As a regulator and funder
The Department influences the education of all students in Western Australia. We enact this indirectly for non‑government school education through regulation and funding of Catholic and independent schools.
Approximately one‑third of Western Australian students (162,556) were enrolled in 314 non‑government schools in 2023. For further enrolment information, refer to Appendix 1.
We ensured the School Curriculum and Standards Authority and Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia were provided with secretariat services to support their functions.
- Non-government school regulation and funding, and home education
- Providing secretariat services and support
Non-government school regulation
We regulated independent schools, and audited and reviewed the regulation of Catholic schools against the:
- School Education Act 1999 (WA)
- registration standards set by the Minister
- Minister’s system agreement with Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA)
- policies adopted by the Director General.
We maintained procedural safeguards to ensure our regulatory functions are transparent, and that regulatory and delivery functions are appropriately separated.
The Director General assessed compliance of non‑government schools with the registration standards and other requirements. In 2022–23, the Director General approved:
- 1 new non‑government school
- 31 registration renewals
- 28 registration changes.
We provided secretariat services to the Minister’s Non‑Government Schools Planning Advisory Panel and to the Non‑Government School Registration Advisory Panel.
Non-government school funding
We allocated funding to Catholic and independent schools based on a formula approved by the Minister.
Funding was allocated on a per student basis in accordance with the requirements of the National School Reform Agreement. The annual non‑government schools funding order and guidelines were issued by the Minister and set out funding amounts, and accountability and eligibility requirements.
The main sources of funding for non‑government schools were Australian Government grants, state government grants, and tuition fees paid by parents.
In 2022–23, we allocated almost $434 million in recurrent financial assistance for 158,351 students in non‑government schools (almost $437 million for 154,914 students in 2021–22). This amount included $36.5 million to support students with special educational needs ($34.0 million in 2021–22).
We allocated over $6.0 million to CEWA and the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA) to administer the state government’s Non‑Government School Psychology Service (almost $5.4 million in 2021–22). The additional funding is being provided following a state government election commitment to increase the provision of psychological services in schools.
We also allocated just over $1.1 million to CEWA and AISWA to support the re‑engagement of students at educational risk, and $181,000 to the Australian Music Examinations Board (WA).
Through the Low Interest Loan Scheme, there were 310 active loans for non‑government schools and The University of Notre Dame Australia with an outstanding balance of $397.9 million (Table 4). Of the $48.4 million advanced in 2022–23, $33.7 million was for new works and $14.7 million was for works in progress (Table 5).
Table 4: Low interest loans summary 2020–21 to 2022–23
|Number of active low interest loans
Source: Education Business Services
Table 5: Low interest loans nature of works summary 2020–21 to 2022–23
|Works in progress
Source: Education Business Services
Further information about the provision of per capita grant funding to non‑government schools is on our website. This includes financial assistance provided to individual schools in 2022–23 and a list of schools that received loans.
We are responsible for registering home educators, and evaluating home education programs and children’s educational progress. In 2022–23, we provided an average of 42.1 full‑time equivalent home education moderators and administrative staff to meet this commitment. For the number of students registered to receive home education, refer to Table A11.
School curriculum and standards
We provided services and support to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority through a service level agreement to ensure it delivered its functions of:
- developing and maintaining the Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum and syllabuses
- assessments, examinations, reporting and certification
- monitoring and reporting on standards of student achievement
- expansion of the provision of the Western Australian curriculum Kindergarten to Year 10 and the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) offshore.
We maintained internal systems and processes that ensured the Authority received independent advice and support from our staff, and that the data it collected and managed were protected.
As an independent statutory body with its functions prescribed in the School Curriculum and Standards Authority Act 1997 (WA), the Authority tables its own annual report in the Western Australian Parliament.
We provided support services to the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia, including to register teachers and accredit initial teacher education programs. We maintained internal processes and systems that ensured the Board received independent advice and support from our staff; the data it collected and managed were protected; and investigations were procedurally fair and remained confidential, with the best interests of children the paramount consideration.
The scheme of teacher registration administered by the Board is designed to ensure that persons registered are suitably qualified, suitably proficient in English and are fit and proper.
As an independent statutory body with its functions prescribed in the Teacher Registration Act 2012 (WA), the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia produces its own annual report, which is included in this report.
The Department’s annual report includes key performance indicators and budget matters related to the Board.
Non‑government schools planning
We provided secretariat support to the Minister’s Non‑Government Schools Planning Advisory Panel. The panel provided advice to the Minister on 10 planning proposals seeking advance determination to establish a non‑government school or to make a significant registration change.
Non‑government school registration
We provided secretariat services to the Non‑Government School Registration Advisory Panel. Non‑government school bodies may seek reviews of decisions by the Department or the Minister about registration of non‑government schools. The panel reports to the Minister with its recommendations. There were no requests for a review in 2022–23.
We provided secretariat services to the Western Australian Higher Education Council, chaired by the Minister and comprising the vice‑chancellors of Western Australia’s 5 universities. The council met 2 times in 2022–23 on matters of mutual interest between the universities and the state government.
Priority matters included:
- the review of Western Australia’s public university sector
- alternative university entry pathways and uptake of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)
- the supply of teachers and school psychologists
- the Australian Universities Accord.
Rural and remote education
We provided secretariat services to the Rural and Remote Education Advisory Council. The council comprises key education stakeholders and community representatives to address priority issues for rural and remote education and is chaired by Ms Jodie Hanns MLA.