Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Half cohort

The half cohort is continuing to have impact on WA high schools. As predicted schools are losing FTE and may have to compromise their ability to provide a complete curriculum due to reduced staffing numbers.

Last week the union advertised in the West that 500 teachers would lose their jobs. Even after releasing temporary staff, 2 nearby schools have 10 teachers permanent on EIP (forced movement to like schools when permanent staff not required)- these teachers are likely to be supernumerary next year as there is not enough growth in public schools to satisfy the excess. They will likely go on "stress leave" as the concern of not having a job and being identified as the teacher "not required" will be more than many can reasonably bear.

It will be interesting to see how DET handles this problem, whether with a high handed approach (direct the insurers to investigate how "stressed" teachers they really are), how it investigates the EIP process on appeal, how it checks process and over-rides school decisions or whether it lets the whole matter ride and takes what benefit it can from those that choose to leave the system. A likely conclusion is redundancies two years from now when supernumeraries are still in non-permanent positions.

For many new graduates the situation is a bit grim as the positions normally taken by them will be taken by the supernumeraries.


  1. how does the half cohort affect voting?

  2. I don't think it will. Kids still get older, they'll now have been longer in the workplace or in higher education by six months. Teachers (if unified) could be classed as a voting block, but have not been effectively mobilised since the OBE debates. Schools do not have a mandate to bias students towards political parties. Gonski reforms have not managed to do this, effectively neutralised in WA by promising extra funding through negotiation with the state government. The message was not clear enough to win over teachers where there is a lot of mistrust for political reforms such as performance based pay, curriculum reform and low SES funding models.


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