Report reveals WA still has the highest student staff ratios in Australia


The Productivity Commission’s latest report reveals that in 2015 WA still had the highest average student to teaching staff ratio in the nation.

The Report on Government Services released today shows that, overall, WA had an average of 14.8 students per teacher.

The ratio in primary schools was 15.7 students per teaching staff member, above the national average of 15.3.

In WA secondary schools the ratio was 13.4 students per teacher, compared to 12.0 students per teacher in 2013.

State School Teachers’ Union president Pat Byrne said the ratios had implications for staff and students.

“These figures reflect the experience of our public education staff, particularly in secondary schools, who are having to teach larger classes with less support, due to the Barnett Government’s cuts to school budgets since 2013,” she said.

“The report clearly shows the consequences of the cut in teacher numbers which occurred in the 2014 school year – the average student to teacher ratio increased from 14.4 in 2013 to 14.9 in 2014 and in 2015, at 14.8, is the highest in Australia.

“Higher student to teacher ratios mean increased workloads for school staff and less individual attention for children.

Ms Byrne said the ratio of students to teaching staff was critical because many ‘at risk’ students needed small group or individual attention to improve their learning outcomes.

“This level of targeted support cannot be properly provided in a system with such high student-staff ratios,” she said.

“We are calling on whichever party is elected at the state election to address this issue and put staff back into schools.”