Nahan critical of cuts to Rossmoyne and Willetton SHS gifted and talented programs

Mike Nahan.
Mike Nahan.

GIFTED and talented programs at Rossmoyne and Willetton senior high schools will be cut by 25 per cent as part of a budget-gutting effort Riverton MLA Mike Nahan said has to stop.

Rossmoyne SHS will experience a $36,166 cut to its languages program, while Willetton SHS will have its funding slashed by $84,259 from 2019.

“The Gifted and Talented Programs at both Rossmoyne and Willetton senior high schools are vital components of both schools, and provide a critical pathway for students from across the state to access the best that our public education system has to offer,” Dr Nahan said.

Dr Nahan said the Beazley Award wins by a Rossmoyne and a Willetton senior high school student highlighted the need to maintain current funding to these excellent schools, as the Government’s recent cuts risk their outstanding performances.

But Education Minister Sue Ellery said the reduction to supplementary funding for gifted and talented programs was most often used for co-ordination and administration.

“It is not related to, and it doesn’t determine, the number of students enrolled in those programs,” Ms Ellery said.

“The funding is provided directly to each school and they determine themselves how they allocate it.

“Every effort has been made to minimise the impact on students. Teaching time is financed through other Education Department funding and this will continue.”

She said the Beazley Medal winners were not enrolled in gifted and talented programs.

Dr Nahan said since the change in government $11.78 million for Willetton SHS rebuild was cancelled, the student-centred funding model was abandoned, and $1.3 million was lost from Willetton SHS and $1 million from Rossmoyne through their equity adjustment.

Independent schools (IPS) are also being directed to choose staff from a teacher’s pool, and the administrative grant of up to $50,000 for every IPS has been cut.

Funding has been also cut to prizes including scholarships and general exhibitions.

Rossmoyne’s total operating budget is $20.6 million, and Willetton’s is $24.2 million.

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