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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 526 asked in the Legislative Council on 9 June 2020 by Hon Peter Collier

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 9 June 2020

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION — NON-GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS FUNDING ORDER

526. Hon PETER COLLIER to the Minister for Education and Training:

My question without notice is asked on behalf of Hon Nick Goiran, who is on urgent parliamentary business. I refer to the non-government schools funding order 2020, applicable from 1 January 2020.

(1) Did the minister make the order on 15 December 2019?

(2) What are the descriptors for each state funding category, A through to J?

(3) Will the minister table the document that sets out the criteria that must be met in order for any group to qualify for each category?

(4) Which of these categories do special education centres, special schools and the Telethon Speech and Hearing Centre fall under?

(5) If nil to any of (4), what is the basis and method of public funding for those students?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) Yes.

(2) The state funding categories can be generally described as follows: A, high-fee schools; B, C and D, mid to high-fee schools; E, mid-fee schools; F, low-fee schools; H, Curriculum and Reengagement in Education Schools—CARE schools; G and GA, very low fee, predominantly rural schools; I, remote sole-provider Aboriginal community schools; and J, agricultural schools.

(3) Funding categories for individual schools are historic. For independent schools being registered for the first time an appropriate funding category is determined primarily through an analysis of relative fee levels and a comparison with like schools. Mainstream Catholic schools are categorised at the system level, equivalent generally to category F. All new CARE schools automatically attract the category H rate. Existing schools can apply for funding re-categorisation by contacting the Department of Education.

(4) No schools are recognised or registered as either special education centres or special schools in the non-government school sector in Western Australia. Non-government schools that enrol students with special needs receive additional funding in the form of special education loadings to their general per capita funding and/or high support needs grants for students with the most significant needs. Special education loadings of 110 per cent, 210 per cent and 360 per cent are provided in addition to the base per capita rates for eligible students with mild, moderate or severe disabilities. The high support needs rate is provided for students with the most significant disabilities. All students enrolled at the Telethon Speech and Hearing Centre attract the HSN rate. The special funding arrangement to Telethon Speech and Hearing is longstanding and is the only one of its type in WA. The higher level of funding provided to the Telethon Speech and Hearing Centre reflects both the significant educational needs of students with speech and hearing issues and the commensurate costs borne by the Telethon Speech and Hearing Centre to support those students.

(5) Not applicable.