Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3061


Mr FIFE (Farrer) (Minister for Education) -by leave- The purpose of this statement is to announce levels of funding for the programs of the Schools Commission and the Tertiary Education Commission for the calendar year 1981. These programs will be a major part of the Government's support for education in the States and the Northern Territory and together will amount to expenditure of $2, 141.8m in 1981, compared with $2, 136.6m in 1980 in constant estimated December 1979 prices.

I remind honourable members of the funding role of the Commonwealth through the commissions' programs. The Commonwealth has full financial responsibility for universities and colleges of advanced education, but exercises a topping up' role in the funding of schools and technical and further education in the States and the Northern Territory. The Commonwealth is currently providing about 25 per cent of total expenditure on technical and further education and about 12 per cent of expenditure on government schools. The States have increased thenexpenditure on education in accordance with their own priorities. The Commonwealth exercises a major financial responsibility for nongovernment schools and is currently providing about 60 per cent of total recurrent support from governments. Whilst all State governments provide recurrent support for non-government schools, the Commonwealth is the sole source of public assistance with capital grants. The total funding of education must be seen as a joint effort of the Commonwealth and the States, in addition to resources contributed from the private sector. Public expenditure on education is expected to grow to $6.5 billion in 1979-80, an increase of more than 6 per cent in real terms since 1976-77.

The rapid growth in enrolments across the whole education sector, which made such a heavy demand on resources in the 1960s and early 1970s, has now eased. Student numbers overall are tending to stabilise, but there are still increases in some sectors. School enrolments declined for the first time in 1979 and are projected to continue to decline until the late 1 980s. Within the overall trend for schools, there was a decline in government school numbers last year, whilst in non-government schools there was a small rise. Enrolments in universities and colleges of advanced education have largely stabilised. In the technical and further education sector there has been some growth in enrolments. All recurrent programs will be maintained at no less than their present levels and some have been increased. In the schools sector additional funds are to be directed to areas of need. Expenditure in technical and further education will be maintained at the priority level established in 1 980. In summary, the following funds will be provided in 1981 in comparison with 1980. These figures are expressed in estimated December 1979 price levels.

 

These funds will continue to be adjusted for movements in costs in accordance with the existing cost supplementation arrangements. Honourable members should also note that, as a result of the Transition from School to Work Program, announced on 22 November 1979, some $ 1 1 m is available for projects in the technical and further education sector in 1980. Depending on State contributions, significant funding will continue to be provided by the Commonwealth for technical and further education in 198 1 under this program.

Tertiary Education

Recurrent funds for universities and colleges of advanced education for 1981 have previously been determined by the Government as part of the fixed triennial arrangements which we reintroduced in 1979-81. Recurrent funds have been maintained at a constant level for the triennium thereby enabling institutions to sustain existing levels of intake. Capital and equipment funds for all sectors of tertiary education are provided on an annual basis. The guidelines include recurrent support for technical and further education for 1981. Since 1981 is the final year of the present triennium, the Government has decided to consider the provision of funds for technical and further education on a triennial basis in the context of the 1982-84 report of the Tertiary Education Commission. Because of a reduced commitment to ongoing works, the total funds available in 1981 for capital and equipment in universities and colleges of advanced education will be lower than in 1980. However the allocation will make it possible for funds to be provided for a number of new projects.

In the guidelines last year the Government expressed its concern that the Tertiary Education Commission should continue to monitor carefully the use and allocation of resources. In cooperation with the States, the Commission has already taken initiatives in teacher education. The Government will continue to look to the Commission to provide ongoing advice on the relationship of manpower supply to demand in areas which are critical for education planning. I turn now to the details of the guidelines for the Ternary Education Commission for 1 98 1 .

Tertiary Education Commission Guidelines

The total funds allocated for tertiary education include provision for the Australian National University, the Canberra College of Advanced Education, the Australian Maritime College, approved non-government teachers colleges and technical and further education in the States and the Northern Territory. All figures for tertiary education in this statement are expressed in estimated December 1979 price levels; the cost supplementation arrangements to apply for 1 98 1 will be the same as for 1980.

Universities and Colleges of Advanced Education

For 1981, the Government has allocated $82.7m as the total level of funds for capital grants and equipment grants. From this amount, the Government intends that the Commission should meet commitments to on-going capital projects and also make provision for a number of new projects of the highest priority.

Technical and Further Education

Funds amounting to $6 1.8m will be provided for general and specific purpose recurrent programs in 1981. A total capital program of $9 1.5m will be funded by the Commonwealth in 1981, including $ 17.9m for the third year of the supplementary $50m grant. In co-operation with the States, the Commission is asked to recommend the distribution of resources among the States and the Northern Territory, having regard to their degrees of need and on the understanding that the States and the Northern Territory will at least maintain fully their own efforts in this area.

Tertiary Education

A provision of $0.4m has also been made for evaluative studies in all tertiary areas in 1981. The Government will provide the following base level of funds for tertiary education for 1981 as compared with 1980:

 

 

For the year 1981 the Commission is asked to make detailed recommendations on the allocations of capital grants and equipment grants between universities and colleges of advanced education and for technical and further education in the States and the Northern Territory. The Commission is asked to submit its report by 3 1 July 1980 to permit time for consideration of its recommendations and passage of the necessary legislation during the Budget sittings of the Parliament.

SCHOOLS

For schools in the States and the Northern Territory, the Commonwealth will provide an additional $2 1.2m, or 3.1 per cent, in real terms in 198 1. The Government has decided to provide the same real levels of general recurrent grants and capital grants for government schools in the States and the Northern Territory as in 1980. The Commonwealth will thus be continuing to maintain its level of support for the staffing and other recurrent resources already achieved by government school systems. It will be recalled that government schools in all States were expected to have reached by the end of 1979 the recurrent resource use targets affirmed by the Schools Commission, and that government school enrolments are now declining overall.

For non-government schools in 1981 the Government according to the policy of previous years, will supplement 1980 grants in order to maintain the percentage link between recurrent grants for non-government schools and government school costs. For non-government schools in level 6, the most needy category, the Commonwealth will also raise its subsidies by a further one percentage point in 1981 to 35 per cent of average government schools standard costs at primary level and to 33 per cent at secondary level, representing an estimated additional $11 per primary pupil and $18 per secondary pupil. The new levels of subsidies are estimated at $384 per primary pupil and $577 per secondary pupil, in estimated December 1979 prices. Estimated average government schools standard costs in 1 98 1 , in constant prices, are $ 1,098 per primary pupil and $ 1,748 per secondary pupil. Honourable members will recall that non-government schools in level 6 continue to operate with resources some 30 per cent below the average resources of government schools. The estimated total additional cost of these measures is $ 16.2m.

As with government schools, the general capital program for non-government schools in 198 1 will be maintained at the existing level in real terms. However, to enhance the forward planning capacity of non-government school authorities which are continuing to be faced with demands for new schools and expanded facilities, the Government will introduce new arrangements in 198 1 to raise the permitted levels of forward commitment into the second and third years to 90 per cent per annum of the level in the base year.

The year 1981 will be the third year of the Galbally committee program for increased funding of migrant and multi-cultural education. Funds for the Galbally program in 1981 will be doubled, representing an increase of $5m on the 1980 level of the program administered by the Schools Commission. Within this program, an additional $3. 4m will be allocated for the teaching of English language in government and nongovernment schools with a further $ 1.6m for the support of activities specifically related to education for a multi-cultural society. These increases will permit some further restructuring to overcome disparities in the existing distribution among systems of the English language section of the program and will provide support for the range of activities referred to in the report of the Galbally committee.

Schools Commission Guidelines

The Government will provide grants totalling $708.6m as the base level of the programs of the Schools Commission in the States and the Northern Territory in 1981. This program comprising $ 132.9m capital and $575. 7m recurrent, represents an increase of 3.1 per cent in real terms on the total base level program for 1980. As in the past, the precise level of grants may be varied in accordance with the actual level of enrolments in non-government schools. All figures for schools in this statement are expressed in estimated December 1979 price levels; the cost supplementation arrangements to apply for 1 9.8 1 will be the same as for 1 980.

Government Schools Programs

The Government will provide $369.7m in total for government school programs in 1981. The combined amount provided for the general recurrent and capital programs of $31 1.3m is the same, in real terms, as the 1980 level. During consultations with the Schools Commission, the States will be able to request transfers of marginal amounts between these programs. The Commission is asked to make recommendations about the distribution of general recurrent and capital grants among the States and for the Northern Territory. The allocations for disadvantaged schools and special education will be at the same real levels as in 1980. There will be a net increase of $2.3m as additional Galbally funding in the migrant education program.

Non-Government Programs

The Commonwealth will provide $3 12.1m as the base level of programs for non-government schools in 1981, including Sl.lm additional Galbally funding for migrant education, and will continue the provisions for disadvantaged schools, emergency assistance and special education in non-government schools at the same real levels as in 1980. The funds provide for

(a)   maintenance of the linkage between recurrent grants to all non-government schools and standard government school running costs;

(b)   additional assistance for those schools in greatest need: Those in level 6. They will be enabled to reach a Commonwealth subsidy of 35 per cent of government schools costs at primary level and 33 per cent at secondary level; and

(c)   maintenance in 1981 of the current 1980 percentage levels of grants in levels 1 to 5 schools.

The Government will amend the existing advance approvals scheme to enable nongovernment school authorities to receive advance approvals of building projects to a value, in real terms, of 90 per cent of the capital program for a year in respect of the following two years.

Joint Programs

Within this area, the Government will provide an increased allocation of $ 1 .6m in 1 98 1 for multicultural education. Funding for other joint programs will be maintained at existing levels.

The Commission is asked to submit its report by 3 1 July 1980 to permit time for consideration of its recommendations and passage of the necessary legislation during the Budget sittings of the Parliament.

All Programs

The Government will provide the following base level of funds for schools in the States and the Northern Territory for 1981 as compared with 1980.

I seek leave to incorporate a table in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The table read as follows-

 

- I present the following paper

Guidelines for Education Commissions 1981 -Ministerial Statement, 22 May 1980.

Motion (by Mr Eric Robinson) proposed:

That the House take note of the paper.







Suggest corrections