Extra education support for Katanning schools

Saskia AdystiGreat Southern Herald

Katanning Primary School and Katanning Senior High School has received funding from the State Government to employ additional education assistants as well as Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer (AIEOs) to support local students.

Katanning Primary School principal Anita Wills said education assistants were a vital part of her team.

She planned to use the additional funding innovatively to provide further assistance for early childhood students with special needs or disabilities.

“Younger students require a higher level of support and supervision with routine activities and assistance to engage with the curriculum than older and more independent students,” Ms Wills said.

Katanning Primary School students with their education assistant Tenelle Quartermaine and Anne-Marie Stewart.
Camera IconKatanning Primary School students with their education assistant Tenelle Quartermaine and Anne-Marie Stewart.

Katanning Senior High School will also receive an additional 0.7 full-time Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer to support their Aboriginal students.

Katanning’s Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer, Marissa Willey, said the number of Aboriginal students have doubled for this year.

Currently there are 112 Aboriginal students in Katanning Senior High School which makes up to 35 per cent of the students in the school.

Katanning Senior High School currently employs three Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers, two of whom work part time.

One of the Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers, Boyd Woods said that most Aboriginal students tended to engage more in class when their AIEOs are present.

“It’s just the cultural relations — with other people they can perhaps feel a little bit more shy or shameful, they just can’t seem to make that link I guess,” Mr Woods said.

The State Government plans to put an additional 300 education assistants in WA classrooms and an additional 50 AIEOs in regional WA classrooms.

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