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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2713

(Question No. 487)

Senator Reynolds asked the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 8 November 1983:

(1) Is the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs aware of the extent of concern about the guidelines relating to funding of education projects of national significance; if so, will the Minister clarify the procedures which will be adopted in selecting these projects.

(2) What attempts will be made to ensure that projects of national significance are distributed across Australia to include a diverse range of educational options.

(3) Will there be any effort to direct funding to regional areas so that such projects are not concentrated in capital cities.

Senator Ryan —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The projects of national significance program of the Commonwealth Schools Commission consists of the following elements. The notional funding allocation for each element is indicated.

$ Aboriginal Education 104,000 Arts Education 208,000 Choice and Diversity in Government Schools 104,000 Computer Education 156,000 Education of Girls 260,000 Gifted and Talented Children 104,000 School and Community 104,000 School Evaluation 104,000 General Projects of National Significance 272,000 Review and Evaluation of Commission Programs 311,000

As well, projects of national significance elements are included in the participation and equity program and the multicultural education program. The funding allocations for these elements are as follows:

Participation and Equity 520,000 Multicultural Education 378,000

The various elements each have their own guidelines and procedures for selecting and funding projects. Guidelines for all elements are endorsed by the Commission.

Applications are called for by advertisement and other forms of promotion in the case of the gifted and talented children, school evaluation and multicultural education elements.

Panels of commissioners consider and make recommendations on applications in the school evaluation and general projects of national significance elements.

In the case of the choice and diversity in government schools, computer education, education of girls, and gifted and talented children elements selection of projects for funding is done by the advisory groups associated with those elements. These advisory groups are composed of representatives of the interests connected with the operation of the elements.

In the case of the multicultural education element projects are assessed by a panel consisting of representatives of the various interests making up the Australian education community.

In the case of the Aboriginal education element proposals are developed at the instigation of the Commission in consultation with the National Aboriginal Education Committee.

The Commission considers the recommendations of the various panels and advisory groups and recommends to me, or my delegate, those projects it considers worthy of funding.

No procedures have been developed yet for the arts education and participation and equity elements. A school and community workshop to be held in June 1984 will recommend guidelines for the school and community element for 1984.

(2) and (3) Projects are selected according to the guidelines associated with each element and the quality of individual projects on a competitive basis. In the case of the choice and diversity in government schools element projects are conducted in each of the participating States. In the case of all elements efforts are made to direct funding to regional areas so that projects are not concentrated in capital cities.