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Education debate begins for WA election

AAP logoAAP 6/10/2016 Rebecca Gredley

The State School Teachers' Union of WA has called for better support, more staff and lower TAFE fees as it campaigns ahead of the 2017 state election.

President Pat Byrne says the teaching community wants positions that were cut in 2013 and 2014 restored, more administrative support in schools and violence in schools addressed.

"We've seen an increase in violence against teachers and this is violence from both students and parents - it's something that has been raised continuously with us this year," she said on Thursday.

"We have launched our position paper today and we are asking all parties to respond to that paper between now and the next election."

The union also launched an advertising campaign, which begins on Sunday and asks the public to vote for the party they believe puts public education first.

WA Education Minister Peter Collier said he had written to the state attorney-general about legislation to protect teachers and was waiting for a response.

"People who are there for the welfare of students should not come under the threat of any physical violence. It is simply unacceptable," he said.

Mr Collier said public schools in WA are the highest resourced and teachers the highest paid in the nation.

"We still have a long way to go. I think we can do a lot more in regard to pastoral care and in regard to leadership and they are the areas I will be prosecuting arguments for in the lead up to the election," he said.

Opposition education spokeswoman Sue Ellery said teachers had noticed a direct impact of the 2013 and 2014 staff cuts in their classrooms and would announce Labor policies closer to the election.

"Part of what we intend to do will go towards restoring some of the damage that I think has been done to public schools," she said.

"Education is an important priority for us."

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