Legislation to ensure funding for Indigenous students and students with disability
- Minister for Education
- Leader of the House
Legislation that will clear the way for an extra $6.8 million to flow to non-government schools that have large numbers of Indigenous boarding students from remote areas was introduced into the Australian Parliament today.
Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said that, if passed by the Parliament, the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2014 will also protect $2.4 million for students with disability.
“This Government is committed to making sure every Australian child has the opportunity to reach their potential through a great education, that’s why we’re investing a record $64.5 billion in schools over the next four years,” Mr Pyne said.
“We are particularly focussed on ensuring Indigenous students in remote locations receive support to overcome the extra challenges they face when attending boarding schools and get a life-shaping education.”
The extra costs of providing boarding and tuition to cater for the additional needs of some Indigenous students has been raised by many schools and confirmed by the findings of an independent review.
“That’s why, under the Bill I introduce today, more funding will be available to schools that currently have more than 50 Indigenous boarding students from remote or very remote Australia, or where more than 50 per cent of their boarders are Indigenous and from remote or very remote Australia.
“The funding will help them boost school attendance and student engagement.”
Mr Pyne said the Bill will also prevent a sudden drop in funding from 2015 for some schools that cater for students with disability.
“Under the arrangements put in place by the previous Government some independent special schools and special assistance schools would have had their funding reduced from 1 January next year,” Mr Pyne said.
“If passed by the Parliament, this Bill will provide certainty for these schools and their students, protecting about $2.4 million in 2015 and allowing them to move towards the student resourcing standard over time, consistent with other schools.”
Minister Pyne said the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2014 delivers sound administration and extra funding that will contribute to the Australian Government’s Students First approach.
Under this approach, the Australian Government is working with the states and territories to focus on the following four areas to make a difference to students:
• teacher quality
• principal autonomy
• engaging parents in education
• strengthening the curriculum.