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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 137

Total outlays on education are estimated to increase by 10.0 per cent in 1980-81 to $2866.9 million, which is equivalent to 8.0 per cent of Budget outlays. Assistance is also given to education through income tax rebates available in certain circumstances in respect of education expenses of dependent children, self-education expenses, and some gifts to educational institutions; the cost of revenue so forgone is not included in the figures given here. It should be noted that comparisons of total outlays on education (and some components) between 1978-79 and subsequent years are affected by changes in financial arrangements with the Northern Territory. Whereas total expenditures on TAFE institutions and schools in the Northern Territory in 1978-79 (and earlier years) were recorded under Education, only the specific purpose payment components are so recorded in 1979-80 and 1980-81; the basic 'State-type' components will be determined by the Northern Territory Government (and allocated largely from the general purpose funds made available by the Commonwealth - see Section 10a below).

Further details of grants to the States and the Northern Territory for education are provided in Chapters IV and V of Payments to or for the States, the Northern Territory and Local Government Authorities 1980-81.

1978-79 1979-80 1980-81

Actual Actual Estimate Change

S million $ million 8 million S million

Tertiary- Universities -

Tertiary Education

The estimates under this head for 1980-81, except for further education in the Australian Capital Territory and some other minor exceptions, comprise the second half of the 1980 and the first half of the 1981 calendar year programs of the Tertiary Education Commission through which the Commonwealth provides full financial support for all universities and colleges of advanced education (CAEs) and assists the State (and now the Northern Territory) systems of technical and further education (TAFE). The estimates for financial year 1980-81 given in the preceding Table for recurrent components of the Tertiary Education Commission's programs are in estimated June 1980 prices. The wage and salary components of recurrent grants to universities, CAEs and TAFE institutions - which constitute the bulk of total grants to these bodies - are subject to cost supplementation in line with increases in wages and salaries. The bulk provision of $80 million is the present estimate of the amount that will be required to supplement these grants during 1980-81. Total expenditure is estimated at $1617.8 million, compared with $1492.0 million in 1979-80.

Details of the calendar 1981 program, as shown below, were announced by the Minister for Education on 22 May 1980. The figures are in estimated December 1979 prices, with estimates shown here also for amounts required to bring the grants to an estimated outturn basis. Because payments are not spread evenly through the year, the Commission's calendar year programs cannot directly be related to the financial year estimates.

(a)   Includes evaluative studies.

Universities and Colleges of Advanced Education

For 1981, the third year of the present triennium, recurrent expenditures will continue at the same real level as has been maintained in 1979 and 1980, and should enable existing levels of student intake to continue. The 1981 provision for capital and equipment is 9.2 per cent lower than in 1980, and is estimated to be 18 per cent less in real terms. Overall, the 1981 programs for these sectors are to decrease by 1.4 per cent in real terms. The Tertiary Education Commission has been asked to continue to monitor carefully the use and allocation of resources, and to provide ongoing advice on the relationship of manpower supply to demand in areas which are critical for education planning.

Student load in universities and colleges of advanced education built up rapidly in the decade to the mid-1970s, but has since tended to remain stable; this relative stability is seen as continuing in the medium term. Current trends are for a higher proportion of students to study part-time and for more mature age students to enrol.

Student Load in Universities and CAEs (a)

(u)   Expressed as 'equivalent full-time students', as defined by the Tertiary Education Commission. lb) Preliminary, (c) Projected. (Source: Department of Education)

This slowing in increases in enrolments is reflected in the building and equipment provision, for which funds are determined annually as part of the capital and equipment program. Building activity will continue at a lower level, with actual expenditure in 1981 on major works expected to be $21.3 million ($38.2 million in 1980) on a total program of $42 million extending from 1981 into 1984.

Other Advanced Education

The Commonwealth also funds the operations of the Australian Film and Television School which undertakes national training at an advanced level in film, television, radio and audio-visual communications. In 1980-81 a provision of $4.5 million has been made for the operational and capital expenses of the School, an increase of 11.2 per cent on 1979-80.

Also included within this category is $130 000 for the establishment of sportsoriented courses at the Canberra College of Advanced Education, to operate in conjunction with an Australian sports institute (see Youth, Sport and Recreation under the functional heading 'Culture and Recreation').

Technical and Further Education

The States and the Northern Territory are responsible for technical and further education. Commonwealth grants, constituting about one-quarter of total outlays for such education, are provided on the understanding that the States and the NT will at least maintain fully their own efforts in this area.

General recurrent grants are provided by the Commonwealth to compensate the States and the Northern Territory for not levying fees for courses at technical and further education institutions. These grants are expected to rise in 1981 by 4 per cent in real terms, in response to growth in enrolments. The specific recurrent grants are for purposes designed to improve the quality and effectiveness of technical and further education, and will be maintained at the same real level as in 1980. The TAFE sector is also benefiting substantially (approximately $11 million in 1980 and up to about $12.5 million in 1981) from the Commonwealth's school-to-work transition program (see below).

On the capital side, where Commonwealth grants now make up two-thirds of total TAFE outlays, estimated expenditure in 1981 is to maintain the substantial real level which has now been built up in line with the high priority attached by the Government to this form of education. Building works commitments to be met after 1981 amount to $70 million. The Commonwealth will also contribute its $0.2 million share of the cost in 1981 of the national TAFE research and development centre to be based in Adelaide.

Further Education in the ACT

There will be substantial additions to further education facilities in the ACT in 1981, with a third TAFE College (at Woden) to commence operations from the beginning of 1981 and round out a network of regional TAFE services for the ACTj completion of Stage 4 of Bruce TAFE College, and a new building for the Canberra School of Art which will take diploma students in a range of new craft courses from the first semester of 1981.

Course enrolments in Canberra's five further education institutions are estimated to reach 19 800 in 1981, 3.3 per cent higher than in 1980. The 1980-81 estimates provide $24.1 million altogether for these bodies, of which $14.4 million is for current and $9.7 million for capital expenditure (compared with $12.1 million and $12.7 million, respectively, in 1979-80).

Overseas Student Charge

From the commencement of the 1 980 academic year, private overseas students enrolling for the first time (or changing to a new course of study) at Australian universities and colleges of advanced education have been required to help defray the cost of their tuition. The charges range from $1500 to $2500 a year depending on the course of study.

The estimated number of students liable for the charge was 1600 in 1980, this is expected to rise to about 3200 in 1981 (as further new enrolments occur) and yield revenue of $5.3 million in 1980-81. On the basis of present estimates, upwards of 6000 students will be contributing once those enrolled before the charges took effect have completed their courses.

Schools in the States, and the Northern Territory

The Commonwealth provides grants to the States and the Northern Territory through programs of the Schools Commission for recurrent and capital costs of government schools. Payments for recurrent and capital purposes are also made to the States and the Northern Territory for on-passing to non-government schools. In addition, Commonwealth assistance is provided to both government and nongovernment schools systems for disadvantaged schools, migrant and multicultural projects, schools for handicapped children, teacher development and innovatory projects. Commonwealth grants represent about 12 per cent of total spending on government schools and about 35 per cent of total spending on non-government schools.

The estimates under this head, similarly to those under the tertiary grants program, are made up of the second half of the 1980 and the first half of the 1981 calendar year programs of the Schools Commission. The estimates for financial year 1980-81 given in the Table for these programs are at estimated June 1980 price levels and will be supplemented for wage and salary increases affecting recurrent components; $30 million is the present estimate of the supplementation required during 1980-81.

Total expenditure by way of Schools Commission grants in 1980-81 is estimated at $781.4 million, compared with $702.4 million in 1979-80.

The calendar 1981 program, summarised below, was announced by the Minister for Education on 22 May 1980. Following usual practice, the figures are in December 1979 prices, but estimates are shown here also for the adjustment required to bring the grants to an estimated outturn basis. (As with the tertiary grants, payments arrangements prevent direct comparison with the financial year estimates).

Schools

1980

1981

% million $ million

Government schools Non-government schools Joint programs Adjustment to outturn basis

367.5 294.8 25.1 30.0

369.7 312.1 26.8 85.0

Total

717.4

793.6

Total grants to the States and the Northern Territory in 1981 are estimated to increase by about 10.6 per cent, or 3.1 per cent in real terms. In the government schools sector, although Australia-wide enrolments are projected to continue their present annual decline of about one per cent, all categories of assistance will be maintained at the present real levels of support, and in addition migrant education will receive a further real increase under the third year of the three-year program recommended by the Review of Post-Arrival Programs and Services for Migrants (Galbally Report).

For non-government schools, where the tendency is for enrolments to show an increase, recurrent grants per pupil will continue to be adjusted for changes in standard government school running costs; this is expected to provide real increases in funding in this area. Additional assistance will be provided to schools in the most needy category and increased funds will be available for migrant education. Arrangements for advance approvals (up to two years ahead) to building projects are also to be liberalised.

Looking further ahead, enrolments in primary schools (government and nongovernment) appear set to decline, by over 4 per cent, over the next three years. Secondary school enrolments, on the other hand, seem likely to increase by about 5 per cent over the same period, which is not enough to stem the projected decline in total enrolments of about one per cent. Policies like school-to-work transition intended to encourage more young people to remain in education will have a bearing on the outcome.

School Enrolments

(a)   Preliminary estimates (Australian Bureau of Statistics). (6) Projected (Department of Education).

Pre-schools in the States and the Northern Territory

Under the Children's Services Program the Commonwealth makes a block grant to the States and the Northern Territory as a contribution towards the costs of pre-school education. The Government has decided that $33.1 million will be provided in 1980-81 for this purpose. (In Budget documents issued in the years 1977-78 to 1979-80 these outlays were included under the functional heading Social Security and Welfare'.)

Government Schools and Pre-Schools in the ACT

Outlays for government schools and pre-schools in the ACT are estimated at $78.8 million in 1980-81, an increase of 2.2 per cent compared with 1979-80. Current expenditure is estimated to rise by 7.1 per cent to $74.8 million, but capital expenditure is expected to fall from $7.3 million in 1979-80 to $4.0 million as reduced building activity reflects the declining rate of growth in need for classroom space. Total government school enrolments for 1981 are estimated at 38 170 compared with 38 303 in 1980 (primary down 1.0 per cent, high schools up 1.0 per cent and secondary colleges down 0.1 per cent), and current Department of Education projections show relatively stable enrolments continuing in the medium term.

At the same time there will be substantial additions to government school capacity in 1981, growth in student numbers in particular areas of Canberra now being sufficient to permit opening of already-completed high schools at Wanniassa and Charnwood, building of a new primary school at Monash, and opening of the secondary college section of the Erindale Centre (Tuggeranong). The Erindale Centre has been built with expanded recreational facilities that are intended to serve community as well as school purposes.

Non-Government Schools in the ACT

The Commonwealth provides grants per pupil to non-government schools in the ACT equivalent to those paid by the Schools Commission and State Governments to non-government schools in the States. These grants are the major component of recurrent assistance and are estimated at $11.6 million in 1980-81, compared with $10.4 million in 1979-80; the increase reflects both higher grant rates and a 6.6 per cent increase in enrolments (to 16 600 students) in 1980; a further increase in enrolments of 4.8 per cent (to about 17 400) is projected for 19.81. Department of Education projections suggest some slackening in the pace of growth in non-government enrolments in the three years beyond 1981.

Capital grants are provided to non-government schools in the ACT under arrangements similar to the Schools Commission program of capital assistance for non-government schools in the States. Assistance is also available under an interest subsidy scheme, similar to schemes operating in the States, which enables non-government schools to borrow from lending institutions for approved building projects with the Commonwealth reimbursing interest charges up to 10 per cent a year for up to 20 years. For 1980-81, total capital assistance is estimated at $2.6 million, compared with $2.7 million in 1979-80. The main new projects assisted will be Catholic system primary schools at Kaleen and Wanniassa.

School Transport in the ACT

The cost of subsidising bus services for children travelling to and from schools is estimated at $2.4 million in 1980-81, a 14.0 per cent increase over 1979.-80.

Curriculum Development Centre

The Curriculum Development Centre is a statutory body which produces and markets teaching materials for use in Australian schools and which advises on and evaluates curriculum and materials development. The Centre operates in consultation and co-operation with other education authorities, public and private, at both federal and State level.

The Budget provision of $2.5 million in 1980-81 ($2.4 million in 1979-80) together with increased income from sales of materials and publications (estimated at $500 000 in 1980-81 compared with $340 000 in 1979-80) will allow further progress in a number of priority areas including mathematics education and language teaching. school-to-work transition

The Government decided in 1979 to provide up to $150 million in real terms during the five years from the beginning of 1980 for a range of education, training and counselling activities in schools and TAFE institutions. These activities are directed particularly to young people who have left or are likely to leave school early, and are intended to equip them better to move into the work force.

In the initial year (1980), the Commonwealth is meeting the full cost ($24 million) of the programs that have been agreed with the States and Territories and with non-government school authorities, and the cost ($1 million) of developing an expanded range of occupational information. In 1981, amounts available will be $2.2 million to non-government schools, and up to $25.2 million to the States and Territories for government school and TAFE institutions (provided matching amounts totalling $9.9 million are contributed), including $456 000 for schools and TAFE institutions in the ACT. From 1982 onwards, the allocations for the States and the Northern Territory will be on a $1 for $1 matching basis.

Expenditure on these activities in 1980-81 is estimated at $33.9 million.

Student Assistance

The main schemes of community-wide student assistance are the Secondary Allowances Scheme (SAS), the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme (TEAS), the Adult Secondary Education Assistance Scheme (ASEAS), and postgraduate awards. (Schemes that assist a number of special groups are dealt with separately below.) These provide support for families of children who are in the final two years of schooling (SAS), for adults studying full-time at matriculation level or the equivalent (ASEAS), for full-time students undertaking TAFE courses (TEAS), and for full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students at universities and colleges of advanced education (TEAS and postgraduate awards). The postgraduate awards are free of means test but taxable, and are made on the basis of academic merit. The other awards are open to all, subject to means tests on family and student income and to academic admission requirements, and are free of tax.

A number of changes to these schemes are to take effect from the beginning of 1981. Living allowances for these schemes are to rise by 10 per cent, except for Secondary Allowances where the increase will be 20 per cent. Allowances are reduced where family income or (for TEAS and ASEAS) student income exceeds certain levels in a year; family income levels in these means tests will be increased by 9.7 per cent for TEAS and ASEAS, reflecting increases in average weekly earnings during 1979, and by 20 per cent for SAS. The amount of student income above which TEAS and ASEAS allowances are reduced will be lifted from $1500 to $2000 a year and the amount allowed from another award raised from $150 to $500 a year. Allowances for a dependent spouse will also be increased by $11.30 a week.

Means test levels and maximum rates of living allowance applicable in 1980 and those to apply from 1981, and numbers of students expected to receive assistance in those two years, are as follows:

Maximum entitlement Number of students

Other forms of assistance for students are available to certain special groups, namely Aboriginals, soldiers' children, and isolated children; these are dealt with in the separate section 'Special Groups', but certain information on them is included in the table below.

Taken together, all forms of assistance for students (including those for special groups) are estimated to require $232.9 million in 1980-81, an increase of $14.7 million (7 per cent) over 1979-80. The increased benefit rates and liberalised means tests described above for TEAS, ASEAS and SAS are estimated to cost $15 million in 1980-81 and $30 million in a full year. Details of estimated expenditure according to scheme and the main institutions of study are shown in the following summary table: 1979-80 1980-81 Change

S million S million S million

Student assistance schemes-

Tertiary education assistance -

Total student assistance schemes . 182.0 191.0 +9.0

Assistance provided under programs for special groups - Aboriginals -

Special Groups

The Budget estimates include $84.1 million toward the education of special groups in 1980-81, an increase of $11.9 million (16.5 per cent) over 1979-80, reflecting increases in student allowances for these groups and expanded services for refugees and migrants.

Aboriginals

The Aboriginal Secondary Grants and Aboriginal Study Grants schemes provide living allowances and other forms of benefits, free of means test, to Aboriginals attending approved secondary schools or classes, or undertaking approved full-time or part-time courses of education and training at universities, colleges of advanced education, TAFE colleges and other institutions. From the beginning of 1981, living allowances under these schemes will be increased by 10 per cent.

These schemes constitute the bulk of the Commonwealth educational assistance available to Aboriginals. In addition, $9.6 million is to be available as grants-in-aid and grants to the States through the Department of Aboriginal Affairs for the implementation of programs that address the special educational disadvantages of Aboriginals.

Migrant Education

The provisions for migrant and refugee education under this heading do not include expenditure for those purposes under the Schools Commission program (see 'Schools' section), estimated to be $39.5 million in 1980-81, for special instruction which is provided for migrant and refugee children experiencing English language difficulties in order to facilitate their participation in normal classes.

This heading covers additional and separate support for 'on-arrivaF language and orientation classes for refugee children which are given before the children move into ordinary schooling. An amount of $3.2 million is being provided in 1980-81 ($2.7 million in 1979-80) to government and non-government school authorities for emergency classroom accommodation and to meet salary and language teaching materials and equipment costs for an expected intake of 5500 refugee children (4700 in 1979-80).

Also included here is the Adult Migrant and Refugee Education Program, under which $28.0 million will be available in 1980-81 for initial settlement orientation and for 'on-arrival' and on-going English language training needs of adult migrants and refugees. This provision covers the salaries of English language instructors as well as living allowances for adults attending full-time courses. The increase of $4.7 million (20 per cent) reflects the higher provision for enrolments (120 000 in 1980-81 compared with 115 000 in 1979-80) as the three-year program of upgrading and expanding English language instruction courses for migrants, recommended by the Review of Post-Arrival Programs and Services for Migrants (Galbally Report), progresses into its third year.

Soldiers' Children Education Scheme

Under this scheme assistance is provided by way of living allowances and other benefits for the schooling, tertiary education and training of children of veterans who died as a result of war service or who are either blind or totally and permanently incapacitated. Benefits are generally free of nieans test although a student's own earnings may be taken into account. The cost of the scheme in 1980-81 is estimated at $2.5 million, compared to $2.6 million in 1979-80; the number of beneficiaries is projected to decline slightly (to 2045). The Government has decided to increase allowances for secondary students from the beginning of 1981. Living allowances for tertiary students are generally increased in line with movements in allowances under TEAS.

Assistance for Isolated Children

This scheme assists families whose homes are remote from normal daily access to government schools by providing basic boarding or correspondence school allowances free of means test, together with additional means-tested benefits that include allowances to cover establishment of a second home near to school and to cover cases of special financial hardship. From the beginning of 1981, most allowances will increase by 20 per cent; the new basic, special supplementary and additional boarding allowances will be $600, $660 and $600 respectively; the new single basic correspondence allowance will be $500 with the existing reimburseable component being absorbed in that increased amount; the second home allowance will be from $600 to $1530. From the beginning of 1981, the scheme will also be extended to cover children regarded as isolated for reasons of medical and social disability.

It is estimated that the scheme will cost $14.3 million in 1980-81 ($12.2 million in 1979-80) and that assistance will be provided in respect of 20 500 children (19 000 at present).

General administrative and other expenditure of the Department of Education and the Commonwealth Teaching Service is estimated at $25.0 million in 1980-81, of which $19.1 million is for wages and salaries. Also included under this heading is $1.6 million in support of research in education through the Education Research and Development Committee and the Australian Council for Education Research, and for evaluative studies (mainly of student assistance schemes) being undertaken by the Department itself.

Total Commonwealth outlays on health are estimated at $3643.9 million in 1980-81. This is an increase of 15.0 per cent on 1979-80 and is equivalent to 10.1 per cent of total estimated Budget outlays in 1980-81.

In addition, some assistance in the health area is given through the taxation system: for example, net expenditure in respect of doctors, hospitals, chemists, dentists, opticians and optometrists is in certain circumstances allowable for income tax rebate purposes; gifts of $2 or more to eligible organisations (eg medical research organisations) are tax deductible; and a wide range of health and medical related goods are exempt from sales tax. The cost figures used in this Section do not include the cost to revenue of these measures.

Outlays recorded in the following table for periods up to 1 January 1979 include the full cost of Northern Territory health services. Outlays for periods beyond 1 January 1979 include, in respect of the Northern Territory, only the Commonwealth's share of approved operating costs of recognised hospitals in the Territory and other specific purpose payments of the kinds made to the States under national programs.

General Administrative and Other Expenditure







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