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Division 2: Education assistance for children at the posting location

15.6.7 Purpose

The purpose of this Division is to help with the additional education costs of a child attending school at the member's posting location overseas.

15.6.8 Member this Division applies to

This Division applies to a member who has a dependant, who is a child attending any of these levels of school at the posting location.

  1. Pre-school.

  2. Primary school.

  3. Secondary school.

15.6.9 Benchmark schools at posting locations

  1. A benchmark school at the member's posting location provides a 'benchmark' for the amount of education assistance provided.

  2. The compulsory tuition fees levied by the benchmark school set the maximum amount of assistance available at the posting location.

  3. Exception 1: A member who is directed to live in the District of Columbia.

    See: Subsection 15.6.10.1A, Education assistance benefit – general

    Exception 2: The CDF has decided under subsection 15.6.10.1B that a suitable primary or secondary benchmark school is not available at the posting location.

    See: Subsection 15.6.10.1B, Education assistance benefit – general

  4. Members are not required to send their children to benchmark schools. They may choose schools that charge fees above or below the benchmark level. Benchmark schools provide a fee benchmark. The Commonwealth does not endorse them.

  5. A list of benchmark schools is provided in Annex 15.6.A, Benchmark schools.

  6. Correspondence schools operated by an Australian government body are also treated as benchmark schools. This is when no suitable school is available at the posting location and the child uses correspondence school for education.

  7. The benchmark school provides as closely as possible an equivalent Australian standard of education at a reasonable cost. These are the general assessment criteria for including a benchmark school in Annex 15.6.A.

    1. The basis on which the school charges fees, and the level of its fees.

    2. The school's educational curriculum.

    3. The standard of tuition at the school.

    4. The school's ability to provide for the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of Australian children.

    5. The language that the school teaches in.

    6. The extent to which other educational institutions recognise qualifications from the school for entry to higher stages of education.

    7. The access to student places at the school.

    8. The extent to which the school complies with relevant laws on the operation of schools at the location.

    9. Any other factor relevant to the suitability of the school for Australian children.

15.6.10 Child leaves Australia to study at posting location

  1. This section applies to a member for whom all of the following apply.

    1. The member has a dependant who is a child who stayed in Australia to study despite the member being posted overseas.

    2. After the member commenced their posting overseas, the child left Australia to study at the member's overseas posting location.

    3. The member has received assistance for the child's study in Australia.

  2. The member is not eligible for education assistance for the child's study at the overseas post for any period they have received assistance for the child's study in Australia.

  3. The member may be reimbursed a maximum yearly amount equal to the relevant contribution amount under subsection 15.6.25.1, table item 1.

    Example: A member made a contribution towards compulsory tuition fees of $90 for one school term (70 days). The member's child left the school to join the member at the overseas posting location after 21 days of the school term. The child was therefore away from the school in Australia for 49 days of the period the contribution covered. The amount payable is as follows:

    49/70 x $90 = $63

    The member may be reimbursed $63.

  4. After the period under subsection 2 has ended, the member is eligible for education assistance under this Division.

  5. Despite subsection 2, the CDF may decide that a member is eligible for benefits under this Division. The CDF must consider the cost to Defence.

Persons who can make the decision under paragraph 15.6.10.5.c on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
A person not below WO2/APS 5 who is authorised to manage Defence personnel administration at the overseas post.
Senior ADF Representative at the overseas post
A person working in the Pay and Administration Centre – Victoria who is:

  • Overseas Administration Team Leader
  • Pay and Administration Manager Specialist
  • Civilian and Overseas Pay and Administration Centre Manager
  • Director Pay and Administration Centre
Director of Attaché and Overseas Management

15.6.10A Member contribution

If a member receives the compulsory tuition fees benefit under section 15.6.10B, the member must pay the relevant annual contribution for their child's school level specified in the following table.

Member contribution
Item School level Annual contribution in AUD
1. Pre-school
481
2. Primary school
164
3. Secondary school
382

Note:The contribution amount represents the typical cost of attending government schools in Australia.

15.6.10B Compulsory tuition fees

  1. Compulsory tuition fees under this section may be reimbursed to the member or paid upfront by the Commonwealth to the provider.

  2. The amount of assistance towards compulsory tuition fees is set out in the following table.

  3. Example
    Item If the member's child attends... and.. the amount of assistance towards compulsory tuition fees is...

    1.

    a school at the member's posting location

    a benchmark school is provided under Annex 15.6.A for the posting location,

    the lesser of the following fees.
    a. The compulsory tuition fees charged by the child's school.

    b. The compulsory tuition fees levied by the benchmark school specified in Annex 15.6.A for the posting area.

    2.

    a pre-school in the USA

    the child will not turn five by 31 December in the current USA school year,

    the rate of compulsory tuition fees charged by the benchmark school for the child to attend part-time tuition for 15 hours per week.

    Note: The child may attend the school more than 15 hours per week. Assistance is limited to the amount charged for 15 hours per week.

    3.

    a primary or secondary school at the posting location

    the member has been directed to live in the District of Columbia, the lesser of the following amounts.
    1. The compulsory tuition fees charged by the child's school.
    2. USD 18,121.

    4.

    a primary or secondary school in the USA

    the CDF decides that a suitable benchmark school is not available at the member's posting location,

    5.

    a pre-school or kindergarten in the USA

    the CDF decides that a suitable benchmark school is not available at the member's posting location, the lesser of the following amounts.
    1. The compulsory tuition fees charged by the child's school.
    2. USD 6,799.

    15.6.10C Amount for initial enrolment

    1. A member is eligible for an amount equal to the amount charged by the school for the child's initial enrolment.

    2. The benefit under this section may be reimbursed to the member or paid upfront by the Commonwealth to the provider.

    15.6.11 School transport costs

    1. A member may be reimbursed the excess costs of school transport if the member meets the following conditions.

      1. The member's dependant, who is a child, travels to and from school by one of the following means.

        1. Public transport.

        2. Transport contracted by the school, but not levied by the school.

      2. School transport costs in paragraph a have exceeded AUD 368.90 in a 12 month period commencing on 1 March.

    2. The excess cost of school transport is calculated using the following formula.

    3. excess costs = costs – ((days ÷ 155) x 368.90)

      Where

      costs is the member's claimable school transport costs at the location in Australian dollars.

      Note: The exchange rate is the rate provided to Defence by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the payday prior to 1 March of the relevant year for the currency in which the member incurred the school transport costs.

      days is the number of days the member’s dependant attended school in the overseas location during the year. Do not count more than 155 days.

    4. For the purpose of subsection 2, claimable school transport costs are equal to the lesser of the following in AU Dollars.

      1. School transport costs that would be payable if the child attended a benchmark school.

      2. School transport costs paid by the member for the child.

      Example: The member's child attended school for 162 days between 1 March and the following 28 February.

      The member counts 155 days as this is the maximum number of days, any days over that figure are not counted.

      The member's school transport costs for the year were AUD 450.00.

      The formula to calculate the members excess school transport costs is as follows:

      excess costs = 450 – ((155 ÷ 155) x 368.90)

      The member may be reimbursed AUD 81.10.

    15.6.12 Compulsory examination fees

    The member may be required to pay fees for examinations for a child to complete primary or secondary school. In this case, the member is to be reimbursed the lesser of these amounts.

    1. The actual examination fees.

    2. The fees for similar examinations at a benchmark school at the child's education level.

    15.6.13 Foreign language tuition

    1. The member is to be reimbursed costs that the CDF approves as reasonable for foreign language tuition because the member's child must attend classes that do not use English as the teaching language.

      Example: A child attends a school where maths is not taught in English.

    2. If a recognised dependant with special needs communicates with a form of communication other than speech or writing and must attend classes where a different form of that communication is used, the member is to be reimbursed costs that the CDF considers reasonable for tuition in the new communication form.

      Example: Where a deaf child communicates using AUSLAN, the Australian form of sign language, and the location where they are posted uses AMASLAN, the American form of sign language, the child needs to receive tutoring in this new language to be able to communicate at their school in the posting location.

      See also: For foreign language training for a member's spouse or partner see Part 7.

    Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 15.6.13.1 and subsection 15.6.13.2 on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
    A person not below WO2/APS 5 who is authorised to manage Defence personnel administration at the overseas post.
    Senior ADF Representative at the overseas post
    A person working in the Pay and Administration Centre – Victoria who is:

    • Overseas Administration Team Leader
    • Pay and Administration Manager Specialist
    • Civilian and Overseas Pay and Administration Centre Manager
    • Director Pay and Administration Centre
    Director of Attaché and Overseas Management

    15.6.14 Remedial tuition

    1. The CDF may decide that a member can be reimbursed for extra costs associated with a child's remedial tuition. This section does not apply to foreign language tuition under section 15.6.13.

    2. The CDF must consider all these criteria.

      1. The child's education progress.

      2. The nature and cost of the tuition.

      3. The probable need for and cost of similar tuition in Australia.

      4. Whether the remedial tuition is necessary for the child to make reasonable progress at school, within the limits of their ability.

      5. Any other factor relevant to the child's educational progress.

    3. The member can be reimbursed for up to 200 hours' remedial tuition a year for a child.

    Persons who can make the decision under subsection 15.6.14.1 on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
    A person not below WO2/APS 5 who is authorised to manage Defence personnel administration at the overseas post.
    Senior ADF Representative at the overseas post
    A person working in the Pay and Administration Centre – Victoria who is:

    • Overseas Administration Team Leader
    • Pay and Administration Manager Specialist
    • Civilian and Overseas Pay and Administration Centre Manager
    • Director Pay and Administration Centre
    Director of Attaché and Overseas Management

    15.6.15 Summer school costs

    1. A member is eligible for the reimbursement of an amount equal to the amount charged by a provider for a child who is a dependant to attend an approved summer school, or summer camp, listed under Annex 15.6.B for the posting location.

      Exception: This section does not apply to summer camps in the USA, see Division 3 section 15.6.18.

    2. The benefit under this section is limited to either of the following periods.

      1. For approved summer schools in France — three weeks per year.

      2. For approved summer schools, or summer camps, in all other locations — four weeks per year.

    3. A member is not eligible to be reimbursed any of the following costs associated with summer school, or summer camp, incurred by the member, spouse, partner or child.

      1. Costs associated with stopovers, transport or travel.

      2. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals during travel to or from the school.

      3. Optional activities that incur extra costs.

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.




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