Western Australia

Education savings measures to help contribute to budget repair

A range of budget measures will be implemented by the WA Department of Education from 2019 in an effort to help fix the State’s finances.

The WA Government has been forced to review every program across every agency.

Consultation with students, parents, staff and the community will occur over the course of 2018, in advance of the changes coming into effect in 2019.

The changes announced will provide an estimated $64 million in savings across the forward estimates and affect around 170 positions.

Six camp school sites run by the Department of Education will close. These are not the core business of education and there are other government and commercial providers of similar services.

Schools of the Air (SOTA) will also close. The School of Isolated Distance Education (SIDE), which is the major provider of distance education for rural and regional students, will take over the provision of education services delivered by SOTA. This eliminates duplication.

The Department of Education will work with SOTA staff, students and families in 2018 to ensure SIDE offers the same quality education, including pastoral care services.

Tuart College will be repurposed and, while the site will be retained by the Department of Education, students will no longer be enrolled, with a decision to be made on its future use.

Program delivery at Canning College will change to deliver programs to overseas fee-paying students only, focusing on WA’s international education sector.

Funding for Landsdale Farm School will cease, with the intention of finding an alternate provider for this community resource.

Residential accommodation in Moora and Northam will close. Both have been underutilised for some time and, in the case of Moora, the completion of a new school nearby is likely to be the preferred option for local families.

Intake into the Level 3 classroom teacher program will be on hold until 2020.

Funding for Gifted and Talented programs at 18 schools will be reduced by 25 per cent.

Fees for vacation swimming lessons (VacSwim) will increase, after minimal changes to fees over the past 14 years.

Fees for a 10-day program will increase from $13.50 to $30, or $20 for families with a concession card.

The department will continue to review programs and some grants previously provided to external organisations will be reduced or cease.

Source: WA Government