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Wednesday, 7 September 1983
Page: 532

Question No. 147


Dr Charlesworth asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 17 May 1983:

(1) How does the Government determine what private schools fall into the 'needy ' category.

(2) How many private schools are there in the Electoral Division of Perth and ( a) how many of these are Catholic Schools, (b) what level of federally funded assistance is afforded to these schools, (c) which of these schools are classified as 'needy' and (d) will these schools be eligible for funds under the School Computer Program.


Mr Dawkins —The Minister for Education and Youth Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The existing Commonwealth program of general recurrent funding for non- government schools was developed by the previous Government. Under this program, schools are classified into three funding groups on the basis of need. A school' s need is assessed by the Schools Commission on the basis of the Schools Recurrent Resource Index (SRRI) which provides a measure of recurrent resources provided from a school's private means in relation to average recurrent resources provided in government schools. In 1983 the SRRI mechanism is used in conjunction with an income test procedure to ensure that schools spend a reasonable proportion of their total disposable private income on improving recurrent resource standards. All schools are entitled to appeal against funding group decisions including those decisions based on the application of income test procedures.

This arrangement is being maintained on an interim basis in 1984 pending the implementation in 1985 of a new scheme for non-government school general resources funding. In the Guidelines to the Schools Commission, the Government has asked the Commission to provide advice and options on: a more comprehensive approach to the definition of 'need'; the establishment of adequate general resource standards against which need may be measured; and, the categorisation of schools for Commonwealth funding purposes in a manner which provides for sufficient differentiation in relation to the varying needs and circumstances of schools.

(2) There are seventeen non-government schools in the Electoral Division of Perth.

(a) Nine (9).

(b) and (c) For the purpose of Commonwealth General Recurrent Grants, the classification of the seventeen schools in the Electoral Division of Perth to subsidy groups in 1983 is as follows:

Per cent Per pupil

age of subsidy rate

Subsidy

standard

group

Schools cost Primary Secondary

$ $ 1

3 20 338 537 2

5 30 508 806 3

*9 40 677 1 075

*Catholic Schools

(d) I have asked the Commonwealth Schools Commission to provide me with advice on how the national Computer Education program might best be introduced. I expect that included in that advice will be recommendations on how funds made available should be distributed. I expect to receive advice from the Commission in September 1983. Non-government schools will be eligible for assistance and $1 .2m will be provided for them in 1984. Initially, the program will concentrate on secondary schools but for the period beyond 1984, the Commission will provide advice on future policy directions, including extension to primary schools.