Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Finance; Commerce; Women's Interests

    Education savings measures to help contribute to budget repair

    13/12/2017 12:45 PM
    • New savings measures to be introduced from the 2019 school year
    • Department of Education budget analysed line by line, program by program, to reduce duplication and determine where services could be provided more efficiently
    • Every effort has been made to minimise the impact on students
    • The previous Liberal National government left the State's finances in ruins forcing tough decisions to be made across government  

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


    The McGowan Government has been forced to review every program across every agency after the previous Liberal National government left the State Budget in ruins.


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


    The changes announced today 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.


    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:


    "When the dollars are stretched to the limit, the State Government - like every responsible business and household - has to do things differently.


    "This has not been easy, but tough decisions have had to be made to get WA's finances back on track to fix the mess left by the previous Liberal National government.


    "We've asked all parts of the community to help contribute to budget repair - the public sector, business, industry, individuals and families.


    "Unfortunately, the Liberals and Nationals blocked a reasonable change to the gold royalty rate, and chose to protect profitable gold miners from doing their bit. This has meant other parts of the community, like education, have been forced to shoulder more of the burden.


    "I understand this process is a difficult and challenging time, particularly for staff, and our biggest priority is to minimise any impact on students."


    Minister's office - 6552 5700