Guest Blog: Helping parents with school costs - Minister for Education and Training, Dr Chris Bourke

chrisbourke

The issue of increasing school expenses for parents in the colder months has recently popped up with an article in the Canberra Times (‘Children frozen out of schooling’, 5/7/2012).

While there isn’t the data to suggest that the recent freezing weather is increasing the number of students absent from excursions and other school activities as  suggested, the article did touch on the issue of whether school students and their parents are aware of the support services available at schools.

If ever parents need assistance with any school-related expenses they should approach their local school and principal. Our government schools, non-government schools and the Canberra Institute of Technology  have access to a range of bursary schemes and support services that can help parents and students.

Parents and students should know that if they are having problems they should be talking with school staff about accessing either the Secondary Bursary Scheme that supports government and non-government high school families or the Student Support Fund which is maintained in all government schools.

There are also the specific equity programs run by schools in low socio-economic areas through Student Equity Fund, which they may be able to access.

Additionally, all government schools have a policy of not excluding children from excursions if expenses become an issue. On any excursion or activity permission sheet where there are expenses involved there should be option to access some sort of bursary or subsidy.

For information on other services provided by the ACT Government that can help students and familes jump on the Canberra Concessions website: http://www.assistance.act.gov.au/

And remember if you’re ever having trouble with meeting education expenses, just contact your child’s school.

Chris.