Education Minister Nikki Kaye today attended the Annual Conference of the Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS), where she signed a historical $20 million property funding agreement.
“This funding is being provided under Budget 2017, and recognises retrospective property-related costs incurred by state integrated schools as a result of past education policy changes,” says Ms Kaye.
State integrated schools offer education with a special character, either religious or philosophical in nature. The land and property of these schools is privately owned, but they receive some government funding towards maintaining and modernising school buildings.
“This full and final agreement recognises that in the past, state integrated schools have incurred additional property-related costs not covered by the government funding they’ve received,” says Ms Kaye.
“An example of a policy change that potentially led to extra costs being incurred was the introduction of guidelines on recommended space allocation, which could have impacted on the standard of property that state integrated schools were required to provide.
“The funding of $20 million is allocated over two years and will be provided to APIS to distribute to individual proprietors, who intend to use the funding for purposes such as carrying out structural improvements and upgrading schools. It’s important that we have safe buildings across the school network.
“More than 20 schools are expected to benefit from this funding.”
At this morning’s conference, Ms Kaye also spoke to proprietors about her vision for education and the key part that state integrated schools play within the wider sector.
“State integrated schools hold a special place in our education system. By providing education of a special character, they support choice and diversity for students and their families,” says Ms Kaye.
“I’d like to acknowledge APIS for the positive way they engaged with the Ministry of Education regarding the terms of this agreement.”
Around 89,000 students or roughly 11 per cent of our student population are educated in state integrated schools.