Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Education and Training

    Western Australian students head back to school for 2022

    31/01/2022 8:30 AM
    • Almost 477,000 students begin Term 1 at public and non-government schools across Western Australia
    • Four new public primary schools opening for the first time
    • Schools prepared and equipped to teach in line with Safe Return to School plan
    • Education staff must be double dose vaccinated to work in schools, and have had their third dose vaccination within a calendar month of becoming eligible 

    Western Australia's 1,139 schools will welcome students back to classrooms for the start of Term 1 today.


    Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery marked the first day of the school year with a visit to South Perth Primary School, to greet staff and students and see the McGowan Government's new Safe Return to School Plan in action.


    Almost 477,000 students returned to public and non-government schools in WA this week - about 3,000 more students compared to the same time last year. This includes 33,600 kindergarten students who headed off to school for the first time


    Four new public primary schools opened their doors for the first time today for the start of the school year: Shorehaven Primary School, Burns Beach Primary School, Riva Primary School and Treeby Primary School. This brings the total number of public schools in WA to 826.


    A teacher will be in front of every classroom in public schools.


    More than 700 graduates will take up their first teaching jobs in public schools, where there are approximately 24,000 full-time equivalent teaching positions at the start of 2022.


    To ensure the safety of students and staff as well as continuity of learning, schools will operate in line with WA's Safe Return to School Plan, which includes a ventilation strategy, enhanced cleaning services and workforce and remote learning contingency plans in public schools, masks for secondary students and school staff, and mandatory vaccinations for school employees and regular visitors.


    The State Government has also put in place new close contact definitions and testing protocols to come into effect at the point of very high caseloads in the community. These definitions are specific to school and childcare settings to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, while also minimising the impact on student learning.


    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:


    "It's great to see so many excited students heading back into classrooms today, and I'd like to welcome our youngest students who are beginning their educational journey at kindergarten this week.


    "A huge amount of effort has gone into ensuring that schools are well prepared and equipped to provide the highest quality education for WA students, in the safest possible way.


    "The State Government's new Safe Return to School Plan sets out the necessary guidelines and additional measures for schools so students can continue with their education and learn, grow and thrive in 2022.


    "While there will no doubt be challenges ahead, over the past two years education staff have met every challenge that has come their way, and I thank them for their ongoing work to ensure students have continued learning and achievement."


    Comments attributed to South Perth MLA Geoff Baker:


    "South Perth Primary School is a fantastic school, and I'm pleased to be able to highlight the enthusiasm of returning students and the work of staff in preparing for a successful first day back.


    "As the local member, and a parent with children returning to school today, I welcome the additional measures in place to help keep students, their families and school staff safe and learning."


    Minister's office - 6552 5700