Bills Digest no. 124 2009–10
Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment
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
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Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance)
Amendment Bill 2010
Date introduced: 4 February 2010
Commencement: 1 January 2010
relevant links to the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and second
reading speech can be accessed via BillsNet, which is at http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/.
When Bills have been passed they can be found at ComLaw, which is
The Indigenous Education
(Targeted Assistance) Amendment Bill 2010 (the Bill) amends the
Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000 (the
IETA Act) to increase appropriations for non-ABSTUDY payments by
$10.93 million over three overlapping eighteenth-month periods from
1 January 2010 to 30 June 2013. This additional appropriation is
the result of a 2009–10 budget measure which provided
additional funding of $10 million over four years for the Sporting
The proposed additional funding is actually a re-appropriation
of funds originally appropriated under Appropriation Act (No.
1) 2009–2010. Prior to the 2009–10 Budget, all
funding for the Sporting Chance Program was appropriated through
the IETA Act. In effect, by re-appropriating the additional
funding, all funding for the Sporting Chance Program will again be
combined under the one Act.
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Sporting Chance Program is part of a suite of Indigenous school
education programs that seek to improve the education, training and
employment outcomes of Indigenous school students. The program uses
sport and recreation activities as a means to enhance their
engagement in schooling. There are two elements to the program:
school-based sports academies for secondary students; and education
engagement strategies for primary and secondary school students.
These projects are implemented through providers working with
schools, education authorities, sporting bodies, businesses and
Introduced by the previous Government through a 2006–07
Budget measure, which provided $19.6 million over four years to 30
June 2010 to establish 20 sporting academies, the initiative was
inspired by the Clontarf
Foundation Football Academy (WA) established in January
2000. As part of
the Closing the Gap strategy to address Indigenous disadvantage, in
December 2008 the Government provided a further $10 million over
four years to expand the program.
The 2009–10 Budget committed further funding for the
program – $10 million over four years, $5 million of which is
directed towards establishing 10 new sports-based academies, with a
particular focus on improving the participation and engagement of
girls; and $5 million to the Former Origin Greats to establish
academies with a focus on rugby league in Queensland and New South
Wales. This budget
measure’s focus on girls accords with the findings of a
recent performance audit of the program which raised concerns about
the low level of female participation in the program.
In total, the Government will be providing $42 million over four
years, 2009 to 2012, for the Sporting Chance Program. In 2010, this
funding will support 22 organisations delivering 59 projects (54
school-based sports academies for about 5000 students and five
education engagement projects for another 5000 students).
This continuing government support can be seen as testament to
the success of the program:
The Sporting Chance Program is delivering
strong results for Indigenous students, particularly in remote and
rural areas. Attendance rates are starting to climb and are, on
average, better than attendance rates for Indigenous students not
involved in the program.
Data collected from projects in 2009 indicates
that the average attendance rate for academy students was 79 per
cent. The average rate for all Indigenous students in the schools
the projects were in was 73 per cent.
More than half of the academy students were
reported by the schools to be improving their school performance
and many were also reported to have made significant gains in their
self-esteem and behaviour.
The underlying rationale for the Sporting Chance Program, and
other Indigenous education assistance programs, is to redress the
ongoing disparity between the educational outcomes of Indigenous
and non-Indigenous students.
In 2007 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to
six targets for ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous
and non-Indigenous Australians, including, in relation to
- to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements
for Indigenous children within a decade and
- to halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 attainment
or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.
These targets were formalised in the
National Indigenous Reform Agreement (Closing the
Gap), agreed to by COAG in October 2008.
The COAG target is to halve each of the 2008 gaps in Year 3, 5,
7 and 9 reading, writing and numeracy achievement between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous students by 2018.
The latest national literacy and numeracy assessment results
indicate the significant gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
student achievement. Generally, these gaps widen for older students
and, as reported elsewhere in the results, they also widen in
provincial and remote areas.
Assessment Program: literacy and numeracy results, 2009
Indigenous and non-Indigenous students
achieving at or above the national minimum standard
in reading, writing and numeracy (%)
2009 National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy:
Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and
Numeracy, Ministerial Council for Education, Early
Childhood Development and Youth Affairs, 2009.
As the Prime Minister’s recent Closing the Gap
report noted, between 2008 and 2009, there was a slight reduction
in the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous literacy and
numeracy achievement for Years 3, 5 and 7, and a slight increase in
the gap for Year 9 reading.
The COAG target is to halve the 2006 Year 12 or equivalent
attainment rate gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
20–24 year olds by 2020. In 2006, 47.4 per cent of Indigenous
20–24 year olds had completed Year 12 or equivalent
qualifications, compared to 83.8 per cent for the corresponding
non-Indigenous age group.
Indigenous retention rates are improving. The apparent retention
rate from Year 7/8 to Year 12 improved from 40.1 per cent of
Indigenous students in 2006 to 46.5 per cent in 2008 – a 6.4
per cent increase. This compares to an apparent retention rate of
75.6 per cent for non-Indigenous students in 2008.
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The Bill proposes to increase the appropriation for
non-ABSTUDY payments under the IETA Act by $10.93 million over
three overlapping eighteen-month periods (1 January 2010 to
30 June 2013) from $481,068,000 to $491,992,000.
This increased appropriation is the result of a 2009–10
Budget measure which provided an additional $10 million over four
years for the Sporting Chance Program. Indexation accounts for the
difference between the $10.93 million and the original $10
The increased appropriation is actually a re-appropriation of
funds from Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2009–2010. The
re-appropriation of these funds will bring all appropriations for
the Sporting Chance Program under the one Act (the IETA Act).
Clause 2 of the Bill proposes a retrospective
commencement date of 1 January 2010. The reason for this is that
the Bill’s proposed additional appropriation is a
re-appropriation of funds that were originally appropriated under
Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2009–2010.
Items 1 to 3 of Schedule 1 to the Bill amend
the table in subsection 14B(1) of the IETA Act. That table sets out
appropriations for non-ABSTUDY payments for the 2009–2013
quadrennium. The effect of the proposed amendments is to increase
the appropriation for non-ABSTUDY payments under the IETA Act by
$10.93 million over three eighteen-month periods (1
January 2010 to 30 June 2013) from $481,068,000 to
3 March 2010
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