Teachers in Western Australia were on strike today against spending cuts. Joining forces with local communities andstudents, thousands marched on the state parliament in Perth to demand an end to cuts which are severely damaging education in the state. $180 million (Australian) has been slashed from education and hundreds of teaching posts, and in particular teaching assistant jobs are being lost. Teachers say that they are having to fund-raise for basic materials as a result of the cuts.The cuts are having a particularly detrimental effect on children with special needs, since there is no longer the capacity to do the kind of extra small group teaching which they need.

There were marches in several towns, but in the capital, Perth, the protests blocked traffic for hours as demonstrators listened to speakers calling for an end to the cuts. Both the Australian Prime Minister, right wing Tony Abbott and the state premier, Colin Barnett were invited to speak but delined to do so, saying that the protest was 'unlawful'. Many children took part in the protest, with parents saying that it was important for children to learn about the issues. 

Over a hundred schools were closed by the strike, while others were kept partially open, in some cases by employing people to take the place of the strikers. The Australian teachers' union says that if the cuts are not withdrawn, there will be more strikes in the state.