Premier Colin Barnett said he had no reason to doubt an observation from WA Primary Principals Association president Stephen Breen that violence in schools was increasing and often related to cultural issues.

He called on the Federal Government to provide greater support for schools with high numbers of refugees and asylum seekers.

“We do have many young people who are refugees, we now have young people who are asylum seekers, who go into our school system and we accept the responsibility as a State to provide educational care and support for them,” Mr Barnett said.

“But many of these young people come from very troubled backgrounds, sometimes horrific backgrounds, so they do add to school management problems, no doubt about it.

“It would be good to see the Commonwealth Government provide a bit of support for refugees, it’s great that we have a generous refugee policy and I support that, but once children arrive and go into our school system, often English is a second language, often from troubled backgrounds, often troubled family situations, and that responsibility often falls on schools.

“I don’t think it is reasonable to expect schools to take on all the social problems and family and even cultural issues that they have.

"Let’s be realistic, our schools are there to provide education, the other issues are for parents, for families, for community groups, all of us.”

The West Australian

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