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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 Education assistance benefit – general

  1. This subsection applies to a member with a child who attends school at the member's posting location for which a benchmark school has been provided under Annex 15.6.A. The member may be reimbursed the lesser of the following.

    1. The compulsory tuition fees paid for the child to attend school at the posting location.

    2. The compulsory tuition fees levied by a benchmark school in the posting area.

    3. Exception: The member's child attends pre-school in the USA, but will not turn five by 31 December in the current school year. The amount is the compulsory tuition fees levied by the benchmark school at the rate of five half days a week.

  2. 1A.    This subsection applies to a member who is directed to live in the District of Columbia with a child attending primary or secondary school at the posting location. All the following conditions apply.

    1. The benchmark school for 'USA, elsewhere', under Annex 15.6.A, does not apply to a member whose child attends primary or secondary school.

    2. Note: Annex 15.6.A does apply to a member whose child attends pre-school/kindergarten.

      See: Annex 15.6.A, benchmark schools

    3. The member may be reimbursed the lesser of the following amounts a year.

      1. The compulsory tuition fees paid for the child to attend school at the posting location.

      2. The amount of USD 18,121.

      Note: The reimbursable amount is instead of and not in addition to the amount reimbursable for the benchmark school for 'USA, elsewhere'.

    1B.    This subsection applies to a member who is posted to the USA. The CDF may decide that a suitable benchmark school is not available at a member's posting location. A member whose child attends a school at the posting location and pays compulsory tuition fees may be reimbursed the lesser of the two amounts each year.

    Education benefit
    Item If the child attends... then the member may be reimbursed the lesser of the following amounts...
    1. Pre-school/Kindergarten
    1. The compulsory tuition fees; or
    2. The amount of USD 6,799.
    2. Primary school
    1. The compulsory tuition fees; or
    2. The amount of USD 18,121.
    3. Secondary school

    Note: The reimbursable amount is instead of, and not in addition to, the amount reimbursable for the benchmark school for 'USA, elsewhere'.

    See: Annex 15.6.A, Benchmark schools

    Persons who can make the decision under subsection 15.6.10.1B on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
    First Assistant Secretary International Policy Division

  3. The member may elect that the payment described in subsection 1 be paid directly to the child's school as an up-front payment.

  4. Members must contribute an amount representing the typical cost of attending government schools in Australia. Annual contribution amounts are listed in this table.

    Annual contribution
    Item School level Annual contribution in AUD
    1. Pre-school 465
    2. Primary school 159
    3. Secondary school 370
  5. Additional costs may be reimbursed, as outlined this table.

    Additional education costs
    Item Additional education costs See:
    1. School transport Section 15.6.11
    2. Compulsory examination fees Section 15.6.12
    3. Foreign language tuition Section 15.6.13
    4. Remedial tuition Section 15.6.14
    5. Summer school costs Section 15.6.15
    6. Other special situations
    1. Division 3, Additional assistance for children overseas – USA
    2. Division 4, Education assistance for children overseas – special circumstances
  6. This subsection applies to a member whose child begins study in Australia, then leaves to study at the member's overseas posting location. The following conditions apply.

    1. 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.

      Exception: The member may be reimbursed a maximum yearly amount equal to the relevant contribution amount under subsection 3.

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

    3. Despite paragraph a, the CDF may decide that a member is eligible for education assistance. The CDF must consider the cost to Defence.

      Example: A member accepts a posting overseas. The member's child stays with his grandmother in Australia and attends a government school. The Commonwealth pays the child's yearly compulsory tuition fees. The child moves to the overseas post because he misses his parents and attends a benchmark school there. The CDF decides to provide education assistance for the study at the benchmark school because the annual government compulsory tuition fees in Australia, paid by the Commonwealth, were minimal. This is despite the fact the period for which the Commonwealth had paid fees for the Australian school had not yet ended.

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

15.6.11 School transport costs

  1. A member is eligible to be reimbursed for the costs of the child travelling to and from school. The reimbursement for school transport costs can be made for these types of travel.

    1. Public transport.

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

    Note: The payment is to reimburse for the excess costs of school transport at the overseas location. It is based on the cost of an annual school bus fare in Canberra.

  2. The benefit is an amount equal to the lesser of the following fares.

    1. Fares that would be payable if the child attended a benchmark school.

    2. Fares paid by the member for the child.

  3. The member is required to make a contribution towards their child's school transport costs claimed under this Part. The maximum amount claimable in one year is AUD 352.60.

  4. The following table provides a method to calculate the amount a member may be reimbursed.

Contribution calculation
Step Action
1. Count the number of school days for the child at the location in the year. The year starts on March 1 and ends on the following 28 February, or 29 February in a leap year. Do not count more than 158.
2. Divide the outcome of Step 1 by 158.
3. Multiply the outcome of Step 2 by the maximum amount claimable in subsection 3 to calculate the member contribution amount.
4. Calculate the school transport costs for the member's child at the location. Multiply it by the exchange rate to convert it into AUD.
5. Subtract the member contribution (the outcome of Step 3) from school transport costs for the member's child (the outcome of Step 4).
6. The member may be paid the outcome of Step 5 if it is more than zero.

Note: The exchange rate is the rate provided to Defence by DFAT for the payday prior to 1 March of the relevant year for the currency in which the member incurred the school transport cost.

Example: The child attended school for 162 days.
The member counts 158 days and divides it by 158 as described in Step 2, giving a result of 1.
As 158 days is the maximum number of days, anything over that is not counted.
The outcome of Step 3 is AUD 352.60 multiplied by 1.
The member paid AUD 400.00 for the yearly school transport costs in the overseas location. The member's payment is calculated as AUD 400.00 minus the AUD 352.60 member contribution amount. The member may be reimbursed AUD 47.40.

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 to be reimbursed for their child to attend an approved summer school.

  2. Approved summer schools are listed in Annex 15.6.B, Approved summer schools.

  3. Reimbursement for attending summer school is available for these periods.

    1. Three weeks, if in France, or

    2. Four weeks, for all other locations.

  4. A member is not to be reimbursed for summer school costs in any of these situations.

    1. Their child is not eligible for education assistance under this Division.

    2. There is no approved summer school at the posting location.

    3. Their child attends a summer school that is not on the approved summer school list.

    4. The child attends school in Australia, and only lives with the member during a reunion visit.

  5. The following additional arrangements apply to Enforex in Spain.

    1. Members may only be reimbursed for costs of the Enforex Day Camp Summer Program in their posting location.

    2. Costs for optional sports will not be reimbursed.

    Related Information: More summer school conditions for the USA are at section 15.6.18, USA – summer camps

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




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