The Opposition has condemned the Premier’s refusal to guarantee there will be a teacher in every classroom at the beginning of Term One next year.
Shadow Education and Training Minister Peter Rundle used Question Time in Parliament to ask what the Government is doing to fix the looming teacher crisis in the State’s education system.
“Rather than providing details about a possible reasonable and sensible solution to the staff shortages, the Premier – as per usual – decided to deflect,” Mr Rundle said.
“This continuous disregard for genuine questions has become tiresome, particularly when West Australian families are coming to the Opposition, concerned about teacher shortages.”
Mr Rundle said the lack of action in filling teaching and non-teaching positions by the start of next year is just another example of this Government failing WA families.
“The State School Teachers’ Union of WA has previously raised significant concerns about teacher and student welfare within the State’s education system,” Mr Rundle said.
“The issues include the continuing salary cap and relief teacher shortages, but more significantly, inadequate housing for education staff, particularly in regional WA.
“It is unacceptable for teachers to turn up to a regional town, be confronted with the news there is no housing ready for them and be told they must find their own.”
Mr Rundle said there have been reports of teachers forced to live in caravan parks, share with strangers or even sleep in swags in school halls or on the floor of other teachers’ houses.
“This is deplorable – teachers and principals are the backbone to a strong education system and must be valued and appreciated.
“Putting them in these situations is not reflective of any notion of value or appreciation, for incredible work and sacrifices they make to teach our children.
“Teachers deserve to feel safe, secure and supported, and in turn, West Australians deserve reassurance that our schools will be fully staffed when students return next year.
“The day of reckoning for the Premier and his Government will be day one, Term One, 2022.”