Pre-primary education in Western Australia is to become compulsory under legislation introduced before Parliament by the State Government.


State Education Minister Peter Collier said the School Education Amendment Bill 2012 would bring the state more into line with other jurisdictions around the country.


Mr Collier said the Bill forms part of the State Government’s move to ensure that pre-primary age children have access to high quality, full time education and that they will be guaranteed a pre-primary place at their local public school from the first day of term one 2013.


“In that year of schooling, children acquire the foundations of literacy and numeracy, and while current pre-primary enrolment rates in WA exceed 97 per cent, the Liberal-National Government is committed to introducing legislation that ensures our children have access to the best possible public education system, from as earlier an age as possible,” Mr Collier said.

“Passage of this legislation will mean that our children undertake compulsory schooling for 13 years in line with other jurisdictions, and that as the Australian Curriculum continues to be incrementally implemented ahead of 2015, all our pre-primary aged children will be attending school.”


Mr Collier said changes were expected to raise the status and importance of the early years of school among parents and the wider community, and reinforced the role of schools in early childhood education.


The introduction of the Bill comes as the South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said that early childhood education should be nationally recognised as a profession.