30/11/2007 - 16:24

60% jump in admin staff while teacher shortage continues

30/11/2007 - 16:24

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Administrative and clerical staff numbers in the Department of Education and Training has grown by more than seven times that of teaching staff under the current State Government.

Administrative and clerical staff numbers in the Department of Education and Training has grown by more than seven times that of teaching staff under the current State Government.

Shadow Education Minister Peter Collier said it was an outrage that while teacher shortages are a fact of life in Western Australia the numbers of teachers employed since 2001 had increased by only eight per cent from 17,613 to 19,039, compared with massive increases in other categories of employment within the Education Department. (Department of Education and Training Annual Report, p190)

During the same period (2001-02 to 2006-07), administrative staff employed within the Department had increased more than 60 per cent from 1,498 to 2,406.

Cleaning and gardening staff had also shown a remarkable increase - from 975 (2001-02) to 1872 (2006-07) - a rise of 92 per cent.

Support staff at the DET had also increased by 35 per cent (5,263 in 2001-02 to 7,109 in 2006-07).

"This is but another example of the mismanagement of the education portfolio by this government," Mr Collier said.

"How can any minister justify this imbalance? Once again, it identifies serious problems with the priorities of this government within the education portfolio.

"Class rooms don't have enough teachers; principals and their deputies are filling in when they have other duties to fulfill and teachers are being asked to teach subjects for which they have little fundamental training."

Mr Collier said the Government's arrogance on the issue of a teacher shortage was again evident with the government voting against a motion to recognise the seriousness of the teacher shortage.

The Opposition, with the support of the Greens, successfully moved the motion without Labor support.

"The Department of Education and Training say that there will be a shortage of 3,000 teachers in Western Australia in five years unless some serious action is taken to remedy this significant problem," Mr Collier said.

"With that potential of crisis looming how can the government say it is not concerned?"

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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