West Leederville PS should have told parents about team teaching

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THE Department of Education has conceded that West Leederville Primary School parents should have been told about new collaborative teaching classrooms before the first day of school.

Some parents with children in collaborative teaching for the first time have dubbed the rooms as “mega classes” saying the class sizes are too big and create too much noise and disruption for a learning environment.

Deputy Director General Stephen Baxter told ABC radio on Monday that there should have been a conversation with affected parents before the first day of school.

“What could have been done better is holding a conversation earlier explaining to parents about the real opportunity and benefit of approaches like this,” Mr Baxter said.

“Never stop talking to parents.”

In an email to parents on February 6, two days after school started, Principal Fiona Kelly wrote that West Leederville PS had two open classrooms last year and the practice provided opportunities for teachers to collaborate with their colleagues in and out of the classroom.

“Please be assured that the teachers team-teaching have chosen to do so in order to provide your children with the best possible educational outcomes,” the email said.

Ms Kelly cited several studies supporting collaborative teaching, including a case study by teachers at Harbord Public School in NSW who held an information evening for parents ahead of the change.

West Leederville PS parents were invited to the school’s board meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the matter.