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Education 1st Australia - Empower Our Teachers!

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Press Release
21st December 2011
 
As the State Director of the West Australian Party, an experienced and dedicated Teacher of Western Australia, I take a very strong stance for the rights, authority, and status of our Australian Teachers.

We, the West Australian Party, will REPEAL the Barnett governments Teacher Registration Bill 2011, ammend and limit its function to only administration functions regarding Registration of Teachers in Western Australia.

Barnett's bill, is further evidence of the destruction of the rights, authority, and status of our teachers in Western Australia, and thus the historical and ongoing destruction of our education system by Liberal and Labor politicians, and bureaucrats not working in the classroom. It's a Teacher Registration Bill, yet 90% of the bill demoralises and degrades teachers with 'complaints and discipline' processes against teachers.
 
This form of bullying is ongoing for many years now, and has driven thousands of experienced, developing, and graduate teachers from the classroom over the past 2 decades, at tax payers expense.
 
The Bill, also Repeals the current Western Australian College of Teaching [WACOT] Act 2004, WACOT will no longer exist. Originally, WACOT was thought by teachers to become a strong advocacy body for teachers, however it never eventuated for this purpose under the legislation.

Furthermore, we will introduce a new Western Australian College of Teaching (WACOT Act 2013), [or suitable Professional Teachers Association] to act as a strong Advocacy Authority for classroom Teachers, including the rights of teachers to the State Solicitors Office, to protect our teachers from the ongoing onslaught against them professionally and personally, by Liberal and Labor politicians, and bureaucrats. We will create a WACOT [or suitable Professional Teachers Association] for classroom teachers only, and we need you to support us for this to occur.
 
In addition, over the past 14 years, WA has experienced not 1 but 2 teachers shortages, subsequent to1998 after the politicians dumped the WA Curriculum Framework on teachers without  professional development provisions, under Barnett as Minister for Education. PLATO eventuated and attrition was high. Throughout 2006/2007 the 2nd wave of teacher attrition and shortage eventuated under Labour's Mark McGowan, as Minister.
 
We will pursue a 6 month Royal Commission into the treatment of teachers in Western Australia, spanning the past 15 years. Every classroom teacher in private and public education, over this duration, will be encouraged to file a report to the Minister for Education detailing their experiences and treatment as professionals practicing in the classroom.
 
Reports will be encouraged to be filed with 100% support from the Minister. We will pursue a greater direct access for classroom teachers with the Minister's Office, to empower our teachers in their very important professional work in our society.
 
I will always maintain, classroom teachers are the most important professionals in our Australian nation. Why? By profession, classroom teachers are called to empower, encourage, and inspire young Australians in the development of gifts, talents, skills, values and knowledge, for building people up in our great nation.

Please join us in membership, and encourage our teaching colleagues, past and present, to membership with the West Australian Party, to restore the rights, authority, and status of our teaching profession in Western Australia.
 
 
Press Release 2005
 
There's a new party, 'Family First', but I maintain we need to put Education First, as the cornerstone and heart of our nation. And, as the 1st and PRIMARY responsibility of government!

An Appeal to VOTERS for the Classroom Teacher
 
Accountability Without Authority and Resources

Vote to restore and improve educational quality for Australian children....

 
"Schools don't exist without children, and education doesn't take place without the classroom teacher." (Teresa van Lieshout, May 2005).
 
Despite a $700+ million budget surplus last year alone, the state Labor government in WA says it has committed $1 billion funding to education in WA, in its second term of office. "Of that $1 billion, virtually none of it will in effect be used by the classroom teacher for learning purposes," says teacher, Teresa van Lieshout.
 
And federal Liberal spends only 7% of a $200+ billion annual budget on education. Most of it goes to Tertiary education. The Howard government cut $537 million funding to Tertiary education in their 1st term of office (nearly 10 years ago). In this 1st term they also cut the number of Tertiary places to study medicine by half, from 800 to 400, thus creating the prevailing crisis shortage of doctors.
 
For the past decade the majority of funding administered for education by both Labor and Liberal politicians, both state and federal, does not and has not translated to improved learning and outcomes, as far as the classroom teacher is concerned. If the education budget allocated to education department bureacracy and various departments, be actually given to classroom teachers for funding learning, we would not have children failing in literacy and numeracy We would not have children without lunch, pens, pencils, paper, and books. We (the classroom teachers) would use that funding for real learning, for real academic, social, and personal development.
 
My appeal is for YOUR VOTE, to raise these issues in the parliament, from A CLASSROOM TEACHERS perspective, to provide WA children with the education required to improve lives.
 
I'm making an appeal to the VOTERS of Western Australia and Australia for the classroom teacher. As a classroom teacher with 10 years experience, both private and public schools, secondary and primary, my conception is the quality of education in private schools is better for 5 reasons. They are:
  • Better funding (recruit the best teachers, charge student fees as well as obtain funding from both federal and state governments)
  • Greater Resource Support (both human and material)
  • Better Discipline (private schools expel students for bad behaviour)
  • Better Vaues Education (including christian religious values)

Given 68% of children attend public schools, my appeal is especially for the classroom teacher in public schools. The classroom teacher now has limited AUTHORITY in matters of student discipline. The classroom teacher has no or limited control over school and classroom budgeting and resourcing. Many of these decisions are made by the "school management or leadership group" and it is not the majority voice of teachers. The classroom teacher is often "told what to do", rather than having access to leadership decisions regarding student discipline, budgets, and resourcing. The Classroom Teacher is told accountability will take place, without having authority over discipline and resourcing (bullying of our teachers).The Classroom Teacher receives little respect from too many bureaucrats, students (and sometimes parents) and has to put up with and be everything, including verbal abuse and violence. The Classroom Teacher is often very limited in the provision of excellence in education for well-behaved students, on account of the disruption of badly behaved students, and lack of resourcing.

My educational vision (updated) for Western Australia (and Australia) includes the following:

  • Increased allocation of federal and state budgets to primary and secondary education in Australia and Western Australia (thorough objective analysis of budget provisions 'wasted' in other areas).
  • Comprehensive and Effective Change Management of the Australian National Curriculum (over 10 year period) - including significant funding provision for wide spread professional development for teachers.
  • Full review, evaluation, and revision of the Authority Structures in primary and secondary education to maximise teaching-learning effectiveness.
  • Review, evaluation, and revision of several Education Department Policies currently inhibiting the work of teachers, and detrimental to maximising the teaching-learning process. 
  • Development of fair and effective federal and state funding arrangements for both private and public schools, based on per capita child, not NAPLAN/ICSEA results.
  • Introduce federal education act to restore the rights, authority, status of Australian classroom teachers, complement the Australian National Curriculum, develop National Teacher Registration.
  • REPEAL the Barnett governments, Teacher Registration Bill 2011, ammend and limit its function to administration functions only regarding Teacher Registration in Western Australia.
  • Reinstate a Western Australian College of Teaching Act (2013) [or suitable Professional Teachers Association] to act as a strong Advocacy Authority for classroom teachers only.
  • WACOT [or suitable Professional Teachers Association] to act as the representative advocacy voice for teachers - increased funding for WACOT.
  • The authority and status of the Classroom Teacher be restored - empowering our teachers.
  • Ministerial Teachers Fund (federal and state, private and public schools)- classroom teachers be provided annual $10,000 spending budget for classroom learning, equipment, and resources - empowering our teachers.
  • Resources be diverted from education departments and administration, back to the classroom where learning takes place.
  • Equitable gender balance of quality men and women teaching in the classroom in primary and secondary education.
  • Teachers' right to suspend disruptive students from the classroom, to protect themselves and students from violence, verbal abuse, and bullying. Protecting children in their right to learn in a peaceful, safe, encouraging, supportive classroom.
  • Scholarship provisions for Aboriginal children - (primary, secondary, and tertiary scholarships).
  • Greater investment in Values Education in the classroom, including Christian Religious Values for schools to pursue if desired.
  • Formal Inclusion of the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools (2005) in the Australian National Curriculum.
  • Improved funding for Specialist Education Support Schools to educate and assist children with severe behavioural, learning, academic, or social difficulties (children receiving the right level of support the classroom teacher alone cannot provide).

Annual budgets for classroom teachers for resourcing is required to improve educational standards. For example; excursions, guest speakers, equipment, maps, books, charts, pens, pencils, paper, stationary, sport equipment, basic equipment needed for education and learning to take place. Much of this resourcing is simply now NOT adequately provided in the classroom. 

I'm speaking from the perspective of a classroom teacher who has taught in different public and private schools in WA for over 10 years. I'm no longer prepared to commit myself to the classroom in schools where you get no authority and resources in your own classroom.

Be an independent thinker....vote with your own mind, do your own thorough research...dont be fooled by spin and media advertising...