Job cuts part of education reshuffle in SW

Emily AceSouth Western Times

Nine positions, including eight Aboriginal education roles, have been abolished in the South West as part of a restructure of the Department of Education.

The reshuffle comes after the State Government amalgamated the Department of Education, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority and the former Department of Education Services into one agency in July.

The Department of Education will reduce 188 staff positions from central and regional offices – but not schools – by February 5, 2018 to contribute to a target of 3000 positions removed across all Government agencies.

Affected permanent staff have the option to express an interest in a voluntary severance, or will be redeployed within the department.

Department executive director of Statewide Planning and Delivery Stephen Baxter said while a number of Aboriginal education positions in regional offices were abolished, five jobs in a new Aboriginal education team would be created.

A total of 17 jobs would be created in the new Aboriginal education team to be based in Perth.

“We realise this is a difficult time as we have needed to make changes to the department in ways that maintain as much support to schools as possible,” he said.

“The department recently changed Aboriginal education support services to focus on improved teaching and learning for Aboriginal students – in a culturally appropriate way.

“The new services are led by our most senior Aboriginal people in public servant positions with the department.

“This team has begun to provide services and support to public schools across Western Australia.”

“If an employee’s position has been abolished, and they want to remain with the Department, then they will be found other meaningful work to support students – which is likely to be within a school.

"Direct support for Aboriginal students is best done within schools and school communities.”

The State Government has committed to employ an additional 50 Aboriginal and Islander education officers in WA public schools next year to directly support students.

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