A report into the long-term issues surrounding the teaching workforce was released by the State Government today.
Releasing the ‘Education Workforce Initiatives Report’ by Professor Lance Twomey AO, Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan said the Government had decided to release the report in the interests of informed and measured debate on education issues.
The report was commissioned by the Minister in February 2007 to look at issues facing the teaching workforce - across Government and non-Government sectors - and over the long term.
Mr McGowan said the Government had originally intended to release the report following detailed consideration of the 83 recommendations and the development of a formal response.
“In light of the decision by the Industrial Relations Commission to rule against any further industrial action by the State School Teachers’ Union, and in response to the continuing speculation about the content of the report, I have decided to release it today,” he said.
The Minister said the report was not intended to frame the current Government school teachers’ enterprise agreement, and anyone reading the terms of reference would see that.
“The report does recommend a significant increase in pay for teachers but does not specify the size of any increases,” he said.
“The fact that the Government’s pay offer to Western Australian teachers would make ours the best paid of all States is ample demonstration of our commitment.
“I am also firmly of the view, backed up by the Twomey report, that teachers working in the toughest schools and in the most remote locations should be rewarded, which is why we offered significant increases in allowances, which could have totalled more than $22,000.”
Mr McGowan said the report covered 15 major themes, including remuneration, leadership and mentoring, flexible learning, housing, vocational education and training, workload, and career progression.
“There are more than 80 recommendations traversing Commonwealth and State issues and multiple agencies,” he said.
“The Government has been responding progressively to the report over time and many initiatives have been implemented that answer its recommendations. The Government will continue to respond to its recommendations in the future.”
Strategies already introduced include:
· increasing teaching graduate pay;
· introducing a raft of scholarships to attract teachers to high needs areas;
· providing more teacher housing;
· converting country contract teachers to permanency;
· introducing attractive superannuation arrangements for older teachers; and
· expanding behaviour management strategies.
The Minister said it was important to note that Profession Twomey had made the observation that no one recommendation by itself would improve the status of teaching.
“This report, along with other advice received by Government, must continue to underpin a wide-ranging and long-term program of education reform in WA,” he said.
“I would like to thank Professor Twomey and other members of the taskforce for their work on this report.”
The report is available at: http://educationworkforce.wa.gov.au/index.html
A comparative analysis of the WA, Victorian and New South Wales teachers’ pay is at http://www.det.wa.edu.au
Minister's office - 9222 9111