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Schools Assistance (Learning Together—Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Bill 2004

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2002-2003-2004

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE (LEARNING TOGETHER - ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH CHOICE AND OPPORTUNITY) BILL 2004

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP)



SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE (LEARNING TOGETHER - ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH CHOICE AND OPPORTUNITY) BILL 2004

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Bill is to implement the Government’s commitment to a strong school sector which offers high quality outcomes to all students and choice to parents by providing stability in Australian Government funding for primary and secondary education in Australia for the 2005 to 2008 quadrennium.

 

The Bill secures funding for Australian Government programs of financial assistance to the States and Territories for government and non-government schools.  It succeeds the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 which authorised funding for the 2001 to 2004 funding period.

 

The Bill implements a number of decisions made in the 2004-05 Budget:

 

·         Integration of Catholic systemic schools into the socio-economic status (SES) funding model for non-government schools;

·         Providing a funding guarantee to independent non-government schools that would otherwise be disadvantaged from updating the SES scores for the 2005-2008 quadrennium;

·         Additional funding for the Capital Grants Program for the construction and refurbishment of Catholic and independent schools in isolated locations in the Northern Territory; and

·         Establishment of a new overarching targeted program, the Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Program which will be targeted at the most disadvantaged students, including students with disabilities.

 

The socioeconomic status (SES) funding model will be maintained and more deeply embedded as the basis for Australian Government funding of non-government schools in Australia.  From 2005 all non-government schools and systems will operate under the SES model, with Catholic systemic schools joining the SES funding arrangements.

 

The SES funding arrangements were introduced in 2001 to provide a more transparent, objective and equitable approach to funding non-government schools.  General recurrent funding is distributed according to need and schools serving the neediest communities receive the greatest financial support.    

 

Under the former funding arrangements, Catholic systems were funded at 56.2% of Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC) and 51.2% for the ACT in respect of students attending Catholic systemic schools.  Non-systemic schools were either funded on their SES score or funding maintained at their year 2000 funding levels.   Independent school systems were funded on the basis of the aggregate entitlement of their individual member schools.

 

For 2005-2008, Catholic school systems will be funded on the basis of the aggregate entitlement of their individual member schools.  Individual Catholic systemic schools will have their funding entitlements assessed according to the SES of their school community in the same way as independent schools.  Catholic systemic schools that would be financially disadvantaged by moving to SES-based funding will have their year 2004 per capita funding entitlements maintained in real terms.

 

The following arrangements will apply for 2005-2008 for non-government non-systemic schools:

 

·          Schools that are currently funding maintained, will continue to be funding maintained for 2005-2008 unless their 2005-2008 SES score indicates a higher per capita funding rate than the school currently receives (these schools are referred to as schools with year 2000 funding levels in the former Act);

·          Schools with a 2005-2008 SES score that is the same as their score for the current quadrennium will continue to receive per capita funding entitlements at the same rate of AGSRC;

·          Schools with a 2005-2008 SES score that is lower than their current score will attract a higher per capita funding rate from 2005 unless the school is currently funding maintained at a higher funding rate or already in receipt of maximum funding; and

·          Schools with a 2005-2008 SES score that is higher than their current score will have their 2004 per capita dollar amounts guaranteed (or frozen) until the value of the new score is equal to, or greater than, their 2004 entitlements unless the school is funding maintained or already in receipt of maximum funding.

 

The Bill will implement an enhanced performance framework including reporting arrangements for Australian Government schools funding for 2005-2008.  The strengthened accountability and reporting requirements contained in this Bill will reinforce the link between the funding provided under Australian Government programs and improved outcomes for all Australian students.

 

Grantees are required to commit to reporting against performance measures and to achieving performance targets related to the National Goals for Schooling.

 

From 2005, as a condition of funding, schools will be required to report to parents of students in years 3, 5 and 7 on their child’s performance against national literacy and numeracy benchmarks.



The Bill will also require school reports to abide by broadly stated principles that ensure that parents receive timely, plain language feedback on their child’s performance.



This Bill includes, as a condition of funding, a requirement for all schools to publish and make readily accessible a range of school performance information.  This information, to be specified in regulations, will include such information as academic outcomes, what vocational, education and training options are offered, school leaver destinations, the professional qualifications of teachers and professional development undertaken by teachers.  

 

The Bill will require the publication, within one year after the end of each program year, of a national report on the outcomes of schooling. 

 

The Bill takes steps to improve national consistency, by requiring educational authorities to bring in a uniform school starting age by 2010 and to implement common testing standards, including common national tests in the key areas of English, mathematics, science and civics and citizenship education. Education authorities must also commit to develop and implement Statements of Learning that describe the key knowledge, understandings, skills and capacities in English, mathematics, science and civics and citizenship education that each child should acquire at school and to commit to implement before 1 January 2006, a consistent national system for the timely transmission between schools of student information relating to students moving interstate.



This Bill requires education authorities to make a commitment that principals, and their governing bodies, be given strengthened autonomy over education programs, staffing, budget and other operations.

 

Education authorities must also make a commitment to put into effect the National Safe Schools Framework and to provide at least two hours of physical activity each school week.  This is just one part of a range of initiatives that this Government is taking to make a significant difference to the health and well being of all Australian children.

 

Commitment to achieve performance targets and report against performance measures is a precondition to receiving Australian Government schools grants (as under the current Act).  Education authorities will not be financially penalised if they fail to achieve targets.  Through his regulation power the Minister is able to require an education authority which has failed to meet a target to which it is committed to take certain specified action to address a failure to meet a target, and to report on the steps taken.

 

This Bill continues the Australian Government’s commitment to improving literacy and numeracy for all Australian students.  The Bill includes a new overarching targeted program, the Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Program. 

 

This program will have three distinct elements:

·          Schools Grants (formerly known as the Strategic Assistance for Improving Student Outcomes Program);

·          Non-Government Centres Support (formerly known as the Special Education for Non-Government Centres Support Program); and

·          National Projects (formerly known as the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects Program). 

 

It will be targeted at the most disadvantaged students, including students with disabilities.  This includes additional funding to improve education outcomes for educationally disadvantaged students and to ensure that no sector will experience a reduction in funding as a result of new allocation arrangements.

 

The Bill has a similar structure to the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 .

 

As before, the legislative base for the schools programs will be underpinned by agreements with the States and Territories as well as with non-government school authorities.  Administrative details will be in the publication “Australian Government Programs for Schools - Administrative Guidelines - 2005 to 2008”.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The Bill provides for an appropriation of some $25.8 billion in final 2003 prices for the entire quadrennium.  In accordance with the Government’s policy, these amounts will be adjusted for price movements.  A Government amendment may be introduced to update all funding amounts in this Bill to 2004 final prices once the necessary data becomes available.  Alternatively, the amounts will be updated through regulations made under clauses 109 to 114 once the Bill is enacted.

 

The Schedules to the Bill set out grants for the 2005 to 2008 quadrennium.



SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE (LEARNING TOGETHER - ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH CHOICE AND OPPORTUNITY) BILL 2004

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Part 1 - Preliminary

 

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

Provides for the Act to be cited as the Schools Assistance (Learning Together - Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Act 2004 .

 

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

Provides for the Act to commence (or to be taken to have commenced) on 1 January 2005.

 

 

Clause 3 - Simplified outline of Act

 

Provides a simplified outline of the Act.

 

Clause 4 - Definitions

 

Contains definitions of the terms and expressions used in the Act.

 

 

Clause 5 - Students receiving education at non-government schools

 

Subclause 5(1) provides that a student will not be taken to be receiving primary or secondary education at a non-government school at the location set out in the list of non-government schools unless the basis of the student’s attendance is daily.  The Minister is empowered because of special circumstances to determine that the student is so attending on a daily basis.

 

Subclause 5(2) provides that a student will not be taken to be receiving primary or secondary distance education at a non-government school in a State if the student does not reside in the State, or the school is not approved under State law to provide distance education, or the student is home educated.

 



 

Clause 6 - Funding level

 

Clause 4 provides that a funding level under the Bill has the meaning given by this clause.  Under the Bill there are 4 different types of funding levels, all of which are expressed as a percentage of Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC).  All schools except for special schools will have either an SES funding level, a year 2000 funding level or a year 2004 funding level.  Special schools receive 70 percent of AGSRC.

 

AGSRC for primary education and secondary education are defined in C lause 4 to mean the AGSRC primary and secondary amounts set out in Schedule 1 for the program year or, where those amounts are changed by a regulation made under subclause 109(1) , the new amounts.

 

Whether a school is placed in a current SES funding level, is funding maintained or is in funding guarantee is determined under the transitional provisions set out in clauses 133 and 134 .

 

 

Clause 7 - Levels of education

 

Enables the Minister to determine what is primary or secondary education in a State, allowing the Minister to take account of different arrangements for primary or secondary years across States.  The Minister is required to gazette the determination.

 

 

Clause 8 - SES Score

 

Clause 4 defines an SES score to have the meaning given by this clause.  This clause defines an SES score to be a number determined by the Minister for a school in accordance with guidelines approved by the Minister.  The relevant SES scores are set out in column 1 of the tables in Part 1 and Part 2 of Schedule 4 .  They range from 85 or less to 130 or more and are expressed as a whole number.  Under the SES funding arrangements, all non-government schools except special schools will receive an SES score.  Special schools receive 70 percent of AGSRC.  The guidelines, which set out how an SES score is to be calculated, are treated as a legislative instrument.

 

 

Clause 9 - Approved authority

 

Enables the Minister to determine that a body is to be the approved authority of a non-government body such as an approved school system or a non-systemic school, for the purposes of a particular provision of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 10 - Nominated authority

 

Allows non-government schools to combine to participate in a program under the auspices of a body established for the purpose (a nominated authority).



 

Part 2 - General provisions relating to grants

 

Division 1 - Simplified outline of Part

 

Clause 11 - Simplified outline

 

Provides a simplified outline of the general provisions relating to grants.  The Minister is not to authorise a payment to a State for a government school or to a State for a non-government school unless an agreement is in place between the Commonwealth and the State or the relevant non-government authority.

 

 

Division 2 - Grants for government schools

 

Clause 12 - Agreement on conditions of financial assistance

 

Prescribes that the Minister must not authorise payments to a State in the absence of an agreement with that State.  An agreement must include a requirement that the State make commitments to:

 

·         the National Goals for Schooling prepared by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA); and

·         achieve the performance targets, and report against the performance measures, that are specified in regulations; and 

·         publication, within one year after the end of each program year of a national report on the outcomes of schooling; and 

·         ensure that school performance information is made publicly available; and

·         report to the Minister about student attendance at government schools in the State; and 

·         the development before 1 January 2006 of Statements of Learning that describe the key knowledge, understandings, skills and capacities in English, mathematics, science, and civics and citizenship education that each child should have the opportunity to acquire at school; and

·         implement those Statements of Learning either as part of the State’s next curriculum review or before 1 January 2008; and

·         put in place common testing standards in English, mathematics, science, and civics and citizenship education; and 

·         put into effect, before 1 January 2006, the National Safe Schools Framework endorsed by MCEETYA; and 

·         provide in the curriculum of government schools in the State at least 2 hours of physical activity each school week for students undertaking primary education and junior secondary education; and 

·         give the principal and the governing body of a government school strengthened autonomy over, and responsibility for, education programs, staffing, budget and other aspects of the school’s operations within a framework of broad systemic policies; and 

·         appointments of staff in government schools being made with the approval of the principal or governing body of the school; and

·         implement before 1 January 2006, a consistent national system for the timely transmission between schools of student information relating to students moving interstate; and 

·         ensure that parents are given a report on their child’s achievement against the appropriate national benchmarks for year 3, 5 and 7; and 

·         achieve before 1 January 2010 national consistency in starting ages and common nomenclature.

 

An agreement must also include the commitment set out in clause 13 and the specific conditions set out under clauses 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19 .

 

 

Clause 13 - Further commitment - student reports

 

Prescribes that an agreement must contain a commitment by the State to ensure that each government school in the State provides to the parents, guardians or other persons who have care and control of a child attending a government school in the State, student reports relating to the child which conform to certain specified principles.

 

 

Clause 14 - Further conditions of financial assistance

 

An agreement must also include a requirement that the State spends financial assistance in accordance with the purposes for which it is given and that the State provide reports in respect of that expenditure at times nominated by the Minister.  The agreement may also include other conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

 

 

Clause 15 - General conditions of financial assistance

 

Prescribes that grants under the Bill are to be subject to the conditions set out in an agreement under clause 12 .

 

 

Clause 16 - Specific conditions - financial accountability

 

Prescribes that States will give the Secretary of the Department reports on expenditure, in respect of a program year, on or before 30 June of the following year, unless another date is prescribed by the Minister.  The clause also requires States to repay unspent amounts to the Commonwealth if the Minister so determines.

 

 

Clause 17 - Specific conditions - educational accountability

 

Prescribes that, by the date determined by the Minister, or by the date that will allow publication of the national report on the outcomes of schooling to happen within 1 year after the end of each program year, a State will:

·         participate in preparing a national report on the outcomes of schooling;

·         provide reports as required by the Minister addressing the requirements for performance information and student attendance as specified in the regulations.

 

States will also be required to:

·         provide reports in relation to financial assistance;

·         take part in evaluations of the outcomes of programs funded under the Bill;

·         provide reports in relation to the State’s expenditure on the professional learning of teachers in government schools;

·         ensure that parents are given a report for their child on the results of assessments in reading, writing, spelling and numeracy against the national benchmarks specified in the regulations for year 3, 5 or 7;

·         ensure that school performance information specified in regulations is made publicly available;

·         implement before 1 January 2008, in accordance with regulations common testing standards, including common national tests in English, mathematics, science and civics and citizenship education. 

 

In addition, if the Minister considers that the State has not achieved the performance targets specified in the regulations and the Minister has directed the State to take the action specified in the direction, the State must provide to the Minister a report on the action taken in response to the direction.

 

 

Clause 18 - Specific condition - non-fulfilment of conditions

 

Prescribes that, where a State has not fulfilled a condition in clause 14 or clauses 16 or 17 , the Minister may determine that the State will repay amounts determined by the Minister to the Commonwealth.  Where the State does not make such a repayment then the Commonwealth Minister may reduce other amounts payable to the State for government schools under the Bill or delay making payments until the State fulfils outstanding conditions.

 

 

Clause 19 - Specific condition - overpayment of financial assistance

 

Provides that where a payment exceeds that which is properly payable under the Bill then, if the Minister so determines, the State will repay the excess to the Commonwealth.  If the State does not make such a repayment then the Minister may reduce other amounts payable to the State for government schools under the Bill.

 



 

Division 3 - Grants for non-government bodies

 

Subdivision A - Requirements for relevant authorities etc.

 

Clause 20 - Minister not to authorise payment to a State for a non-government body in certain circumstances

 

Prescribes that the Minister must not authorise payments to a State for a non-government body in the absence of an agreement between the Commonwealth and the relevant authority.  The agreement is to conform with clause 21 of the Bill.

 

This clause also empowers the Minister to refuse to authorise payments to a non-government school, or for a level of education in a non-government school, for any period when the school or level is not recognised by the State Minister.  Similarly, where a non-government school is being wound-up, is in receivership or is under the control of a manager, the Minister may delay or refuse to authorise payments.

 

The Minister may delay or refuse to authorise payments where the relevant authority is not a body corporate or it appears that the authority’s liabilities are greater than its assets or the authority is unlikely to be able to pay its debts.

 

 

Clause 21 - Provisions that must be included in agreements

 

Provides that an agreement made under clause 20 must contain a requirement that the relevant authority of a non-government school or approved school system make a commitment to:

 

·         the National Goals for Schooling prepared by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA); and

·         achieve the performance targets, and report against the performance measures that are specified in regulations; and

·         publish, within one year after the end of each program year, a national report on the outcomes of schooling; and

·         ensure that school performance information is made publicly available; and

·         report to the Minister about student attendance at the school(s); and

·         develop, before 1 January 2006, Statements of Learning that describe the key knowledge, understandings, skills and capacities in English, mathematics, science, and civics and citizenship education that each child should have the opportunity to acquire at school; and

·         implement those Statements of Learning either as part of the relevant authority’s next curriculum review or before 1 January 2008; and

·         put in place common testing standards in English, mathematics, science, and civics and citizenship education; and

·         put into effect, before 1 January 2006, the National Safe Schools Framework endorsed by MCEETYA; and

·         provide in the curriculum of the school(s) at least 2 hours of physical activity each school week for students undertaking primary education and junior secondary education; and 

·         give the principal and the governing body of a non-government school strengthened autonomy over, and responsibility for, education programs, staffing, budget and other aspects of the school’s operations within a framework of broad systemic policies; and 

·         appointments of staff in the school being made with the approval of the principal or governing body of the school - in the case of Catholic schools this will take account of the relationship with the bishop, parish priest(s) and the leadership of religious institutions; and 

·         implement before 1 January 2006, a consistent national system for the timely transmission between schools of student information relating to students moving interstate; and 

·         ensure parents are given a report on their child’s achievement against the appropriate national benchmarks for year 3, 5 and 7; and

·         achieve before 1 January 2010 national consistency in starting ages and common nomenclature.

 

An agreement must also include the commitment mentioned at clause 22, the specific requirements set out under clauses 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 ; and any provision required by paragraphss 45(2)(d), 47(4)(b) and 48(4)(e).

 

 

Clause 22 - Further commitment - student reports

 

Prescribes that an agreement must contain a commitment by the relevant authority to ensure that each non-government school provides to the parents, guardians or other persons who have care and control of a child attending that non-government school, student reports relating to the child which conform to certain specified principles.

 

 

Clause 23 - Provisions that may be included in agreements

 

Prescribes that an agreement may include any other provisions that the Minister thinks appropriate in relation to the relevant authority.

 

 

Clause 24 - General requirements

 

Prescribes that an agreement must require that amounts received by the relevant authority for non-government bodies be spent for the purposes set out in an agreement, which may include administrative expenses incurred by the authority.  It must also include a provision which allows a person authorised by the Minister to be given free access to, and be permitted to make copies of, accounts and records relating to information the authority is required to give the Minister under the agreement.

 

 

Clause 25 - Specific requirement - financial accountability

 

Prescribes that an agreement must contain a requirement that the authority is to give to the Secretary of the Department, after the end of the program year, a certificate by a qualified accountant that the amounts received were spent (or committed to be spent) for the purposes set out in the agreement.

 

 

Clause 26 - Specific requirement - educational accountability

 

Prescribes that, by the date determined by the Minister, or by a date that will allow publication of the national report on the outcomes of schooling to happen within 1 year after the end of each program year, a relevant authority of a non-government school or approved school system will:

·         participate in preparing a national report on the outcomes of schooling;

·         provide reports as required by the Minister addressing the requirements for performance information and student attendance as specified in the regulations.

 

Relevant authorities will also be required to:

·         provide reports in relation to financial assistance if requested;

·         take part in evaluations of the outcomes of programs funded under the Bill;

·         provide reports in relation to their expenditure on the professional learning of teachers in the school or approved school system;

·         ensure that parents are given a report for their child on the results of assessments in reading, writing, spelling and numeracy against the national benchmarks specified in the regulations for year 3, 5 or 7;

·         ensure that school performance information specified in regulations is made publicly available;

·         implement before 1 January 2008, in accordance with regulations, common testing standards, including common national tests in English, mathematics, science and civics and citizenship education.

 

In addition, if the Minister considers that the relevant authority has not achieved the performance targets specified in the regulations and the Minister has directed the relevant authority to take the action specified in the direction, the relevant authority must provide to the Minister a report on the action taken in response to the direction.

 

 

Clause 27 - Specific requirement - provision dealing with failure to comply within time limit

 

Prescribes that an agreement must contain a requirement that if an authority does not fulfil a requirement set out in the agreement, the Minister may determine that the authority will repay amounts determined by the Minister to the Commonwealth.  Where the authority does not make such a repayment then the Commonwealth Minister may reduce other amounts payable to the State for the non-government body under the Bill or delay making payments until the authority fulfils outstanding conditions.

 

 

Clause 28 - Specific requirement - failure to comply with other requirements

 

Prescribes that an agreement must contain a requirement, that, where a payment exceeds that which is properly payable under the Bill, if the Minister so determines, the relevant authority of the non-government body will repay the excess to the Commonwealth.  If the authority does not make such a repayment, the Minister may reduce other amounts payable to the State for the non-government body under the Bill.

 

 

Subdivision B - Conditions of grants to States for non-government bodies

 

Clause 29 - General conditions of grant to a State of financial assistance

 

Provides that a State should, without delay, pass on to a non-government authority, amounts paid to the State under the Bill for that authority and that the State should advise the authority that the funds are being provided by the Commonwealth.

 

 

Clause 30 - Specific condition -  non-fulfilment of conditions

 

Prescribes that, if a State does not fulfil a condition under clause 29 in relation to a grant, within the period prescribed or a later period determined by the Minister, then the State will repay the relevant amount.  Failing this, the Minister may delay the making of further payments for government schools in the State until the State fulfils the relevant condition.

 



 

Division 4 - Miscellaneous

 

Clause 31 - Powers of Minister if amounts of grants become repayable

 

Applies where an amount paid to a State becomes repayable and that amount remains unpaid.  In these circumstances the Minister may reduce payments that would otherwise be due to the State under the Bill and may redistribute an amount equal to the reduction to the States for any purpose under any provision of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 32 - Amount payable by a State to the Commonwealth is a debt

 

Prescribes that an amount payable by a State to the Commonwealth under this Bill is a debt due by the State to the Commonwealth.

 

 

Clause 33 - Powers of Minister if amounts payable by relevant authorities

 

Applies where an amount is to be repaid by the relevant authority and the amount remains unpaid.  In these circumstances the Minister may reduce payments that would otherwise be payable to the State for the authority and may redistribute an amount equal to the reduction to the States for any purpose under any provision of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 34 - Determinations requiring repayments

 

Prescribes that the Minister should take into account all relevant matters before making a determination under clauses 16(2), 18(1)(a), 19(a), 27(a), 28(a) or 30(1)(a) .



 

Part 3 - Lists of non-government schools and approved school systems

 

Division 1 - Funding of non-government schools

 

Clause 35- Funding of non-government schools

 

Provides that a non-government school is not eligible for financial assistance unless it appears on the list of non-government schools for the level of education and location for which financial assistance is sought.

 



 

Division 2 - List of non-government schools

 

Clause 36 - List of non-government schools

 

Requires that the Minister must keep a list of non-government schools for which financial assistance is provided under the Bill.  There are definitions in clause 4 of school, non-government school and systemic and non-systemic schools.

 

The details required to be kept in the list are specified and generally are the same as those required under the former Act.  The clause also requires the Minister to have the list of schools published in the Gazette , including the funding level of all schools.  Clause 131 retains the list kept under the former Act that is in force immediately before 1 January 2005 in force under the Bill excluding SES scores or funding levels.

 



 

Division 3 - List of approved school systems

 

Clause 37 - List of approved school systems

 

Requires that the Minister must keep a list of approved school systems.  An approved school system is defined in clause 4 to mean a system included in the list kept under this clause.

 

The list is to contain the name of each approved school system and the name for the approved authority for each approved school system. The clause also requires the Minister to have the list of approved school systems published in the Gazette , including the names of each approved school system and the name of each systemic school.  Clause 132 retains the list kept under the former Act that is in force immediately before 1 January 2005 in force under the Bill.

 



 

Part 4 - Varying lists

 

Division 1 - Simplified outline of Part

 

Clause 38 - Simplified outline

 

Provides a simplified outline of Part 4.

 

 

Division 2 - Varying lists of non-government schools and approved school systems

 

Clause 39 - Varying list of non-government schools

 

Empowers the Minister to vary the list of non-government schools, by determination, having regard to various factors.  These include if the whole school ceases to be recognised by a State or ceases to be recognised for a level of education or for distance education or as a special school or becomes profit making.  The Minister may also correct errors in the list.  Where changes are made to the list, the Minister must advise the approved authority of the school or system ( clause 54 ).

 

 

Clause 40 - Varying list of approved schools systems

 

Empowers the Minister to vary the list of approved school systems, by determination, having regard to various factors, including to correct errors in the list.  There is no power to include a new system in the list.  Where changes are made to the list, the Minister must advise the approved authority of the system ( clause 54 ).

 



 

Division 3 - Change of funding level

 

Clause 41 - Application to change funding level of non-government school due to incorrect SES score etc.

 

Allows the approved authority of a school to apply for a review of the school’s funding level where it considers the school’s SES score has not been determined correctly, or does not reflect the socio-economic circumstances of the school’s community in accordance with guidelines approved by the Minister under clause 8 , or the score is no longer accurate because of a significant change in the school’s circumstances.

 

The clause requires that there must be a written application for a review of a school’s funding level containing particulars about the school and the grounds for review.

 

Clause 42 - Change of funding level of non-government school due to incorrect SES score etc.

 

This clause empowers the Minister, after consideration of the circumstances, to determine a new SES score, and determine a different SES funding level if the school has an SES funding level.  If the school is funding maintained and has a year 2000 funding level, the Minister is empowered to determine an SES funding level for the school.

 



 

Division 4 - Change of approved authority

 

Clause 43 - Application of Division

 

This Division applies to a proposal to change the approved authority of a non-systemic school or an approved school system.  It does not apply to changes resulting from schools seeking to join or leave systems or changes resulting from new school proposals - see Divisions 5 and 6.

 

 

Clause 44 - How to obtain Ministerial approval of proposal

 

Prescribes that the approved authority of a non-systemic school or an approved school system may apply in writing, giving details of the school or system and the new body that is to assume responsibility for the school or system, and indicating if the new body is prepared to fulfil the obligations, if any, of the existing approved authority under the Bill or the former Act.

 

 

Clause 45 - Decision by Minister on application

 

Empowers the Minister to approve or refuse a proposal.  The Minister, however, must not approve a proposal unless the new body is recognised by the State if this is required; is an incorporated body if the school is non-systemic; has made an agreement with the Commonwealth; and, is prepared to fulfil the obligations, if any, of the existing approved authority.  The school or schools for which the body is responsible must be non-profit making.

 

 

Clause 46 - Varying list of non-government schools

 

States that the Minister, if he or she approves a proposal, must also determine the approved authority and vary the list of non-government schools.

 



 

Division 5 - Change in systemic status

 

Clause 47 - Proposal for a non-systemic school to become a member of an approved school system

 

Prescribes that the approved authority of a non-systemic school may apply in writing, giving details of the school and the school system, providing evidence that the approved authority of the system agrees to the school joining and indicating if that approved authority is prepared to fulfil the obligations, if any, of the existing approved authority under the Bill or the former Act.

 

 

The Minister is empowered to approve or refuse a proposal.  The Minister, however, must not approve a proposal unless the approved authority of the system has made an agreement with the Commonwealth and is prepared to fulfil the obligations, if any, of the existing approved authority.  If the Minister approves a proposal, he or she must also vary the list of non-government schools.

 

 

Clause 48 - Proposal for a school to cease to be a member of an approved school system

 

Prescribes that either the approved authority of the system or the body that is to become principally responsible for the school may apply in writing, giving details of the school and the new body that is to assume responsibility for the school and indicating if the new body is prepared to fulfil the obligations, if any, of the existing approved authority under the Bill or the former Act.

 

The Minister is empowered to approve or refuse a proposal.  The Minister, however, must not approve a proposal unless there is evidence that the approved authority of the system agrees to the school leaving or the Minister has given notice to that authority, the new body is an incorporated body and is not profit-making, and has made an agreement with the Commonwealth and is prepared to fulfil the obligations, if any, of the existing approved authority.  If the Minister approves a proposal, he or she must also determine the approved authority and vary the list of non-government schools.

 



 

Division 6 - Changes to schools or education provided

 

Clause 49 - Application to vary the list of non-government schools

 

Subclauses (1) and (2) prescribe that the approved authority of a school may apply in writing to have the list of non-government schools varied to take account of a location proposal.  A location proposal is defined to mean a proposal to provide a new level of education at an existing or new location, or to provide the same level of education at a new location, or to provide distance education at the same level of education at an existing location.

 

Subclauses (3) and (4) prescribe that the approved authority of a system or the body that is to become principally responsible for the school may apply in writing to have the list of non-government schools varied to take account of a new school proposal.  A new school proposal is defined as a proposal for an amalgamation of a systemic or non-systemic school with any other school, or the separation of a systemic or non-systemic school into two or more schools, or a proposal for the inclusion in the list of a new school or an existing school which is not receiving Australian Government funding.

 

Subclauses (5) and (6) prescribe that the application is to be in writing and set out details of the proposal and the earliest program years in respect of which the application is made.  If the application is for an earlier year than the year of application, it must set out the circumstances the applicant considers are exceptional justifying backdating the variation of the list.

 

 

Clause 50 - Decision by Minister on application

 

Provides that the Minister may approve or refuse a proposal.  Where the Minister approves the application, he or she must determine the body that will be the approved authority of the school where the school is non-systemic.

 

 

Clause 51 - Prerequisites for variation of list

 

Prescribes the requirements that must be met before the Minister may vary the list in respect of a location proposal or a new school proposal:

(a)        the school which is the subject of the location proposal or new school proposal must have begun to provide the education the subject of the proposal;

(b)       the school must have State recognition for the level of education and/or location which is the subject of the location proposal or for the new school proposal;

(c)        if the location proposal relates to distance education, the school must have State recognition for the provision of distance education;

(d)       if a new school is proposed, it must not be conducted for profit;

(e)        if a new non-systemic school is being proposed, the approved authority must be a body corporate; and

(f)         all of the previous requirements must be satisfied before the schools census day in the year in which the proposal is to take effect.  The schools census day is defined in clause 4 .

 

 

Clause 52 - Application relating to previous program year

 

Prescribes that the Minister may only vary the list retrospectively for a location proposal or a new school proposal if he or she is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances justifying such a variation.



 

Division 7 - Miscellaneous

 

Clause 53 - Variation to include funding level in certain circumstances

 

Requires the Minister to determine an SES score if the school is not a special school and the SES funding level and include that score (if appropriate) and funding level in the list of non-government schools in respect of approvals the Minister has given to proposals:

 

(a)        for the amalgamation of a non-systemic school or a systemic school with another school;

(b)       for the separation of a non-systemic school or a systemic school into two or more schools;

(c)        for a new school; or

(d)       for a school that exists but is not receiving Australian Government funding.

 

 
Clause 54 - Minister to give notice to authority of determination

 

Requires the Minister to give notice of a decision under this Part to the relevant approved authority.

 

 

Clause 55 - Determination may be given retrospective effect

 

Empowers the Minister to give a determination a retrospective effect but not to a date earlier than 1 January 2005.

 

 

Clause 56 - Overseas students disregarded

 

Provides that overseas students are to be disregarded for the purposes of Part 4.  An overseas student is defined in this clause as a person who has a visa, or is included in a visa, in force under the Migration Act 1958 that permits the person to travel to Australia for the purpose of undertaking a course.

 

The clause also permits a regulation to be made extending the definition to a person or a class of persons prescribed in the regulation.

 

The Minister is empowered under this clause to exclude a person or a person included in a class of persons from the operation of the definition.  Clause 135 keeps a determination made under the former Act as to the exclusions from the definition that is in force immediately before 1 January 2005, in force under the Bill.

 



 

Part 5 - Grants for education at government schools

 

Division 1 - Grants for general recurrent expenditure

 

Clause 57 - Grants for general recurrent expenditure

 

Empowers the Minister to make recurrent grants to the States which, in total, are no greater than the sum of the amounts calculated by multiplying the number of primary and the number of secondary government school students on the schools census day for the State for the program year by the respective per student amounts (referred to as the primary education amount and the secondary education amount) in Schedule 2 for the program year.

 

The amounts in Schedule 2 are expressed as a percentage of AGSRC.  AGSRC for primary education and secondary education are defined in clause 4 to mean the AGSRC primary and secondary amounts set out in Schedule 1 for the program year or, where those amounts are changed by a regulation made under subclause 109(1) , the new amounts.

 

The schools census day for a State for a program year is defined in clause 4 .

 

Under clause 126 overseas students (whose meaning is defined in subclause 56(2) ) are not eligible to attract financial assistance under this Part.

 



 

Division 2 - Capital grants

 

Clause 58 - Authorising payments of capital grants

 

Enables the Minister to authorise payments to the States for capital expenditure in connection with government schools and/or government rural school hostels which, in total, do not exceed the amounts in column 2 of Schedule 3 for the respective program years.



 

Part 6 - Grants for non-government schools

 

Division 1 - Simplified outline of Part

 

Clause 59 - Simplified outline

 

This clause provides a simplified outline of the payment of grants for non-government schools for recurrent expenditure, capital expenditure, short term emergency assistance and establishment grants.



 

Division 2 - Grants for general recurrent expenditure

 

This element provides general recurrent grants to States to pass on to approved non-government schools and systems according to the levels of education and the locations for which the schools have been approved.  Non-government schools and systems are eligible to receive general recurrent grants for all students enrolled in non-government primary and secondary schools other than pre-school students and overseas students.

 

This Division deals with the payment of general recurrent grants for non-government schools.  Funding is worked out on a school by school basis, whether the school is in an approved school system or not.  The calculation of the amount of the grant relates to:

 

(a)                 whether a non-systemic school or a systemic school in an approved school system has an SES funding level; or is funding maintained and has a year 2000 funding level; or will receive maintained Catholic school funding and has a year 2004 funding level; or is guaranteed on their year 2004 SES funding; or is a special school;

(b)                the number of primary or secondary students (including the full-time equivalent of part-time students), and the number of primary or secondary distance education students (including the full-time equivalent of part-time students) at the school on the schools census day for the State for the program year; and

(c)                 the per student recurrent amount applicable to the funding level of the school for the program year for the primary and secondary levels of education, and the per student recurrent amount applicable to primary and secondary distance education students.

 

Subclause 5(1) provides that a student will not be taken to be receiving primary or secondary education at a non-government school at the location set out in the list of non-government schools unless the basis of the student’s attendance is daily.  The Minister is empowered because of special circumstances to determine that the student is so attending on a daily basis.

 

Subclause 5(2) provides that a student will not be taken to be receiving primary or secondary distance education at a non-government school in a State if the student does not reside in the State, or the school is not approved under State law to provide distance education, or the student is home educated.

 

Under clause 126 overseas students (whose meaning is defined in subclause 56(2) ) are not eligible to attract financial assistance under this Part.

 

The former Act is defined in clause 4 to mean the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 .

 

 

Subdivision A - Simplified outline of Division

 

Clause 60 - Simplified Outline

 

Provides a simplified outline of Division 2.

 

 

Subdivision B - Application

 

Clause 61 - Application of Division

 

States that this Division is applied to work out the funding for the general recurrent expenditure of non-government schools.

 

 

Clause 62 - Application of Subdivision C - current SES funding

 

Provides instructions for identifying whether a school, in a particular program year and in relation to a particular level of education provided at the school, will be funded in accordance with their current SES score.  The method for calculating the amount of general recurrent funding is provided at Subdivision C.

 

This clause provides that Subdivision C applies to a school in a particular program year and in relation to a particular level of education provided at the school unless the following is applicable:

 

·         Subdivision D relating to schools that have maintained year 2000 funding

·         Subdivision E relating to schools that have maintained Catholic school funding, that is a year 2004 funding level

·         Subdivision F relating to schools that have guaranteed year 2004 SES funding

·         Subdivision G relating to special schools.

 

Subdivision C applies to the school whether or not the school is in an approved school system.

 

 

Clause 63 - Application of Subdivision D - maintained year 2000 funding

 

Provides instructions for identifying whether a school is to be funded according to maintained year 2000 funding.  The method for calculating the amount of general recurrent funding is provided at Subdivision D.

 

Subdivision D applies to a school if the school had on 31 December 2004, a year 2000 funding level for the purposes of the former Act, and:

·         the school is not a special school; and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined as a result of requesting a review ( paragraph 42(1)(d) ); and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined because of circumstances stated at  paragraph 53(1)(a) relating to amalgamations, new schools, separations, or existing schools not already on the list; and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined under subclause 119 as a result of making a false or misleading statement; and

·         if the school provides either primary or secondary education and the school’s year 2000 funding level exceeds the school’s current SES funding level; or

·         if the school provides both primary and secondary education and the sum of the school’s year 2000 funding level for primary education and the school’s year 2000 funding level for secondary education exceeds the sum of the school’s current SES funding level for primary education and the school’s current SES funding level for secondary education

 

Subdivision D applies to the school whether or not the school is in an approved school system.

 

 

Clause 64 - Application of Subdivision E - maintained Catholic school funding

 

Provides instructions to identify whether a Catholic systemic school is to be funded according to year 2004 funding maintenance arrangements.  The method for calculating the amount of general recurrent funding is provided at Subdivision E.

 

Subdivision E applies to a school if the school was on 31 December 2004, in an approved Catholic school system for the purposes of the former Act, and:

·         the school is not a special school for that program year; and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined as a result of requesting a review ( paragraph 42(1)(d) ); and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined because of circumstances stated at  paragraph 53(1)(a) relating to amalgamations, new schools, separations, or existing schools not already on the list; and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined under subclause 119 as a result of making a false or misleading statement; and

·         the school’s year 2004 funding level exceeds the school’s current SES funding level.

 

 

Clause 65 - Application of Subdivision F - guaranteed year 2004 SES funding

 

Provides instructions to identify whether a school on an SES funding level under the former Act is to be funded according to guaranteed year 2004 SES funding.  The method for calculating the amount of general recurrent funding is provided at Subdivision F.

 

Subdivision F applies to a school in a particular program year and in relation to a particular level of education provided at the school if the school had, on 31 December 2004, an SES funding level for the purposes of the former Act, and:

 

·         the school is not a special school for that program year; and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined as a result of requesting a review ( paragraph 42(1)(d) ); and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined because of circumstances stated at  paragraph 53(1)(a) relating to amalgamations, new schools, separations, or existing schools not already on the list; and

·         the school’s SES score has not been determined under subclause 119 as a result of making a false or misleading statement; and

·         if the school’s current SES funding level amount for that level of education has not equaled or exceeded the school’s year 2004 SES funding level amount for that level of education (refer to the table in the Bill to work this out).

 

Subdivision F applies to the school whether or not the school is in an approved school system.

 

 

Clause 66 - Application of Subdivision G - special schools

 

Subdivision G applies to a special school whether or not the school is in an approved school system.  The method for calculating the amount of general recurrent funding is provided at Subdivision G.

 

Special school is defined at clause 4 .

 

 

Subdivision C - Current SES funding

 

Clause 67 - Authorising payments for non-systemic schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for a non-systemic school that is funded according to current SES funding. 

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the school by adding up the following:

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to primary education - the amount worked out under clause 69 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year.

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 70 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 68 - Authorising payments for approved school systems

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for an approved school system that includes a school that is funded according to current SES funding.

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the approved school system for each such school by adding up the following:

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to primary education - the amount worked out under clause 69 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year.

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 70 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 69 - Primary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s primary students for the program year where a school has a current SES funding level.

 

 

Clause 70 - Secondary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s secondary students for a program year where a school has a current SES funding level.

 

 

Subdivision D - Maintained year 2000 funding

 

Clause 71 - Authorising payments for non-systemic schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for a non-systemic school that is funded according to maintained year 2000 funding.

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the school by adding up:

·         the amount worked out under clause 73 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 74 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 72 - Authorising payments for approved school systems

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for an approved school system that includes a school that is funded according to maintained year 2000 funding.

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the approved school system for each such school by adding up:

·         the amount worked out under clause 73 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 74 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 73 - Primary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s primary students for the program year where a school is funded according to maintained year 2000 funding.

 

 

Clause 74 - Secondary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s secondary students for a program year where a school is funded according to maintained year 2000 funding.

 

 

Subdivision E - Maintained Catholic school funding

 

Clause 75 - Authorising payments for approved Catholic school systems

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for an approved Catholic school system in a State for a program year if the system includes a school that is funded according to maintained year 2004 funding at clause 64 .

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the approved school system for each such school by adding up:

·         the amount worked out under clause 76 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 77 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 76 - Primary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s primary students for the program year where a school is funded according to maintained year 2004 funding.

 

 

Clause 77 - Secondary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s secondary students for a program year where a school is funded according to maintained year 2004 funding.

 

 

Subdivision F - Guaranteed year 2004 SES funding

 

Clause 78 - Authorising payments for non-systemic schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for a non-systemic school that is funded according to guaranteed year 2004 SES funding.

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the school by adding up the following:

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to primary education - the amount worked out under clause 80 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year.

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 81 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 



 

Clause 79 - Authorising payments for approved school systems

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for an approved school system that includes a school that is funded according to guaranteed year 2004 SES funding.

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the approved school system for each such school by adding up the following:

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to primary education - the amount worked out under clause 80 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year.

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 81 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 80 - Primary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s primary students for the program year where a school is funded according to guaranteed year 2004 SES funding.

 

 

Clause 81 - Secondary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a school’s secondary students for a program year where a school is funded according to guaranteed year 2004 SES funding.

 

 

Subdivision G - Special schools

 

Clause 82 - Authorising payments for non-systemic schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for a non-systemic school that is a special school.

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the school by adding up:

·         the amount worked out under clause 84 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 85 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 83 - Authorising payments for approved school systems

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to a State for recurrent expenditure for an approved school system that includes a school that is a special school.

 

The amount of recurrent expenditure for a program year is worked out for the approved school system for each such school by adding up:

·         the amount worked out under clause 84 for the school’s primary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         if this Subdivision applies to the school in relation to secondary education - the amount worked out under clause 85 for the school’s secondary students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 86 for the school’s primary distance education students (if any) for the program year; and

·         the amount worked out under clause 87 for the school’s secondary distance education students (if any) for that program year.

 

 

Clause 84 - Primary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a special school’s primary students for the program year.

 

 

Clause 85 - Secondary student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating funding for a special school’s secondary students for a program year.

 

 

Subdivision H - Distance education amounts

 

Clause 86 - Primary distance education student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating the primary distance education amount for a program year.

 



 

Clause 87 - Secondary distance education student amount

 

Provides a formula for calculating the secondary distance education amount for a program year.

 



 

Division 3 - Capital grants

 

Clause 88 - Authorisation of payment of capital grants

 

Enables the Minister to authorise payments to the States for capital expenditure to individual non-government schools or hostels or groups of schools or hostels or block grant authorities.  Payments to the States must be within the total amounts set out in Schedule 5 for the program year.

 



 

Division 4 - Grants of short term emergency assistance

 

Clause 89 - Grants of short term emergency assistance

 

Empowers the Minister to determine a grant of short term emergency assistance to a State for a non-government school for one or more program years if the Minister is satisfied that because of an unexpected circumstance a school is in severe financial difficulty and has a special need of that assistance.  The total amount of assistance for a program year cannot exceed the amount set out in the table in Schedule 6 for the program year.



 

Division 5 - Grants to provide establishment assistance

 

Clause 90 - Grants to provide establishment assistance

 

Empowers the Minister to determine an establishment grant for a State for one or two program years for certain new non-government schools.  The new schools to which this clause applies is a new school which commences in 2005 or later which is covered by an application for a new school proposal made under paragraph (c) of the definition of new school proposal in subclause 49(4).

 

The total amount of assistance for a program year is calculated by multiplying the number of primary and secondary students at the school by the school’s establishment amount applicable to the school for the program year.  The establishment amount is defined as $500 per full-time equivalent student in the first year of the school’s operation and $250 per full-time equivalent student in the second year of operation.

Part 7 - Grants for education in country areas

 

Clause 91 - Object of Part

 

States that the object of the Part is to help schools and school communities to improve the educational outcomes and opportunities of students who are educationally disadvantaged because of their geographical isolation.

 

 

Clause 92 - Grants for government schools in country areas

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to States for government schools for expenditure approved by the Minister for a program year connected with the education of students in government schools in country areas of the State.

 

 

Clause 93 - Grants for non-government schools in country areas

 

This clause empowers the Minister to authorise payments to States for non-government schools for expenditure approved by the Minister for a program year connected with the education of students in non-government schools in country areas of the State.

 

 

Clause 94 - Ceiling for grants under this Part

 

This clause prescribes that amounts authorised under this Part must not exceed the amount set out in column 2 of the table in Part 1 of Schedule 7 for the program year.



 

Part 8 - Grants to foster languages education

 

Clause 95 - Object of the Part

 

States that the object of the Part is to help schools and school communities to improve the learning outcomes of students who are learning languages other than English.

 

 

Clause 96 - Grants for government schools etc.

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to States for expenditure connected with government schools, government educational institutions or any other body in the State (other than the relevant authority of a non-government school) to improve the learning outcomes of students learning languages other than English.

 

 

Clause 97 - Grants for non-government schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to States for expenditure connected with non-government schools to improve the learning outcomes of students learning languages other than English.

 

 

Clause 98 - Grants for national projects to foster languages education

 

Empowers the Minister to approve projects, and to authorise payments, in respect of projects which foster the learning of languages other than English.  Such a project may be conducted by a State or non-government body and may include expenditure on disseminating information about the project.

 

 

Clause 99 - Ceiling for grants under this Part

 

Prescribes that the amounts authorised under this Part must not exceed the amount set out in column 3 of the table in Part 1 of Schedule 7 for the program year.



 

Part 9 - Grants for teaching English to new arrivals

 

Clause 100 - Object of Part

 

States that the object of the Part is to help with the provision of intensive teaching of the English language to certain students who recently arrived in Australia.

 

 

Clause 101 - Grants for teaching English as a second language in government schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments in respect of English as a second language instruction for certain newly arrived students in government schools.  Amounts paid to a State under this clause are worked out using the following formula:

 

        ESL New Arrivals amount x number of eligible new arrivals in government schools

 

The ESL New Arrivals amount is provided in column 2 of the table in Part 2 of Schedule 7 for the program year.

 

The definition of eligible new arrival provides a list of requirements to be satisfied by a person for them to be eligible for assistance under this program.  One of these criteria is that the person satisfies criteria determined by the Minister.  A determination made under subparagraph (c)(v) of the definition may take effect retrospectively but not before 1 January 2005.  This allows the Minister to respond to changes in immigration policy from the date Cabinet makes decisions relating to changes to visa categories.

 

 

Clause 102 - Grants for teaching English as a second language in non-government schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments in respect of English as a second language instruction for certain newly arrived students in non-government schools.  Amounts paid to a State under this clause are worked out using the following formula:

 

 ESL New Arrivals amount x number of eligible new arrivals in non-government schools

 

The ESL New Arrivals amount is provided in column 2 of the table in Part 2 of Schedule 7 for the program year.



 

Part 10 - Literacy, numeracy and special learning needs

 

Division 1 - Object of Part

 

Clause 103 - Object of Part

 

States that the object of the Part is to help improve the literacy, numeracy and other learning outcomes of students who are educationally disadvantaged (including because they are students with disabilities, Indigenous, of a low socio-economic background, of a language background other than English or geographically isolated) through grants for schools and grants for national projects.  It is also to help improve the educational participation and learning outcomes of children, and students, with disabilities through grants to non-government centres.

 



 

Division 2 - Grants for schools

 

Clause 104 - Grants for government schools and centres

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to the States for government schools (including schools providing special education) or government centres to improve the learning outcomes of students who are educationally disadvantaged.  Amounts to be paid to a State under this clause are worked out using the following formula:

 

Strategic Assistance Amount x number of students with disabilities

 

The Strategic Assistance Amount is provided in column 2 of the table in Part 2 of Schedule 8 for the program year.

 

Clause 105 - Grants for non-government schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to the States for non-government schools (including schools providing special education) to improve the learning outcomes of students who are educationally disadvantaged.  Amounts to be paid to a State under this clause are worked out using the following formula:

 

Strategic Assistance Amount x number of students with disabilities

 

The Strategic Assistance Amount is provided in column 3 of the table in Part 2 of Schedule 8 for the program year.

 

 

Clause 106 - Grants for both government schools and centres and non-government schools

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to the States for government schools (including schools providing special education or government centres or non-government schools (including schools providing special education)), to improve the learning outcomes of students who are educationally disadvantaged.  The amounts authorised must not exceed the sum of the amounts in column 2 and column 3 of the table in Part 1 of Schedule 8 for the program year.



 

Division 3 - Grants for non-government centres

 

Clause 107 - Grants for non-government centres

 

Empowers the Minister to authorise payments to the States for non-government centres for expenditure connected with special education provided at or in connection with non-government centres in the State.  The total amounts authorised under this clause must not exceed the sum of the amounts in column 4 and column 5 of the table in Part 1 of Schedule 8 for the program year.



 

Division 4 - Grants for national projects

 

Clause 108 - Grants for national projects

 

Empowers the Minister to approve national projects to be carried out in Australia which have as their object to improve the learning outcomes of students who are educationally disadvantaged.  Such a project may be conducted by a State or non-government body and may include expenditure on disseminating information about the project.  The amounts authorised must not exceed the amount set out in column 6 of the table in Part 1 of Schedule 8 for the program year.

Part 11 - Miscellaneous

 

Division 1 - Average Government School Recurrent Costs

 

Clause 109 - Changes to Average Government School Recurrent Costs

 

AGSRC for primary education and secondary education are defined in clause 4 to mean the AGSRC primary and secondary amounts set out in Schedule 1 for the program year or, where those amounts are changed by a regulation made under subclause 109(1) , the new amounts.

 

This clause provides for the making of regulations to replace the primary or secondary amount of AGSRC in Schedule 1 for a program year.  The clause requires that before a regulation is made the Minister must consider changes in the figure known as Average Government School Costs published from time to time by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs or a prescribed body that has a corresponding function.

 

 

Clause 110 - Changes to amounts for primary education

 

This clause provides for the primary amounts set out in Schedules 2 and 4 to be changed where the primary amount of AGSRC in Schedule 1 is replaced for a program year by regulation.

 

Column 2 of Schedule 2 expresses the recurrent funding entitlement for government schools as a percentage of AGSRC and this percentage is fixed for 2005-2008.  When a regulation is made under subclause 109(1) replacing the primary AGSRC amount set out in Schedule 1 , this clause automatically changes the primary amount for the program year in Schedule 2 to the amount that the percentage of AGSRC for primary represents of the new AGSRC amount for that program year.

 

This clause also automatically changes the primary per student amounts in the tables in Parts 1 and 3 of Schedule 4 having regard to the percentages of AGSRC set out in columns 2 and 1 respectively of those Parts and the new AGSRC primary amount for the program year.

 

If the per student amount is an amount of dollars and cents, the amount is rounded to the next dollar.

 

 

Clause 111 - Changes to amounts for secondary education

 

This clause provides for the secondary amounts set out in Schedules 2 and 4 to be automatically changed where the secondary amount of AGSRC in Schedule 1 is replaced for a program year by regulation.  The clause has a similar operation to that set out in clause 110 .

 

If the per student amount is an amount of dollars and cents, the amount is rounded to the next dollar.



 

Division 2 - Cost supplementation

 

Clause 112 - Recurrent grants - general

 

Provides for the making of regulations which adjust amounts of financial assistance in Schedules 6 and 7 and columns 2, 4 and 6 of Part 1 of Schedule 8 to the Bill for price movements.

 

Subclause 112(1) prescribes that, where a number in respect of recurrent grants is stated in the regulations, then the amounts shown in the relevant schedules are taken to be adjusted by multiplying the recurrent number for the program year by the recurrent amount.

 

Subclause 112(2) provides that, after calculating supplementation of amounts at Schedules 6 and 7 and in column 2, 4 or 6 of Part 1 of Schedule 8 , amounts are to be rounded to the nearest $1,000 ($500 to be rounded upwards).

 

Subclause 112(3) provides that, after calculating supplementation of amounts in Part 2 of Schedule 7 and Part 2 of Schedule 8 , amounts are to be rounded to the next highest dollar.

 

Subclause 112(4) prescribes, that for the adjustment of recurrent grants, the Minister must consider changes in the relevant figures known as Average Government School Costs, which is a series published by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs or a prescribed body that has a corresponding function.

 

 

Clause 113 - Recurrent grants - guarantee amounts

 

Provides for the making of regulations which adjust amounts of financial assistance in columns 3 or 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 8 to the Bill for price movements.

 

This clause prescribes that regulations may specify an amount for column 3 or 5 of the table in Part 1 of Schedule 8 for a particular program year.  The Minister must consider changes in the relevant figures known as Average Government School Costs, which is a series published by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs or a prescribed body that has a corresponding function.

 

 

Clause 114 - Capital grants for government schools and non-government schools

 

This clause provides for the making of regulations which adjust amounts of financial assistance in Schedules 3 and 5 to the Bill for price movements.

 

Subclause 114(1) prescribes that, where a number in respect of capital grants is stated in the regulations, then the amounts shown in Schedules 3 and 5 are taken to be adjusted by multiplying the capital number for the program year by the capital amount.

 

Subclause 114(2) provides that after calculating supplementation, amounts are to be rounded to the nearest $1,000 ($500 to be rounded upwards).

 

Subclause 114(3) prescribes that for the adjustment of capital grants, the Minister must consider changes in an index of building prices, and an index of wage costs published by the Australian Statistician.



 

Division 3 - Timing of payments etc.

 

Clause 115 - Minister may fix amounts and times of payment of financial assistance

 

Enables the Minister to provide financial assistance to a State in such instalments and at such times during the program year as the Minister determines.  Such a determination may have general application to payment or be specific to a State or States, a particular provision in the Bill or a particular program year or years.

 

 

Clause 116 - Advances

 

Enables the Minister to make an advance to a State on account of an amount that is expected to become payable under this Act to the State.  The conditions that would apply to the payment apply to the advance.

 

 

Clause 117 - Determination authorising the making of payments may authorise Minister to determine amounts of payments

 

Empowers the Minister to determine the amount of a payment when the Minister authorises the making of a payment.



 

Division 4 - False or misleading statements

 

Clause 118 - Payment reductions for false or misleading statements

 

Subclause 118(1) enables the Minister to reduce amounts payable to a State or non-government body where a false or misleading statement has been made in relation to a grant of financial assistance, and, in reliance on that statement, there has been an overpayment.  Subclause 118(2) also enables the Minister to reduce payments where a false or misleading statement has resulted in a school or system obtaining an inappropriate funding level.  Subclause 118(3) enables the Minister to make a determination under the clause retrospective in effect.

 

 

Clause 119 - Change of SES score due to false or misleading statement

 

Enables the Minister to vary the list of non-government schools where the approved authority of a non-systemic school or of an approved school system has made a statement in relation to the grant of financial assistance for schools or other bodies involved in primary education or secondary education which was false or misleading in a material particular.  The list of non-government schools may be varied by setting out a different SES score for the school and a different current SES funding level of the school relating to the SES score.  The Minister may make a determination under this clause that is retrospective in effect.



 

Division 5 - Appropriation and authority to borrow

 

Clauses 120 and 121 - Appropriation and Authority to borrow

 

These clauses are financial machinery provisions relating to the source and appropriation of funds under the Bill.



 

Division 6 - Administrative matters

 

Clause 122 - Determinations, approvals etc. by Minister

 

Sets out the conditions under which the Minister is to make determinations or grant approvals for the purposes of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 123 - Revocation or variation of determinations or approvals by Minister

 

Prescribes how the Minister is to revoke or vary a determination or approval and prescribes what the effect of a revocation or variation may be on previous determinations and approvals.  The clause also specifies when a determination under the clause may become effective.

 

 

Clause 124 - Delegation

 

Enables the Minister to delegate powers and functions under the Bill and agreements made pursuant to the Bill to the Secretary of the Department or an SES employee in the Department.

 

 

Clause 125 - Report by Minister

 

Requires the Minister to prepare an annual report on the application of financial assistance provided under the Bill and to table the report in Parliament.



 

Division 7 - Overseas students

 

Clause 126 - Overseas students

 

This clause provides that overseas students are not eligible to attract financial assistance under the Bill.  Overseas students are defined in clause 4 to have the meaning given by subclause 56(2) .

 



 

Division 8 - Regulations

 

Clause 127 - Regulations

 

This clause enables the Governor-General to make regulations.  Regulations made for the purposes of clauses 12, 13, 17, 21, 22 or 26 of this Bill take effect after they are no longer liable to be disallowed.



 

Part 12 - Transitional provisions

 

 

Clause 128 - Application of this Part

 

Provides for this Part to have effect despite any other provision of the Bill.  However, this does not prevent a determination, approval, declaration, list or other instrument taking effect because of this Part.

 

 

Clause 129 - Approved authority

 

Keeps in force under the Bill, determinations made under the former Act as to approved authorities that are in force immediately before 1 January 2005.

 

 

Clause 130 - Levels of education

 

Provides that the determination about levels of education in force under the former Act immediately before 1 January 2005, is taken to be a determination in force under clause 7 of the Bill.
 

 

Clause 131 - Previous list of non-government schools

 

Provides that the list of non-government schools kept under the former Act and in force immediately before 1 January 2005 (except for the SES score or funding level of the schools on the list) is taken to be the list under subclause 36(1) of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 132 - Previous list of approved school systems

 

Provides that the list of approved school systems kept under the former Act and in force immediately before 1 January 2005 is taken to be the list under subclause 37(1) of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 133 - Funding levels for existing non-systemic schools

 

Non-systemic schools are to have either an SES funding level or be funding maintained and have a year 2000 funding level.  These funding levels are defined in clause 4 .  The exceptions to this are special schools which will get maximum SES funding and will not receive an SES score.

 

As no school is to be disadvantaged by the transition from the 2001 to 2004 funding quadrennium to the 2005 to 2008 funding quadrennium the following conditions apply:

 

(i)         If the school has a year 2000 funding level and the  SES score for the school shows that it would receive a lower per student amount then the school will continue to have its funding maintained and will be placed in a Year 2000 funding level;

 

(ii)        If the school has an SES funding level and the SES score shows that the school would receive a lower per student amount then the higher amount will be “guaranteed” until indexation brings the lower amount equal to or higher than the “guaranteed” per student amount;

 

(iii)       If the school has an SES funding level and the SES score shows that the school would receive a higher per student amount then the school will be funded at the higher amount i.e. the amount applicable to the SES score.

 

Whether a non-systemic school is placed in an SES funding level or is funding maintained and placed in a year 2000 funding level, is to be determined under this clause.

 

The meaning of the expressions current SES funding level and year 2000 funding level are set out in clause 4 .  The current SES funding levels are the percentages of AGSRC in column 2 of the table in each of Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 4 that relate to the school’s SES score.  The year 2000 funding levels are the percentage of AGSRC in column 1 of the table in each of Parts 3 and 4 of Schedule 4 to the former Act that were used to determine the amounts payable in respect of the school for the 2004 program year.  In some cases these are the per student recurrent funding amounts which were guaranteed under the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1996 .

 

 

Clause 134 - Funding levels for existing systemic schools

 

Systemic schools will have either an SES funding level, be funding maintained and have a year 2000 funding level or (in the case of schools in Catholic systems) be funding maintained and have a year 2004 funding level.  These funding levels are defined in clause 4.   The exception to this is special schools.  Special schools will be funded at the maximum SES funding level and do not have an SES score.

 

As no school is to be disadvantaged by the transition from the 2001 to 2004 funding quadrennium to the 2005 to 2008 funding quadrennium the following conditions apply:

 

(i)         If the school has a year 2000 funding level and the  SES score for the school shows that it would receive a lower per student amount then the school will continue to have its funding maintained and will be placed in a Year 2000 funding level;

 

(ii)        If the school has an SES funding level and the  SES score shows that the school would receive a lower per student amount then the higher amount will be “guaranteed” until indexation brings the lower amount equal to or higher than the “guaranteed” per student amount;

 

(iii)       If the school has an SES funding level and the  SES score shows that the school would receive a higher per student amount then the school will be funded at the higher amount i.e. the amount applicable to the SES score;

 

(iv)       If the school is part of a Catholic system as at 31 December 2004, and the SES score for the school shows that the school would receive a lower per student amount then the school will continue to be funded at the Year 2004 funding level;

 

(v) if the school is part of a Catholic system as at 31 December 2004, and the SES score for the school shows that the school would attract a higher per student amount then the school will be funded at the per student amount applicable to the SES score.

 

Whether a systemic school is placed in an SES funding level or is funding maintained and placed in a year 2000 funding level or year 2004 funding level, is to be determined under this clause.  This clause applies to schools for which an SES score will be determined.  The SES funding levels of special schools will also be determined under this clause.

 

The meaning of the expressions current SES funding level and year 2000 funding level are set out in clause 4 .  The current SES funding levels are the percentages of AGSRC in column 2 of the table in each of Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 4 that relate to the school’s SES score.  The year 2000 funding levels are the percentage of AGSRC in column 1 of the table in each of Parts 3 and 4 of Schedule 4 to the former Act that were used to determine the amounts payable in respect of the school for the 2004 program year.  In some cases these are the per student recurrent funding amounts which were guaranteed under the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1996.

 

 

Clause 135 - Overseas students

 

Provides that the determination about overseas students in force under the former Act immediately before 1 January 2005, is taken to be a determination in force under subclause 56(2) of the Bill.

 

 

Clause 136 - Block grant authority

 

Provides that a determination under the definition of block grant authority in subsection 4(1) of the former Act, and in force immediately before 1 January 2005, is taken to be a determination made by the Minister for the purposes of the definition of block grant authority under clause 4 of this Bill.

 

 

Clause 137 - Regulations

 

Provides that regulations made in relation to performance targets, performance measures and performance information in the former Act and in force immediately before 1 January 2005, continue to have effect on and after 1 January 2005.

 

 

Clause 138 - Guidelines

Provides that the guidelines for calculating an SES score approved by the Minister under subsection 7(1) of the former Act and in force immediately before 1 January 2005, continue to have effect on and after 1 January 2005 with new references substituted in accordance with a table provided at this clause.



 

SCHEDULES

 

Schedules 1 to 8 appropriate funds for the programs legislated in the Bill.  All Schedules are in 2003 final prices and may be updated by Government amendment later in the year to 2004 final prices once the necessary cost supplementation data for 2004 is available.  Alternatively, the amounts will be updated through regulations made under clauses 109 to 114 once the Bill is enacted.

 

 

Schedule 1 - Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC)

 

This Schedule sets out the per capita AGSRC amounts for primary and secondary schools for the years 2005 to 2008. 

 

 

Schedule 2 - General recurrent grants for government schools

 

This Schedule sets out the per capita grants for government primary and secondary schools for the years 2005 to 2008.  It also includes the funding entitlement percentage of AGSRC.

 

 

Schedule 3 - Capital grants for government schools

 

This Schedule sets out the capital grants for government schools for the years 2005 to 2008.  Amounts for the years 2009 to 2011 will be appropriated in later Acts. 

 

 

Schedule 4 - General recurrent grants for non-government schools

 

Parts 1 and 2 of this Schedule sets out the SES funding levels for primary and secondary education for the years 2005 to 2008.  Parts 3 and 4 of this Schedule sets out the year 2000 funding for primary and secondary education for the years 2005 to 2008.

 

 

Schedule 5 - Capital grants for non-government schools

 

This Schedule sets out the capital grants for non-government schools for the years 2005 to 2008.  Amounts for the years 2009 to 2011 will be appropriated in later Acts. 

 



 

Schedule 6 - Grants of short term emergency assistance for non-government schools

 

This Schedule sets out the total amount available for non-government schools in need of short term emergency assistance for the years 2005 to 2008.

 

 

Schedule 7 - Grants for targeted assistance

 

This Schedule is split into two parts.  Part 1 sets out grants for education in country areas, and grants to foster languages education for the years 2005 to 2008.  Part 2 sets out the per capita grant amount for ESL new arrivals for the years 2005 to 2008.

 

 

Schedule 8 - Grants for literacy, numeracy and special learning needs

 

This Schedule is split into two parts.  Part 1 sets out grants for schools, grants for national projects and grants for non-government centres for the years 2005 to 2008.  Part 2 sets out the per capita grant amount for strategic assistance for the years 2005 to 2008.