DCO provides a range of services and resources for Defence children, to assist with the transition between schools and education systems when a member is posted within Australia, and to provide support for the unique needs of Defence students.
We recognise that some Defence children may experience disruption to their education each time they move for a posting. We have a range of services and resources on offer which work to assist with the transition between schools and education systems.
This support includes:
Choosing a school
With more than 900 public preschools and schools in South Australia, families have a wide range of education and care options. You child will usually be able to attend a public preschool or school near to where your family lives in South Australia.
Parents are able to send their children to the preschool or school of their choice, depending on available places. However keep in mind that some preschools and schools may need to limit the number of students they can take to a particular area or zone around the school.
To help you decide which school may be best suited for your child:
If you have a particular enquiry, contact the school your child is likely to attend for advice, or contact the Department of Education and Child Development at: firstname.lastname@example.org or free call 1800 088 158.
Regional Education Liaison Officers (REDLOs)
Regional Education Liaison Officers, or REDLOs, give education support to Defence families as they move around the country, providing information, advice, referral and specialised assistance.
Defence School Transition Aides (DSTAs) & Defence Transition Mentors (DTMs)
To minimise the impact of the mobile lifestyle on children’s education, DCO provides funding to schools with high numbers of enrolments of Defence children.
The Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA) Program provides funding to support schools engage a Defence School Transition Aide (DSTA) or Defence Transition Mentor (DTM) to minimise the impact of mobility on education and build the capability of the school to support Defence students particularly during transitions into and out of the school and during parental absences.
The aim of the DSTA Program is to facilitate the best possible educational outcome for children of Defence members through on-site, direct and flexible assistance to students, parents, teachers and other support services.
This program is a reflection of the commitment by Defence to support its members and their families and recognises the partnership between education authorities, Defence and schools.
The DSTA Program is funded annually and each allocation is determined by eligibility criteria which determine the amount of funding that each eligible school is entitled to. The criteria include the following:
Other factors which are considered:
DSTAs and DTMs are based within primary and secondary schools across Australia for the purpose of providing support to the children of mobile Defence families.
Aides and Mentors' activities include:
|Gleeson College||Golden Grove|
|Golden Grove High School||Golden Grove|
|Golden Grove Primary School||Golden Grove|
|Greenwith Primary School||Greenwith|
|Hewett Primary School||Hewett|
|Mawson Lakes School||Mawson Lakes|
|Pedare Christian College||Golden Grove|
|Playford Primary School||Craigmore|
|St Brigid's Catholic School||Evanston|
|Trinity College||Evanston South|
A range of financial support is available to help minimise disruption to schooling caused by posting within Australia. The aim is to provide the student with limited interim assistance to help overcome any immediate difficulties with the child’s education that occurs as a result of posting.
Defence may reimburse fees for educational services that a child’s school cannot provide. Students may be entitled to up to 14 weeks of tutoring in any subject that has been recommended by the school principal or the child’s teacher. This applies to primary and secondary students, within the first 18 months of commencing at the new school.
You may choose to have your child attend boarding school, so they do not have to relocate with you and disrupt their education. In this instance, where the child is in the critical years of schooling (years 9‑12), you may be entitled to financial assistance for the compulsory tuition fees and accommodation costs of the school.
If your dependant is studying at a tertiary institution, and their chosen course is not available in the new posting location, financial assistance may be available for accommodation costs for the dependant to live near or at the tertiary institution. This applies only to full time undergraduate students and is capped at a maximum of three years' assistance.
Practical assistance is available for dependants with special needs. This includes assessment, therapy, tuition and additional support where students had received these services in their old location and aren't able to access them at their new posting. Dependents with special needs may also be entitled to reimbursement of private schooling costs, if a special program is only available at a private school and it is critical for the child's educational progress.
If a student has to give up an education scholarship or bursary due to changing schools, Defence may pay their educational costs to the value of that scholarship.
If your child is studying at a location distant from your posting, you may access funds towards the child's travel expenses to come to your location for a reunion. The member must be eligible for education assistance, and depending on the type of education assistance the member is eligible for, the child will be entitled to one or more return journeys each calendar year.
For more information about this program, contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on1800 624 608, or consult your local REDLO.