Hon Peter Collier BA DipEd MLC

Hon Peter Collier BA DipEd MLC

Former Minister for Education; Aboriginal Affairs; Electoral Affairs

    The truth about public school class sizes

    3/05/2014 12:00 AM
     
    • New figures show average class sizes across WA are much lower than limits agreed by the State School Teachers’ Union
    • The Liberal National Government has never breached average class limits, unlike Labor which overfilled mixed kindergarten to year 1 classes in 2007 and 2008

    New figures collected during Term 1 reveal public school class sizes are far below the upper limits agreed to by teachers.

     

    Education Minister Peter Collier today released statistics which showed that, on average, in each public school class there were only:

    • 19 students in kindergarten
    • 23 students in pre-primary
    • 22 students in years 1 to 3
    • 28 students in years 4 to 7
    • 26 students in years 8 to 10.

    Mr Collier said the figures demonstrated that public schools were coping well with their budgets.

     

    “For months I’ve been saying that our schools are well resourced and now we have the proof,” he said.

     

    “The average class sizes in Western Australian public schools are far below what teachers themselves agreed to in their last Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.  I’m very disappointed that Labor and the unions have been running a dishonest campaign about education funding and class sizes to scare parents.”

     

    The Minister acknowledged there had been a small increase in average class sizes since 2013 but said they were still completely appropriate.

     

    “I have always said that classes would increase by about half a student on average as we maintained teacher numbers at 2013 levels for this year, but this Government is still delivering excellent class sizes for our students,” he said.

     

    “The Liberal National Government has never breached average class size limits, unlike Labor which did just that in some early childhood classes in 2007 and 2008.

     

    “The State Government has also ensured that our teachers are the best paid in the country with pay increases of between 27.85 per cent and 34.75 per cent since 2008.

     

    “The start of the school year saw a teacher in front of every class and about 830 graduate teachers have also been employed - the most we’ve seen in a decade.”

     

          Fact File

    • Since the Liberal National Government came to power in 2008, expenditure on public education has increased from $2.8billion in 2007-08 to an estimated $4.4billion in 2013-14 - an increase in annual spending of $1.6billion or 55%
    • In this financial year alone, the budget has been increased by about 7%
    • Data is not collected for year 11 and 12 classes

     Minister’s office - 6552 6300