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


Index

Bills Digest No. 50 2004–05

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

WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History
Purpose
Background
Main Provisions
Concluding Comments
Endnotes
Contact Officer & Copyright Details


Passage History

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

Date Introduced: 17 November 2004

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Education, Science and Training

Commencement: 1 January 2005

Purpose

The purpose of the bill is to provide Commonwealth specific purpose funding for government and non-government schools for the 2005 to 2008 quadrennium. It succeeds the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2004 (the current Act) which provided funding for the 2001 to 2004 quadrennium.(1)

Background

This bill was first introduced in the 40th Parliament on 23 June 2004. It had passed the House of Representatives but had not yet been dealt with by the Senate when the election was called. It therefore lapsed when Parliament was prorogued. There are some differences from the original bill, chiefly the implementation of three election commitments and the updating of prices as the result of supplementation for 2004.

The Minister for Education, Science and Training in his Budget media release announced that the Commonwealth Government will provide $31.3 billion in funding for Australian schools from 2005 to 2008, representing an $8 billion increase over the current quadrennium of Commonwealth funding for schools, 2001 to 2004.(2) The bill gives effect to the Budget s provisions.

The bill also provides funding for two election commitments: an additional $1 billion over four years for capital infrastructure for schools and funding for non-government rural student hostels at the rate of $2 500 per student each year.(3)

Over two-thirds of the $31.3 billion announced in the Budget will be allocated to non-government schools continuing a trend that has seen the non-government schools share of Commonwealth specific purpose funding for schools grow from 55.6 per cent in 1995 96 to an estimated 68.9 per cent by 2007-08.(4) The Commonwealth Government considers that state and territory governments have primary responsibility for funding government schools.(5)

Most of the Budget s $8 billion funding increase will be due to indexation and supplementation.(6) From the various ministerial announcements regarding the funding arrangements for the next quadrennium, approximately $404.6 million (5 per cent) of this increase can be readily identified as new money. This increase will be allocated as follows:

Catholic systemic schools move into the socioeconomic status (SES) system of Commonwealth general recurrent funding for non-government school

$362 million

Capital funding for non-government schools in the Northern Territory

$17 million

Students with Disabilities

$25.6 million.(7)

The election commitments included in the bill will deliver a further $1.1 billion as follows:

  • Capital infrastructure funding for government schools $700 million

  • Capital infrastructure funding for non-government schools $300 million

  • Funding for non-government rural student hostels $10 million(8)

Major changes

There are two significant areas of change initiated by the bill. The first relates to changes to the structure of Commonwealth funding for schools, particularly for general recurrent funding for non-government schools and targeted programs, announced in the 2004 05 Budget.(9) The second major area of change is the introduction of a raft of new conditions for Commonwealth funding for schools, announced jointly by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Education, Science and Training, on 22 June 2004.(10)

Commonwealth general recurrent funding for non-government schools

The principal effect of the changes to Commonwealth general recurrent funding for non-government schools introduced by the bill is that all non-government schools will now be covered by the SES system which was introduced in 2001.(11) Catholic systemic schools which previously had separate general recurrent funding arrangements will be included in the SES system and will receive as a consequence additional funding of $362 million above indexation.(12)

The other effect of the changes to Commonwealth general recurrent funding for
non-government schools, and stemming from the Government s commitment that there will be no losers under the SES system, is that there will be four categories of funding under the SES system. In 2005 half of non-government schools will be funded according to their SES score. The remaining half, which because their SES score would entitle them to less funding than is currently received, will either have their funding maintained at their 2000 level with indexation (a continuation of arrangements under the current Act) or at their 2004 level with indexation (for Catholic systemic schools). Those independent schools moving onto a higher SES score in 2005 which would entitle them to less funding, will have their funding held at their 2004 level without indexation (termed funding guaranteed ) until the value of the school's SES score (which will be indexed) will eventually be equal to or greater than their 2004 level. At this point the school will move onto its SES score funding level. In 2005 there will be 100 independent schools in this position, diminishing to only four schools by 2008.(13)

These different arrangements mean that in 2005 just under half of non-government schools (1 300) will be funded according to their SES score. The remainder of non-government schools (1 302) which should be receiving less funding because of their SES score will have their funding held at previous levels, either with or without indexation. These arrangements may lead to inequities given that four schools with the same SES score could potentially have four different levels of funding.(14)

Recurrent funding for non-government rural student hostels

The bill includes the election commitment to provide recurrent funding for non-government rural student hostels at the rate of $2 500 per student per year. According to the election commitment the measure is estimated to cost $10 million over four years and will provide for about 1 000 students.(15) The program guidelines are still to be finalised.

According to the bill s definition the primary purpose of a non-government rural student hostel is to provide accommodation for students from rural areas who are undertaking education at schools (whether or not the hostel also provides accommodation for other students). The provision does not apply to government rural student hostels or hostels that are conducted for profit.

Non-government rural student hostels are also currently eligible for Commonwealth capital grants on the same basis as government and non-government schools.

There are also two other election commitments, yet to be implemented, relating to students from rural and isolated areas:

  • an increase in the Basic Boarding Allowance from $4 446 to $6 000 per year at a cost of $444.2 million over five years, and

  • an increase in the Distance Education Allowance to $3 000 per year (representing an increase of $1 759 for a primary school student and $1 140 for a secondary school student in 2005 06), at a cost of $22.3 million over four years.

Both of these allowances are provided through the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.

Targeted programs

The bill initiates a major change to the structure of Commonwealth targeted schools programs by replacing the Strategic Assistance for Improving Student Outcomes (SAISO) Programme with a new Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs (LNSLN) Programme. The Programme will be the major means through which the Commonwealth will provide funding to improve the educational outcomes of disadvantaged school students.

The LNSLN will have three elements School Grants (formerly known as SAISO);
Non-Government Centres Support; and National Projects. The School Grants element will constitute the majority of the Programme s funding for programs. It will provide funding for early intervention programs; literacy and numeracy, including student assessment and student achievement reports; students with disabilities (SWD); teacher professional development; and resource materials.

The Schools Grants element will be distributed to education authorities in the following way:

  • 38 per cent will continue to be distributed using a Socio-Economic Disadvantage allocative mechanism

  • 28 per cent will continue to be distributed using a Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE) allocative mechanism

  • 8 per cent will be on a per capita element basis (i.e., on the reported numbers of SWD), calculated by multiplying a strategic assistance amount by the number of SWD. The strategic assistance amount for non-government school students in 2005 will be $654 per student compared to $129 for government school students, and

  • 26 per cent will be allocated to SWD using a new allocative mechanism which will allocate funding to government and non-government sectors on the basis of enrolment share while retaining current total real funding levels.

There is also a funding guarantee that no sector will receive less funding than it will receive in 2004. The funding guarantee accounts for the additional funding announced for SWD ($21 million over four years for SWD under the School Grants element and
$4.5 million for SWD under the Non-Government Centres Support element). Of the
$21 million, $12 million will be provided to the Catholic sector, $5 million to the independent sector, and $4 million to the government sector.

The reason for the apparent disproportionate increase for the Catholic sector relates to the reform of historic allocative mechanisms which underpin the current system. These mechanisms were not necessarily related to need or SWD enrolment share. The new funding mechanism will ensure that funding for each government jurisdiction is related to their share of government SWD enrolments and, in the non-government sector, each non-government sector s funding is related to their share of non-government enrolments.

The additional money for SWD which the bill provides is a reflection of the findings of the Senate committee inquiry into the education of students with disabilities and widespread calls from all education sectors about the need for more resources for SWD.(16) The National Catholic Education Commission in its submission to the Senate inquiry reported that SWD increased ten-fold from 1985 to 2000.(17) According to figures provided by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), there were 123 985 SWD in Australian schools in 2003, of which 101 217 (82 per cent) were in the government sector, 15 971 (12.6 per cent ) were in the Catholic sector, and 6 797 (5.4 per cent) were in the independent sector. Reported SWD increased by 5 per cent between 2002 and 2003. The problems created by these growing numbers of SWD are compounded by the various state and territory government funding arrangements for SWD.(18)

Capital grants for schools

The bill provides an additional $17 million over four years in capital grants funding for non-government schools in isolated areas and communities in the Northern Territory. This additional funding is recognition of the greater costs that are encountered for capital works in these areas compared to metropolitan and regional schools. It also reflects the results of a survey of non-government schools infrastructure conducted in 2000 and 2001.(19)

From 2005 to 2008 an estimated $1.5 billion will be provided for Commonwealth capital grants of which the majority will be allocated to government schools which will receive an estimated $1.1 billion compared to an estimated $438 million for non-government schools.(20)

There are a number of issues concerning the quality of schools infrastructure. According to various reports, both government and non-government schools are experiencing problems relating to the state of existing infrastructure.(21) There are also pressures on infrastructure provision arising from new directions in curriculum and teaching methods.(22) Another reported problem is the pressure on school communities to fundraise and support capital investment.(23) These issues are made more significant by research findings which suggest that there is a correlation between the quality of school infrastructure and educational outcomes.(24)

Capital funding for schools infrastructure

Capital funding for schools infrastructure is another 2004 election commitment. The bill provides for $1 billion over four years ($700 million for government schools and $300 million for non-government schools) to be delivered to school communities to restore and build Australia s school buildings and grounds . From the Minister s second reading speech it is evident that the money is intended for smaller projects than the main capital grants program. Examples of projects include library resources, computer facilities, air-conditioning and heating, outdoor shade structures, and sports and play equipment.(25)

The Minister has written to peak principal and parent organisations inviting their views as to how these grants should operate. Guidelines have been promised for early next year and the first round of grants is expected to be delivered to schools by mid 2005.(26) The guidelines may have to ensure that there is no duplication between the funding from this program and other Commonwealth programs for schools.

These grants represent a significant departure from the way most Commonwealth grants to government schools are delivered. While the capital infrastructure grants to non-government school communities will continue to be provided via Block Grant Authorities, as are the main capital grants, the Commonwealth Government will bypass the state and territory government education authorities in the case of grants to government school communities. The Commonwealth Government will administer the grants and pay them direct to school communities.

New conditions for funding

The bill introduces a number of new conditions with which government and non-government school authorities must comply to be eligible for Commonwealth funding.(27) Conditions for funding are not new and specific conditions for funding exist in the current Act. What is new is the underlying rationale and scope of some of the new conditions. Of potential concern is the effect of these conditions and their implications for existing practice and processes.

The conditions for funding reflect a number of the Commonwealth Government s national priorities for schooling, including greater national consistency, better reporting to parents, transparency of school performance, greater autonomy to school principals, creating safer schools, a common commitment to physical activity, and making values a core part of schooling.(28) The bill also incorporates a minor election commitment to extend the ambit of the national tests and Statements of Learning to include information and communications technology.(29)

The new conditions reflect not only parental and community concerns about the environment in which schooling takes place and its outcomes, but also broader concerns about the current and future health and well-being of children.

For instance, in a recent government survey of parents and community members attitudes to schooling parents considered the following factors as the most important factors in choosing a school:

  • quality of teachers (79.3 per cent of respondents)

  • secure environment (70.7 per cent)

  • academic reputation (52.1 per cent)

  • school facilities (44.9 per cent)

  • school location (36.3 per cent)

  • social factors (28.1 per cent)

  • cost (25.8 per cent), and

  • the availability of extra-curricular activities (19.8 per cent).(30)

Both government and non-government school parents ranked discipline and values as the most important social factors.(31) Parents also saw national consistency issues as important with the majority ranking the following issues as important or very important:
  • national standards for teachers and school leaders (91.5 per cent of respondents)

  • national school qualifications (88.4 per cent)

  • standard tertiary entrance requirements across Australia (85.9 per cent)

  • standard national curriculum (83.3 per cent)

  • standard school starting age across Australia (66.5 per cent), and

  • standard leaving age across Australia (61.0 per cent).(32)

In research about the reporting of student and school achievement conducted for the then Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs in 2000, parents identified their preferences for school reports. They included:
  • a 'fair and honest' assessment, in plain language, of the progress of their children

  • objective standards that they can use to determine their children's attainment and rate of progress. Many parents specifically asked for information that would enable them to compare their children's progress with other students or with agreed state/territory-wide or national standards

  • interpretative and constructive reporting and not just simple statements of achievement levels

  • more comprehensible reports

  • more appropriate timing of reports

  • reports that are tailored to their individual children, and

  • the detection and prompt reporting of learning and behavioural problems.(33)

With regard to broader issues, concern about the increasing rates of childhood obesity and lack of physical activity, and their implications for the future health and well-being of the population, are well documented. According to one report obesity and overweight affect about 23 per cent of Australian children and adolescents with 6 per cent being obese. There are also indications that these prevalence rates doubled from 1985 to 1997. Obese children are not only at greater risk of a range of medical conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, but also their social and psychological well-being are affected. The decline in physical activity is a contributory factor.(34) The condition that schools must have two hours of physical activity for students each week is a direct response to these concerns. It is part of the Government s Building a Healthy, Active Australia initiative.(35)

While there is clear justification for these new conditions, there is no indication how these conditions will impact on such matters as state and territory autonomy in schooling; current curriculum and administrative practice; and the practical and resource implications of implementing these decisions.(36) A number of the new conditions, such as those relating to increased autonomy and responsibility for school principals, could be viewed as the Commonwealth engaging in an unprecedented level of micromanagement of schooling. Small and isolated schools may be particularly pressured given their resource disadvantages. With regard to the practicality of monitoring the implementation of some of the conditions, the Senate committee inquiry into Commonwealth funding for schools held earlier this year was informed that schools will not be routinely checked for flagpoles.(37)

A number of the new conditions relate to decisions and processes already agreed to and put in place by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA).(38) For instance, at its July 2003 meeting MCEETYA members endorsed the development of the Statements of Learning and approved as the first step the development of a Statement of Learning for English. The same meeting also agreed to explore the development of a common starting age with a 2010 target commencement date.(39) By mandating conditions of funding related to these and similar matters it could be argued that the Bill pre-empts the outcomes of MCEETYA agreements and its investigative processes.

The new conditions have also raised concerns about the ambit of the Minister s discretion to include whatever conditions are deemed appropriate in relation to Commonwealth financial assistance for schooling (per subclause 16(2), subclause 23(2) and clause 33 of the bill). The requirement that all schools have a flagpole is one condition for funding that will be authorised in this way.(40)

These new conditions for funding may also need to be considered in the context of reports that attest to the pressures that schools face, including problems of a crowded curriculum in the face of growing administrative demands. Typical of these reports is the government s own recent report about primary school resources: (41)

It is difficult for schools to teach all of the learning areas in the National Goals statement within a regular school week. (p. v)

The outcomes approach and associated demands for increased assessment and reporting have put pressure on school staff. (p. vi)

many teachers in the study reported feeling under intense pressure because there is not enough time in the school day to accomplish the myriad of outcomes. (p. 59)

A major source of the pressure felt by principals and teachers is the mandatory curriculum and assessment framework. These frameworks, which were meant to ease the pressures on teachers by clarifying the outcomes that all students should achieve, have had the reverse effect. Teachers in most states report that they have amplified the amount of work expected of them in ways that actually undermine quality teaching and learning. Over-specification of the outcomes leads to a fragmentation of the curriculum and recording and reporting requirements are thought by many teachers to be excessive. (p. 65)

Consequences if the bill is not passed

For DEST to make its first scheduled payments to schools for 2005, due in January, the bill has to be passed before the end of the year. If the bill is not passed the funds will not be available to make this first payment. The timing in any event will be tight because the funding agreements between the Commonwealth Government and each education authority (government and non-government) have to be signed before the payments can be made.

The passage of the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Bill 2004 will also be affected if the bill is not passed. Its commencement date is contingent on the bill being passed.

Main Provisions

These main provisions relate to the bill s major changes to Commonwealth funding for schools as discussed in this Bills Digest.

Clauses 14 to 21 include the new conditions that the state and territory governments have to meet to receive Commonwealth funding for schools. Clause 19 lists the reports which the state and territory governments have to provide to the Minister to demonstrate that they have met these and other pre-existing conditions for funding.

Subclause 16(2) and clause 33 provide that the agreements for funding with government and non-government school authorities may include any other conditions or provisions that the Minister thinks appropriate. Subclause 23(2) provides similarly for government school community organisations.

Clauses 22 to 29 provide for the conditions of grants for approved government school community organisations.

Clauses 31 to 38 include the new conditions that the non-government school authorities have to meet to receive Commonwealth funding for schools. Clause 36 lists the reports which the state and territory governments have to provide to the Minister to demonstrate that they have met these and other pre-existing conditions for funding.

Subclause 69(2) provides for capital assistance to approved government school community organisations.

Clauses 73, 74, 75 and 76 provide rules for identifying whether non-government schools will receive general recurrent funding in accordance with their current SES score, maintained year 2000 funding, year 2004 funding maintenance arrangements (for Catholic systemic schools) or guaranteed year 2004 SES funding.

Clauses 78 to 81 authorise payments for general recurrent expenditure for
non-government schools that are funded according to their current SES score and provide the formulae for calculating funding for a school s primary and secondary students for a program year.

Clauses 82 to 85 authorise payments for general recurrent expenditure for
non-government schools that are funded according to maintained year 2000 funding and provide the formulae for calculating funding for a school s primary and secondary students for a program year.

Clauses 86 to 88 authorise payments for general recurrent expenditure for Catholic systemic schools that are funded according to maintained year 2004 funding and provide the formulae for calculating funding for a school s primary and secondary students for a program year.

Clauses 89 to 92 authorises payment for general recurrent expenditure for
non-government schools that are funded according to guaranteed year 2004 SES funding and provide the formulae for calculating funding for a school s primary and secondary students for a program year.

Clause 100 authorises payment of, and sets out the formula for, other grants to non-government rural student hostels.

Clauses 115 to 120 provide for the LNSLN Programme, empower the Minister to authorise payments under each of the Programme s elements and provide details of the funding arrangements for each of the elements.

Column 3 of Schedule 3 provides the funding amounts for capital infrastructure grants to government school communities for each of the program years 2005 to 2008.

Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 4 provide the primary and secondary per student funding rates for each of the program years 2005 to 2008 for those non-government schools funded according to their current SES score.

Parts 3 and 4 of Schedule 4 provide the primary and secondary per student funding rates for each of the program years 2005 to 2008 for those non-government schools funded according to maintained year 2000 funding.(42)

Column 3 of Schedule 5 provides the funding amounts for capital infrastructure grants to non-government school communities for each of the program years 2005 to 2008.

Schedule 6 provides the funding amounts for other grants for non-government rural student hostels for each of the program years 2005 to 2008.

Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 9 provide the funding amounts for each of the elements of the LNSLN Programme for the program years 2005 to 2008.

Endnotes

  1. The current Act will not be repealed by the Bill because it refers to provisions in the current Act.

  2. B. Nelson (Minister for Education, Science and Training), Learning together: achievement through choice and opportunity , Media Release, 11 May 2004.

  3. See the following election policy documents: Investing in our Schools: A Billion Dollar Investment in our School Infrastructure; and Investing in Stronger Regions, p. 13.

  4. For other financial information about Commonwealth Government funding for schools see Schools funding , in Parliamentary Library Briefing Book: Key Issues for the 41st Parliament, 2004, pp. 28 29.

  5. See, for example, B. Nelson (Minister for Education, Science and Training), Learning together: achievement through choice and opportunity , Media Release, 11 March 2004.

  6. According to information provided through Senate estimates hearings, the Government estimated that the funding increase over the 2001 to 2004 quadrennium would comprise 78 per cent indexation and supplementation, 13 per cent enrolment and beneficiary growth and 9 per cent new money. See answer to DETYA Question No. E434, Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business, and Education Legislation Committee, 2000 2001 Additional Estimates Hearing.

  7. See, for instance, Nelson, op. cit., 11 March 2004.

  8. As estimated in the Howard Government s election policy document, Investing in Stronger Regions.

  9. Nelson, op. cit., 11 May 2004.

  10. J. Howard (Prime Minister) and B. Nelson (Minister for Education, Science and Training), The Australian Government s agenda for schools: achievement through choice and opportunity, media release, Parliament House, Canberra, 22 June 2004.

  11. For an explanation of the Commonwealth Government's system of general recurrent funding for schools see M. Harrington, Commonwealth General Recurrent Grants for Schools A Brief Explanation, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, [2004].

  12. From 2001 to 2004 Catholic school systems are funded at 56.2 per cent of Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC), except for the ACT Catholic system which is funded at 51.2 per cent.

  13. According to the answer to DEST Question No. E132-05, Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, and Education Legislation Committee, 2004 2005 Budget Estimates Hearing, in 2005 the number of non-government schools funded according to the various categories will be:

    SES funded schools

    Independent 665

    Catholic systemic 635
    Funding maintained schools Independent 226 (Year 2000 base level) Catholic systemic 976 (Year 2004 base level)
    Funding guaranteed Independent 100  

     

  14. The submission from the Blue Gum Community School to the Senate committee inquiry into schools funding reflects the inequities that can result from the mix of arrangements for non-government schools funding.

  15. Investing in Stronger Regions, p. 13.

  16. Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee, Education of Students with Disabilities, the Committee, Canberra, 2002.

  17. T. M. Doyle, [Submission to the Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee Inquiry into the Education of Students with Disabilities], National Catholic Education Commission, Canberra, 2002.

  18. See, for example, J. Buckingham, Independents get short shrift on disability funding , Australian, 28 June 2004.

  19. Department of Education, Science and Training, Taking Stock: Report of the Survey of Non-Government Schools Infrastructure in Australia 2000/2001, DEST, Canberra, 2002.

  20. B. Nelson (Minister for Education, Science and Training), $1.5 billion boost to help build and upgrade our children s schools , Media Release, 11 May 2004.

  21. See, for instance, op. cit., Department of Education, Science and Training; J. Calvert, School rot , Herald Sun,19 April 2004; and G. Noonan, Students and teachers work in sub-standard rooms: report , Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2002, (for more detail see Chapter 6 of the Second Final Report of the Vinson Inquiry into the Provision of Education in New South Wales).

  22. See K. Fisher, Design for learning in the knowledge age , Educare News, no. 137, 2003, pp. 15 17 and S. Holden, Schools by design , Educare News, no. 137, 2003, pp. 6 8, 10 14.

  23. J. Baird and B. Delaney, Parents prop up schools with millions , Sydney Morning Herald, 30 July 2001.

  24. For example, see School architecture can make a difference , The Practising Administrator, vol. 25, no. 1, 2003, p. 2, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Building performance: an empirical assessment of the relationship between schools capital investment and pupil performance , Research Report (Great Britain. Department for Education and Employment), no. 407, 2003.

  25. Brendan Nelson, Minister for Education, Science and Training, 'Second reading speech: Schools Assistance (Learning Together Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Bill 2004', House of Representatives, Debates, 17 November 2004, p. 5.

  26. B. Nelson (Minister for Education, Science and Training), 1 billion capital funding boost for schools , Media Release, 25 November 2004.

  27. For further detail about the conditions see Howard and Nelson, op. cit.

  28. ibid.

  29. See election policy document The Coalition s Plan for Higher Standards and Values in Schools.

  30. Department of Education, Science and Training, Parents and Community Members Attitudes to Schooling, DEST, Canberra, 2003, p. 9.

  31. ibid., p. 10.

  32. ibid., p. v.

  33. P. Cuttance and S. Stokes, Reporting on Student and School Achievement, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Canberra, 2000.

  34. E. B. Waters and L. A. Baur, Childhood obesity: modernity s scourge , Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 178, no. 9, 5 May 2003, pp. 422 432. See also P. Zimmet, From fat and flabby to fit and fabulous , Australian, 30 June 2004.

  35. J. Howard, (Prime Minister), Building a healthy, active Australia , Media Release, 29 June 2004.

  36. For instance, South Australia does not have mandatory times for physical education preferring instead to encourage schools to incorporate the Active for Life program in the curriculum in ways appropriate to local school needs.

  37. A.Contractor, Few schools in pole position , Sydney Morning Herald, 28 July 2004. For the Senate committee report see Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee, Commonwealth Funding for Schools, 2004.

  38. MCEETYA s membership comprises State, Territory, Commonwealth Government and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for the portfolios of education, employment, training and youth affairs. Its functions include coordination of strategic policy at the national level, negotiation and development of national agreements on shared objectives and interests (including principles for Commonwealth Government/State relations), negotiations on scope and format of national reporting on areas of responsibility, sharing of information and collaborative use of resources towards agreed objectives and priorities, and coordination of communication with, and collaboration between, related national structures.

  39. Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, Joint Communiqu , 15th MCEETYA Meeting, 10 11 July 2003.

  40. The requirement for every school to have a flagpole is not specifically mentioned in the Bill. It will appear in the agreements that each school authority must sign to receive Commonwealth funding.

  41. M. Angus and others, The Sufficiency of Resources for Australian Primary Schools, DEST, Canberra, 2004.

  42. For funding levels for non-government schools funded according to maintained year 2004 funding arrangements or guaranteed year 2004 funding arrangements refer to column 6 in each of the tables in Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 4 of the current Act.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Marilyn Harrington
29 November 2004
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared to support the work of the Australian Parliament using information available at the time of production. The views expressed do not reflect an official position of the Information and Research Service, nor do they constitute professional legal opinion.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 2004

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Parliamentary Library, 2004.

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