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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 456 asked in the Legislative Council on 9 May 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

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

Answered on

EDUCATION — INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

456. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:

Minister, I have omitted a key word from my question. When I insert it, I will let the minister know.

I refer to the Turnbull government's implementation of a new visa in 2016 enabling—I will insert ''international''—primary school students —

Hon Sue Ellery: I knew what the member meant.

Hon CHARLES SMITH: Yes; very good—and their guardians access to Australian schools, and the recent marketing of Australia's school system at roadshows across China.

(1) Has the minister been consulted by the commonwealth on these roadshows?

(2) Are Western Australian schools ready for an influx of international students?

(3) Does the minister concede that education standards will very likely be damaged by having non–English speaking students littered across Western Australia's classrooms, as we have recently witnessed with universities?

(4) How many international students are currently enrolled in WA?

(5) How many stage 1 English as an additional language or dialect students are currently enrolled in government schools?

(6) What were the total fees made from international students in WA schools in the last year?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

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

Primary school students have been able to come to Australia for schooling for many years. Prior to 1 July 2016, the schools sector visa, subclass 571, enabled school-age students to enrol in public schools. This visa was replaced by the student visa, subclass 500, in 2016.

(1) No. These are routine events. The McGowan government also promotes WA education overseas.

(2) Schools have enrolled international students for many years. Public schools can consider enrolling international students when all local students have been accommodated and there is existing space. The Department of Education has a plan to increase the number of international students in WA schools to support the McGowan government's international education strategy.

(3) Not at all. Standards are set by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. These are monitored and moderated and will continue to be. SCSA has ensured no diminution in education standards to date as a result of international students, and that will continue. All international students are assessed for their English language competence and enter into an appropriate English language program prior to commencing mainstream schooling. Ongoing English language support is provided. Every opportunity is provided to enable students to be successful.

(4) As at the semester 1 2019 census, 624 international students were enrolled in Western Australian public schools.

(5) As at the semester 1 2019 census, there were 11 108 such students. Not all are classed as international students.

(6) In 2018, a total of $13 633 751 was collected from international students enrolled in Western Australian public schools. After taking into account administrative costs, this money is distributed back to schools to cover the cost of their education.

Madam President, I would not normally do this but we have a disallowance debate underway, so I am going to ask that the business of the house be resumed.