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teaching in Western Australia

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Helena Handbasket, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    Has anybody moved over to WA to teach? What is it like to live over there? How do wages/ cost of living compare?

    Also, the foundation advertising run private Anglican schools. Does anybody know what teaching would be like in one of these as opposed to a state school? Thanks
  2. The cost of living in Perth is quite high and worse up north (where the mining is). The wages are reasonable but not brillant. Very few, if any Australian teachers use agency's to find work. It just isn't done here. You apply directly to the school or the department as a general rule. Everyone tells me Perth has a great lifestyle but it is my hometown, so I'm less keen on the place.
    Permenent work in Perth is hard to come by. The rural areas may be better but alot of the department work is contract. I know a heap of Scottish teachers where shipped out a few years ago I don't know how that worked out for anyone.
    The independent schools are a mixed bag some are great privleged schools others, are just a cheap way for the government to provide more schools. It depends on the school. General rule of thumb more taxpayer money goes into independant and Catholic schools than public schools.
  3. daybreak07

    daybreak07 New commenter

    I attended the info sessions that they ran in London 18months ago. It looked very positive and with the current exchange rate it translates well. However, I have found their communications to be poor. I emailed twice since the info sessions, and on both occasions the Director's PA failed to reply...so on both occasions I emailed the Director and he told me the email must have been 'lost in cyberspace'. Hmm, not sure about that.

    Otherwise, if I hadn't a job already lined up I would eb going for it with both hands! WA looks fantastic and all the research I did 18months ago seemed to confirm that. I know that the boarding schools offer teacher accommodation, so perhaps that is worth aiming for.

    Good luck!
  4. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    Thanks, that is all really helpful.

    I tried to get to the info session last year but my train stopped in a field for about an hour because of the snow. So not impressed as I didn't have a phone number for them, gave up a days supply and had to spend a day in London.

    I will definitely be applying once I have some time to breathe when school finishes.
  5. pomunder

    pomunder New commenter

    You're missing the point, Chris. The independents shouldn't get anything at all.

    Please OP, don't be misled by CC's figures; government schools are way underfunded. The National figures count for zip. Look at the state; that. after all is where you'll be applying

    Having said all that, I was at a private school not long ago and saw the threadbare carpet and wondered what the parents thought they were paying for. Oh yes, the ability of the school to shuck off behaviour problems onto the state sector. Lots of flash frontage. And spoonfeeding of the students. Which is why so many privately-educated students drop out in their first year at uni.
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Why not? The parents who send their kids there pay taxes (probably more than most people) and a proportion of their taxes goes to education. So if their child goes to an independent school surely some of that taxation should too.

    No! The ability to protect other students from having their lessons disrupted.

    Have you ever taught in an independent school? My experience is that, in general, one gets appreciative students and parents, and one can get on with teaching - hopefully one of the main reasons anyone becomes a teacher.
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    And your evidence of this is..?
    As a statement it doesn't mean much. A much more valid comparison would be the proportion of state school drop-outs compared to private school drop-outs.
    Does anybody have any figures?

  8. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    I?m not missing the point at all. Phie claimed that ?more taxpayer money goes into independent(sic) and Catholic schools than public schools?. This is completely untrue. The amount of taxpayer funds going to public schools is double per head that going to private schools. That is a simple matter of fact that remains true whatever you believe about the adequacy of government funding of government schools or the rightness of government funding of private schools.

    The national figures are, as I said for ?federal, state and territory government? expenditure. State funding for private schools is far less than for government schools, while federal funding is the other way round. The federal AEU focuses on federal funding and ignores state funding, which is completely dishonest. The federal AEU is behaving with incredible stupidity and shortsightedness with the current Review of Funding for Schooling by carrying on about private schools when it ought to be making a very strong, detailed case for better funding of government schools.

    I agree that government schools are underfunded, which is why I have been on the public record for more than 30 years arguing that they be better treated. It is why I made submissions to the Review of Funding for Schooling, which can be found at
    here .

    I have no problem with private schools getting government money for all sorts of reasons, some of which you can read in my submissions. The whole pubic-private debate is like revisiting the 1950s. The state aide debate in Australia was won 40 years ago, and there is no way we will go back to not having state aide for private schools.
  9. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    Pomunder is right about one thing. Studies have shown for decades that private school, students are more likely to get into university but more likely once there to drop out. I don?t have time to find a link for you now, but I will do so.
  10. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I look forward to looking at the link.

  11. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    ?Public school students who leave year 12 with lower marks than their private school rivals overtake them academically once they hit the "level playing field" of university.

    ?A study of 12,500 first-year students from Melbourne's Monash University found that students from comprehensive schools outshone those from government selective, independent and Catholic schools.?

    ?Once on a level playing field, students from non-selective government schools tend to do better," he wrote in Secondary Schooling, Tertiary Entry Ranks and University Performance?.?

    (Linda Doherty, Education Editor Uni easier if the old school tie is public , Sydney Morning Herald, April 6, 2005)
  12. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    That is one report, taken from a newspaper cutting in 2005. While not discounting the findings themselves, I would like to see her sources.
    For instance, what counts as a private school education? Does spending the last two years of your schooling in a private school count as a private education? Do you have to spend much longer? The reason I ask this is because a large number of pupils go to private school for the last two years of their schooling. So if they went to school from the age of 7, they have effectively spent 9 out of their 11 years of schooling in the state sector. Surely the state sector needs to take some responsibility here?
    Now I know this is a fairly crude example, but things are not so clear cut as the figures show.
    This is one particular university. One could just as easily argue that the children from the private sector, particularly the weaker students, are those that would not have got into university if they had stayed in the state sector. The smaller class sizes and more individualised teaching in the private sector enhanced the achievements of these students, and once that support was gone, university life became untenable.
    I dare say that there will also be a difference in the drop out rates between universities depending upon their rankings. The drop out rates for Russell group universities may very well be different than those from non-Russell group universities, reflecting the different types of students that they cater for.
  13. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    It is only one report, but the finding is consistent with every other report I have ever seen mentioned over the past 30 years. It took me a while to find that particular article, so please excuse me if I do not spend hours searching for more. The difficulty is I put in various search terms but they do not bring up just the relevant material and I have to look at page after page on the internet to find exactly what is needed. The report I linked to mentions the original study, so you may be able to find it via Google.

    Your questions are valid, but I do not know the answers to them. The general picture in Australia is that just under 70 per cent of students go to government primary schools and just over 30 per cent to private, mostly Catholic, primary schools and just over 60 per cent of students go to government secondary schools and just under 40 per cent go to private, mostly Catholic, private schools. Thus, about ten per cent of students move from government primary schools to private secondary schools.

    There are different views as to why private school students are more likely to get into university but not more likely to do better than government school students once there. I wasn?t trying to enter that argument but to back up the point on which pomunder was actually correct.

    At the risk of starting a whole new argument, I will quote from the OECD:
    (PISA 2009 Results: Executive Summary, OECD, 2010)

    We do not have Russell group and non-Russell group universities, whatever they are.
  14. Hello Helena,
    I can't give you very accurate information, just what I've heard from my homeland of recent.
    Cost of living in Australia has skyrocketed of recent, I get the feeling its the same across the country. Remember that in the mining centres everything has to be transported quite a distance and this is reflected in the price you pay at the tills. When I first got to the UK some time ago the exchange rate was punishing. As the pound has dropped and the Aussie $$ has strengthened, things go up. Teaching wages aren't too bad in Aus, but prices keep going up.
    Regarding public vs private. A previous post mentions that private schools are a mixed bag. Correct. Some are very good with excellent facilities, good results for the kids etc. Some are of the cheaper variety, and this shows. Generally state schools are fairly well resourced, you shouldn't have a major problem. Funding formulas for private schools have changed in the last few years, the previous conservative government copped a lot of flak for increasing funding for private schools. The Labor government in power now have been promising an 'education revolution' but from what I've read in the Aussie press it sounds like a tinkering at the edges.
    My final point regarding university drop out rates... Well this is anecdotal experience from over 10yrs ago during my undergrad. I went to a private catholic school, but it wasn't well resourced and my parents didn't pay huge amounts in fees. I got through, found it difficult, but asked for help and advice from lecturers and fellow students and got through. I noticed with some friends who went to some of Melbourne's best private schools that they dropped out. But also some friends from public schools dropped out. I always got the impression that the ones who really struggled were the students who had everything done for them by their parents and/or teachers: the ones who were constantly spoon-fed and babyed by teachers and parents. Once they got into the university system and realised that they had to be responsible for deadlines for essays, timing study for exams etc threw them terribly. Plus the freedom of being away from parents and the party prosects of uni days was too tempting and studies suffer. Also too, increasingly more and more young people in Aus must work part time, and studies suffer, some finding they can earn more that what they may get as a graduate is too great a temptation. During my studies for Brit-equivalent PGCE quite a few dropped out - youngsters and more mature teaching students. Again a variety of reasons - loss of income, family pressures, andof course the pressure of teaching.
    Hope this helps.
  15. Hi there,
    I see that you are teaching in the Perth area, I am considering moving over to teach so I am just wondering is there much of a demand there for teachers atm, my subjects are music & religion??
    thanks :)
  16. Hi Emernighomhnail,

    I've just checked all three main teaching job sites for jobs in Perth. Nothing came up for music or religion. This is not unexpected as it is week 4 first term and most job advertisements will not come out until July or later in the year. Music you will need to contact the education department of WA for jobs in music in a public school. Religion is not taught in Public school by Public School teachers. If it is taught it is done by a local religious organisation. If you want to teach religion it will have to be in an independent or Catholic system school. You will be expected to teach the religious beliefs of the school, with limited comparative study. You may like to speak to the Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of Perth about RE. On the plus side Music and Religion is a popular combination of subjects in Catholic Schools.

    I don't think there is huge demand are there are strong training programs in Music Education (UWA) and Religious Education at (Notra Dame) . Western Australia and Perth in general is a very provincial place. There is an attitude against the East. So most people train and stay in WA and Perth in particular. Therefore, they will take most of the jobs. You would be competing against locals who are known in and know the system. It may be hard to break in but not impossible. I have those connections but it would be really hard for me to find work there as I trained in the East and have worked in the East and overseas. Not really something valued over there. Though I have a deputy (a family friend) who has given be a standing offer of casual work, if I ever want it but that is not in secondary. Again this is evidence of the connections you have to have to work there.

    All this said all you can do is get registered with WACOT, the CEO and DET and start applying for jobs.
  17. 576

    576 Established commenter

    The Anglican organisation was advertising earlier for RE HoD and teachers for Jan 2014. The deadline has passed but they advertised in TES.
  18. Thank you for your message, it has helped clarify a lot for me :) do you know if there is much work in terms of casual sub teaching work in the area or ive heard of teaching agencies that operate there are they any good?
  19. There is always supply work for good teachers. Australia only allows university trained teachers to teach. An agency will get you teaching quickly but they will charge. I recommend you do the leg work yourself. Get in contact with the det and sort their paper work, contact the ATO and get a tax file number (TFN). Take your resume etc to all the schools where you want to teach.
  20. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Does this apply to most major centres? In particular NOT Sydney, with its crazy property prices that make even the Mad Dog English look sane.

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