Schools count their losses

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

Rossmoyne Senior High School would take the biggest hit with a cut of $643,000, followed by Riverton Primary School with $336,000.

Rossmoyne Primary School P&C secretary Stephen Johnston said the cuts would reduce funding for education assistants and create larger class sizes. There would be cuts of up to 50 per cent for Language Other than English (LOTE) classes.

‘They (school staff) face considerable limits in already tight budgets on what they can do to compensate for the reduced funding,’ Mr Johnston said.

He said there would be extra demands of classroom teachers because there would be less educational support for students with learning difficulties and those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

‘It will affect all students in the classroom as more teaching time is absorbed by those requiring additional assistance,’ he said.

‘Children from non-English speaking backgrounds constitute a significant proportion of our local school populations so this cost cutting will have a real impact.’

Education Minister Peter Collier said schools would have to tighten their belts but said claims of massive cuts to schools were incorrect.

‘It’s important to realise that these estimates are factoring in the salaries of teachers schools expected next year under the current funding model,’ Mr Collier said.

‘Because teacher numbers will remain at the same level next year as this year, schools will be allocated teachers under a new formula.’

Mr Collier said he expected an increase of half a student per teacher and a redistribution of resources would increase the number of teachers for 300 schools.