Education assistants and Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers (AIEO) are set to return to Kimberley classrooms, reversing teaching cuts made by the previous Liberal-National government.
An additional 10.5 full-time equivalent education assistants will return to public school classrooms in the Kimberley from 2018, while 21.1 will return in 2019 and 13.3 in 2020.
Meanwhile, 3.8 full-time equivalent AIEOs will be back in Kimberley classrooms in 2018 and 14.8 in 2019 to give local Aboriginal children additional assistance.
It is part of the State Government’s commitment to provide an additional 50 AIEOs across Western Australia.
The Liberal National Government cut education assistants and Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers from schools during their term in government.
Premier Mark McGowan said it is an important election commitment to reverse the Opposition’s cuts while they were in government.
“Putting education assistants and AIEOs back into classrooms in the Kimberley was part of an important election commitment to help reverse the cuts made by the previous government,” Mr McGowan said.
“This announcement will ensure that Kimberley students get additional one-on-one support and allows teachers to get on with the job of teaching.”
He said reversing the cuts would now improve learning in the Kimberley.
“The Liberal National Government’s cuts to education assistants and AIEOs impacted negatively on learning at Kimberley schools, however the delivery of our commitment now means there will be more help available to students who need it most,” he said.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said it would help give students in the region help that was needed.
“Education assistants have an integral role in the education of students including one-on-one literacy and numeracy coaching and extra support for students facing learning difficulties, students with English as a second language and students with disability,” she said.
“The additional Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers will ensure local Aboriginal children are given additional assistance and every opportunity to overcome any unique challenges they may experience.”