More EAs in school

More EAs in school

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Thornlie Primary School principal Lee Woodcock, Member for Thornlie Chris Tallentire, education assistant Kim Prescott-Brown and Member for Southern River Terry Healy are all in support of funding for EA’s in schools. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

The McGowan Government is proceeding with its election commitment to put an additional 300 education assistants and 50 Aboriginal and Islander education officers back into West Australian classrooms.

One of the many schools to benefit from this decision is Thornlie Primary School who is looking forward to the funding for additional EA’s.

Thornlie Primary School principal Lee Woodcock said the funding would go a long way to aiding the students.

“The EA is very important,” he said.

“By having an EA is the classroom they are able to work with the students who need that extra bit of assistance while the teacher can focus teaching the class.

“This way everyone gets a better education all around.”

Champion Lakes resident Kim Prescott-Brown has been an EA at Southern River College for more than 20 years.

She said her role includes supporting students in class with a number of programs such as literacy and numeracy and working with them either one on one or in small groups.

“The chain had been broken,” she said.

“We can now finally rebuild as it is a chain reaction, the EA’s help the teachers and through this assistance the students are helped as well, everyone benefits.”

Ms Prescott-Brown said she was excited for the future and eager to see the difference EA’s will make across the schools in the state.

From 2018, 100 additional education assistants will be employed in WA public schools with 100 more employed for each of 2019 and 2020.

Member for Southern River Terry Healy said EA’s would be provided to support student learning in Kindergarten to year two at Ashburton Drive Primary, Huntingdale Primary, Seaforth Primary, Gosnells Primary and Wirrabara Primary.

“There has been a huge increase in population and growth,” he said.

“Southern River College had about 400 students in 2011 and five years later there is about 1100.”

Mr Healy said schools would benefit from the EA and it was anther election promise, which the state government had delivered on.

Member for Thornlie Chris Tallentire said the McGowan government was getting on with the job.

“We’re getting support staff back into classrooms so all the kids can learn,” he said.

“Our schools have good data on disadvantage and the extra assistants are targeted according to need.

“We’re helping teachers to teach, as we promised.”

Shadow Minister for Education Donna Faragher said the Liberal party strongly supported education assistants and the important role they play in schools.

“The former Liberal-led government actually increased the number of education assistants by approximately 2000 between 2008 and 2016,” she said.

“We increased the overall number by approximately 38 per cent when the student population increased by 16 per cent.”

Ms Faragher said it was the former Liberal-led government, which provided the lowest ratio of students to EAs than any other state in the nation.