Schools need more money to stop assaults – union

The State School Teachers Union has asked the State Government to fund student support programs because of an increae in the number of violent incidents being reported at WA schools.

The union claims 63 incidents of physical assault were reported within the first four weeks of the 2016 school year.

Weapons such as pepper spray, knives and scissors have been used.

SSTUWA president Pat Byrne said school budgets were a factor in the growing violence.

“As a result of this cut, about 600 teachers, 800 education assistants and 110 Aboriginal Islander education officers have been taken out of schools in the last year or two years,” she said in a statement.

“It’s led to larger class sizes in most schools – which may be within the maximum allowed – but are bigger than they were. Add to this the loss of EA’s and AIEO’s and the consequences are significant – for teachers and students.”

“Programs designed to attract and retain students at risk have been reduced or cut all together because of fewer available staff.”