High schools in Western Australia are set to be worse off under the Barnett government’s newly released, Student Centred Funding Model.
More than $40 million will be cut from secondary school budgets, to be redirected towards primary schools, with more than 240 schools set to lose funds.
These funding cuts come on top of the $200 million that was cut from the education budget last year.
United Voice WA Secretary Carolyn Smith says it is irresponsible of the state government to allow money to be cut from already struggling high schools.
“How could the Department of Education possibly think that removing $40 million from secondary schools is benefiting the kids of WA?” she asked.
“We know Education Assistants, AIEO’s and Teachers are using their own money to help fund classroom resources. What impact will another $40 million have?
“These new one line budgets put a lot of pressure on principals and they’re only getting one day of training to implement them.”
Whilst United Voice does not agree with slashing money from struggling high schools, Ms Smith said it is a positive step that more funding is being given to Primary schools.
Another encouraging move is the new designated funding for students living with disability, aboriginal students and students from low socio economic backgrounds.
“We are pleased the government has recognised the need for a signed agreement to guarantee students who are entitled to more funds will get them,’ Ms Smith said.
However this new model brings in a huge amount of uncertainty for all school staff.
“In a meeting with the Education Minister we were told by him that there is no requirement for Principals to maintain existing levels of Cleaners and Gardeners; this is something United Voice members will fight.
“The kids of Western Australia deserve clean, safe schools and reducing our Cleaners and Gardeners doesn’t benefit anyone.’
Ms Smith said the new model brings big changes on how schools are run and United Voice members will be monitoring the impacts closely.