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

Part 1 Preliminary

   

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Schools Assistance (Learning Together—Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Act 2004 .

2   Commencement

                   This Act commences, or is taken to have commenced, on 1 January 2005.

3   Simplified outline of Act

             (1)  This section is a simplified outline of this Act.

             (2)  Financial assistance may be paid to the States for both government and non-government schools in the States for:

                     (a)  the 2005 to 2008 calendar years (for grants for general recurrent expenditure and expenditure for specific purposes); and

                     (b)  the 2005 to 2011 calendar years (for grants for capital expenditure).

             (3)  Payments may be authorised only for the purposes in Parts 5 to 10.

             (4)  Financial assistance to a State for government schools must not be paid unless there is an agreement with the State. The agreement must set out the conditions on financial assistance, including conditions that this Act requires the agreement to include.

             (5)  Financial assistance to a State for a non-government school or system of schools must not be paid unless:

                     (a)  there is an agreement with the relevant authority of the school or system that sets out the requirements that this Act requires the agreement to include; and

                     (b)  the list of non-government schools includes the school, or the schools in the system.

             (6)  If there is a breach of a condition, the Minister may require an amount to be repaid to the Commonwealth. Alternatively, the Minister may reduce or delay the amount of other payments under this Act.

4   Definitions

                   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

AGSRC , for primary education for a program year, means:

                     (a)  the Average Government School Recurrent Costs in Schedule 1 for primary education for the program year; or

                     (b)  if regulations are made for the purposes of subsection 121(1) for primary education for the program year—the amount specified in the regulations for that year.

AGSRC , for secondary education for a program year, means:

                     (a)  the Average Government School Recurrent Costs in Schedule 1 for secondary education for the program year; or

                     (b)  if regulations are made for the purposes of subsection 121(1) for secondary education for the program year—the amount specified in the regulations for that year.

approved authority means a body determined under section 9 to be an approved authority.

approved Catholic school system means a school system:

                     (a)  that is included in the list of approved school systems kept under section 48; and

                     (b)  for which the relevant authority is a Catholic education authority.

approved government school community organisation means a body corporate determined under section 11 to be an approved government school community organisation.

approved school system means a school system that is included in the list of approved school systems kept under section 48.

authorised person has the meaning given by subsection 18(4).

block grant authority means a body corporate that the Minister determines to be a block grant authority for the purposes of Division 3 of Part 6 in connection with non-government schools or non-government rural student hostels.

body means any organisation or body, whether incorporated or not, or an individual.

capital expenditure includes expenditure relating to any one or more of the following:

                     (a)  investigating the need for:

                              (i)  schools, government rural student hostels or non-government rural student hostels in particular areas; or

                             (ii)  schools, government rural student hostels or non-government rural student hostels of particular kinds in particular areas; or

                            (iii)  buildings, parts of buildings, other facilities or equipment;

                     (b)  purchasing land, with or without buildings or parts of buildings;

                     (c)  planning for the erection, alteration, extension, demolition or refurbishment of a building, part of a building or other facility;

                     (d)  developing or preparing land for building or other purposes;

                     (e)  erecting, altering, extending, demolishing or refurbishing a building, part of a building or other facility;

                      (f)  installing or upgrading water, electricity or any other services;

                     (g)  providing equipment, including information technology equipment;

                     (h)  providing furniture;

                      (i)  providing library materials or obtaining services and goods for cataloguing a library;

                      (j)  payment to a block grant authority for its administrative expenses.

child with disabilities means either:

                     (a)  a child:

                              (i)  who has not reached school age; and

                             (ii)  in respect of whom a disability assessment has been made; or

                     (b)  a child:

                              (i)  who is of school age; and

                             (ii)  who does not attend a government school, a government centre, a non-government school or a non-government centre; and

                            (iii)  in respect of whom a disability assessment has been made.

current SES funding level , for a school with a particular SES score, means the percentage of AGSRC in column 2 of the table in each of Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 4 that relates to that SES score.

disability assessment , for a child or a student, means an assessment, by a person with relevant qualifications, that the child or student has an intellectual impairment, a sensory impairment, a physical impairment, a social impairment, an emotional impairment or more than one of those impairments to a degree that satisfies the criteria for eligibility to access:

                     (a)  special education services; or

                     (b)  special education programs;

provided by the Government of the State in which the child or student resides.

Education Assistance Act means this Act, the former Act, the 1996 Act or the 1992 Act.

education in English as a second language for eligible new arrivals means education that is provided for the purpose of teaching the English language to eligible new arrivals by means of intensive instruction.

eligible new arrival means a person:

                     (a)  whose first language is not English; and

                     (b)  who satisfies criteria determined by the Minister for the purposes of this paragraph for being a person newly arrived in Australia; and

                     (c)  to whom one or more of the following subparagraphs applies:

                              (i)  the person is an Australian citizen;

                             (ii)  the person holds a permanent visa in force under the Migration Act 1958 ;

                            (iii)  the person is included in a permanent visa in force under that Act;

                            (iv)  the person is not an Australian citizen but has his or her permanent home in the Territory of Christmas Island or in the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands;

                             (v)  the person satisfies criteria determined by the Minister for the purposes of this subparagraph.

                            A determination under subparagraph (c)(v) of this definition may take effect from a day before the day on which the determination was made, but not before 1 January 2005.

ESL course means a course designed to teach English as a second language.

ESL new arrivals amount , for a program year, means the amount in Part 2 of Schedule 8 for the program year.

former Act means the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 .

funding level has the meaning given by section 6.

government centre means a place conducted by or on behalf of the Government of a State at which special education is provided.

government educational institution has the meaning given by subsection 108(2).

government rural student hostel means a hostel in a State whose primary purpose is to provide accommodation for students from rural areas who are undertaking education at government schools in the State (whether or not it also provides accommodation for other students), but does not include a hostel that is conducted for profit.

government school , in relation to a State, means a school in the State that is conducted by or on behalf of the Government of the State.

guardian , in relation to a child, includes a person who has been granted (whether alone or jointly with another person or other persons) guardianship of the child under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory.

level of education means a thing determined under section 7.

list of approved school systems means the list of approved school systems kept under section 48.

list of non-government schools means the list of non-government schools kept under section 47.

location proposal has the meaning given by subsection 60(2).

new school proposal has the meaning given by subsection 60(4).

nominated authority means a body nominated under section 10.

non-government body means a body that is not managed or controlled by or on behalf of the Government of a State and:

                     (a)  includes an approved school system, a systemic school, a non-systemic school, a non-government centre and a non-government rural student hostel; and

                     (b)  for the purposes of grants under section 99 or 100 for projects in connection with non-government rural student hostels—includes a local government body;

but does not include an approved government school community organisation.

non-government centre has the meaning given by subsection 119(3).

non-government rural student hostel means a hostel:

                     (a)  that is in a State; and

                     (b)  that is conducted by a non-government body; and

                     (c)  whose primary purpose is to provide accommodation for students from rural areas who are undertaking education at schools in the State (whether or not it also provides accommodation for other students);

but does not include a government rural student hostel or a hostel that is conducted for profit.

non-government school means a school in a State that is not conducted by or on behalf of the Government of a State, but does not include a school conducted for profit.

non-systemic school means a non-government school that:

                     (a)  is not included in an approved school system; and

                     (b)  is in the list of non-government schools as not being included in an approved school system.

number of primary distance education students , for a non-government school in a State for a program year, means the number of students (including the full-time equivalent of part-time students) receiving primary distance education at the school on the schools census day for the school for the program year.

number of primary students , for a non-government school in a State for a program year, means the number of students (including the full-time equivalent of part-time students) receiving primary education at the school on the schools census day for the school for the program year, but not including students receiving primary distance education.

number of secondary distance education students , for a non-government school in a State for a program year, means the number of students (including the full-time equivalent of part-time students) receiving secondary distance education at the school on the schools census day for the school for the program year.

number of secondary students , for a non-government school in a State for a program year, means the number of students (including the full-time equivalent of part-time students) receiving secondary education at the school on the schools census day for the school for the program year, but not including students receiving secondary distance education.

overseas student has the meaning given by subsection 67(2).

program year means:

                     (a)  the 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008 calendar year; or

                     (b)  in relation to capital grants—the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011 calendar year.

public service employee means an APS employee.

Note:          APS employee is defined in the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

qualified accountant means a person who:

                     (a)  is registered, or is taken to be registered, as a company auditor under Part 9.2 of the Corporations Act 2001 ; or

                     (b)  is a member of CPA Australia or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia; or

                     (c)  is approved by the Minister as a qualified accountant for the purposes of this Act.

recurrent expenditure means expenditure relating to the ongoing operating costs of schools.

relevant authority , for a non-government body, means:

                     (a)  the approved authority or nominated authority for the body; or

                     (b)  in respect of a payment for a project administered by a block grant authority—the block grant authority.

relevant Minister , in relation to a provision of the former Act, means (except in a reference to a State Minister) the Minister who administered that provision.

school includes a proposed school, but does not include a school at which education is provided at a standard (however described) that is pre-school standard only.

schools census day , for a State for a program year, means the day in that year (being a day as close as possible to 1 August in that year) that the State Minister notifies the Minister is the schools census day for the State for that year.

schools census day means:

                     (a)  for a non-systemic school, or an approved school system, in a State for a program year—the schools census day for the State for that program year; or

                     (b)  for a non-systemic school, or an approved school system, for a program year and in relation to which the Minister has, because of special circumstances, declared a particular day in that program year to be the schools census day for the school or system for that program year—the day so declared; or

                     (c)  for a non-systemic school, or an approved school system, in a State for a program year if:

                              (i)  paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply; and

                             (ii)  the State Minister and the Minister have agreed that a particular day in that program year is to be the schools census day for the school or system for that program year;

                            the day so agreed.

secondary education means junior secondary education or senior secondary education.

section 30 agreement means an agreement made as mentioned in section 30.

SES score has the meaning given by section 8.

special education means education under special programs, or special activities, designed specifically for children with disabilities or students with disabilities, or both.

special school means a school in a State that:

                     (a)  has been, or is likely to be, recognised by the State Minister as a special school; and

                     (b)  provides special education.

State includes the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

State Minister , for a State, means the Minister of the State who is responsible, or primarily responsible, for the administration of matters relating to school education in the State.

student with disabilities means a student:

                     (a)  who attends a government school, a government centre, a non-government school (whether or not as a distance education student) or a non-government centre; and

                     (b)  in respect of whom a disability assessment has been made.

systemic school means a non-government school that:

                     (a)  is included in an approved school system; and

                     (b)  is in the list of non-government schools as being included in an approved school system.

the 1992 Act means the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1992 .

the 1996 Act means the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1996 .

year 2000 funding level , for a school, means 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 was used to determine amounts payable in respect of the school for the 2004 program year.

year 2004 funding level , for a school, means the percentage of AGSRC in column 2 of the table in each of Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 4 to the former Act that was used to determine amounts payable in respect of the school for the 2004 program year.

year 2004 primary amount , for a school, means the amount in column 6 of the table in Part 1 of Schedule 4 to the former Act that was used to determine amounts payable in respect of the school for the 2004 program year.

year 2004 secondary amount , for a school, means the amount in column 6 of the table in Part 2 of Schedule 4 to the former Act that was used to determine amounts payable in respect of the school for the 2004 program year.

5   Students receiving education at non-government schools

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, a student is taken not to be receiving primary education or not to be receiving secondary education (as appropriate) at a non-government school unless:

                     (a)  the student attends, on a daily basis, the school at a location specified in the list of non-government schools in respect of the school; or

                     (b)  the Minister has determined that the student is to be treated (because of special circumstances) as so attending the school.

             (2)  For the purposes of this Act, a student is taken not to be receiving primary distance education or not to be receiving secondary distance education (as appropriate) at a non-government school in a State if:

                     (a)  the student does not reside in the State; or

                     (b)  the school is not approved in accordance with the law of the State in which the school is located to provide distance education; or

                     (c)  the student is approved as a home education student (however described) in accordance with the law of the State in which the student resides.

6   Funding level

                   For the purposes of this Act, funding level , for a school, means:

                     (a)  the school’s current SES funding level if Subdivision C or F of Division 2 of Part 6 is used to work out the funding for the school’s general recurrent expenditure; or

                     (b)  the school’s year 2000 funding level if Subdivision D of Division 2 of Part 6 is used to work out the funding for the school’s general recurrent expenditure; or

                     (c)  the school’s year 2004 funding level if Subdivision E of Division 2 of Part 6 is used to work out the funding for the school’s general recurrent expenditure; or

                     (d)  70.0% of AGSRC if Subdivision G of Division 2 of Part 6 (which deals with special schools) is used to work out the funding for the school’s general recurrent expenditure.

7   Levels of education

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, the Minister may make a determination declaring what is a level of primary education or a level of secondary education for a State. The determination may relate to:

                     (a)  education provided at schools generally; or

                     (b)  education provided at schools included in a particular class of schools.

             (2)  In making a determination under subsection (1), the Minister must have regard to the arrangements made for providing education at government schools in the State. This does not limit the matters to which the Minister may have regard.

             (3)  The Minister must cause a copy of each determination under subsection (1) to be published in the Gazette as soon as practicable after the determination is made.

             (4)  A reference in this Act to a level of education at a school in a State includes a reference to a year in a course of primary education or secondary education provided at the school at a level, determined by the Minister, that applies to the school.

8   SES score

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, an SES score means a whole number determined by the Minister for a school in accordance with guidelines approved by the Minister.

             (2)  Guidelines approved by the Minister for the purposes of subsection (1) are a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

9   Approved authority

                   The Minister may determine that a body is the approved authority of:

                     (a)  an approved school system; or

                     (b)  a non-systemic school; or

                     (c)  a non-government school; or

                     (d)  a non-government rural student hostel; or

                     (e)  another non-government body;

for the purposes of the provision of this Act in which the expression appears.

10   Nominated authority

                   A group of non-government schools may make a written nomination to the Secretary of the Department of a body to be the nominated authority of the group for the purposes of this Act or of a particular provision or particular provisions of this Act.

11   Approved government school community organisation

                   The Minister may determine that a body corporate that the Minister is satisfied:

                     (a)  is connected with a government school; and

                     (b)  represents the school’s community;

is the approved government school community organisation for the school for the purposes of this Act.