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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3599

Mr Oakeshott asked the Minister for Education, in writing, on 16 March 2009:

In respect of the Building the Education Revolution Guidelines: (a) how does a State, Territory or Block Grant Authority (BGA) determine which schools will receive either slightly lower or higher amounts than the indicative funding cap which is allocated on the basis of enrolment numbers for that school; and (b) what is the meaning of ‘slightly’ under the heading Funding (page 5) concerning endowing States, Territories and BGAs with the power to vary the indicative funding cap allocated to each school.

Ms Gillard (Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion) —

(a)   For each element of the Building the Education Revolution program (BER), it is the responsibility of the relevant state/territory education authority or Block Grant Authority to call for, and initially assess, proposals from schools within their jurisdictions and to submit lists of projects to the Commonwealth for approval. The approval of projects will be based on the needs of the school, the outcome of consultations with relevant Principals, Parents and Citizens or Parents and Friends groups, and the project’s capacity to meet the requirements set out under the BER Guidelines.

(b)   The term ‘slightly’ in the BER Guidelines is intended to mean ‘a small amount’. It is not meant to have a specific monetary value. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations will be closely monitoring the submission of applications under the BER and will be working with states/territories and Block Grant Authorities to ensure an equitable distribution of funds. In circumstances where a school’s funding is lower than their notional allocation, the project will not be approved unless it can be demonstrated that consultation with the schools’ principal and community has occurred.