, many of which would be able to be implemented under the new funding arrangement.

However, Mr Jarman said there was more work to be done.

“While this is a giant step forward for education funding, we are still seeking the reinstatement in its own right of the four per cent that was absorbed into the state’s share after previously being paid as an additional amount,” he said.

“This four per cent was worth $230 million in 2023 to WA public school students.

“Equally, public school infrastructure requires state and federal government investment, and we will continue to lobby for that.

“Immediately though, we ask the Cook Government to move forward urgently to direct this funding where it is most needed and to form a joint consultative committee which includes the real experts in education – teachers and school leaders.

“We ask the state government to work cooperatively with us to take the Facing the Facts blueprint, backed up in almost every item by the minister’s own red tape report, and start using this funding to fix public education.

“This can make an immediate difference around core issues such as salaries and class sizes – stopping the exodus of teachers, attracting back those who have left and future-proofing the profession.”