Changes to board fees for regional residential student colleges

From 2020 non-government schools will no longer pay more for their students to board at residential student colleges in regional WA.

Education Minister Sue Ellery announced this change, and the positive effects it will have on education.

Previously, students who attended regional non government schools had access to residential colleges. A number of financial agreements requiring non government schools to purchase beds at the colleges and/or pay annual maintenance levies, with these costs passed onto parents.

Ms Ellery said the residential colleges provide a safe and caring environment for all students.

“Parents in regional locations value highly the opportunity to place their children in regional boarding facilities, rather than having to send them to Perth. Sending children to Perth results in a loss of income to the regions and exacerbates family separation,” said Ms Ellery.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education conducted a review of the financial arrangements.

The review found regional parents value the opportunity to place their children in regional boarding facilities and the additional costs to non-government school students to board is influential in parents deciding to send their children to Perth.

Agricultural Region MLC Darren West said this is a great outcome for families living in regional WA.

“These changes will mean a reduced cost for families, students being closer to home and families being able to have more frequent contact with their children,” he said.

Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham also affirmed this decision, saying these changes will create a more equitable system for all students, regardless of what school they attend.

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