Moore MP Shane Love MLA has welcomed the government’s reduction of fees for non-government students attending Residential Colleges.
Education Minister Sue Ellery announced last week that following the review and consultation with the Isolated Children’s Parents Association (ICPA), the same fees would apply for students attending residential colleges from non-government schools as public schools from 2020.
Mr Love said the discrepancy in fees had been raised with him some years ago in relation to Geraldton Residential College (GRC) and he had on numerous occasions made representations to the Minister on the grounds that GRC needed to remain a financially attractive option to parents.
“Boarding fees for Geraldton Grammar School students attending Geraldton Residential College were not vastly different to private boarding school fees at Perth schools and we requested the Minister review the fee structure,” Mr Love said.
“To bypass schools in Geraldton defeats the purpose of having a regional boarding facility that had the benefit of a major refurbishment and increased bed capacity in 2015 with funding including $2.6 million Royalties for Regions funds.”
Mr Love said the decision made good financial sense given the residential college had ample capacity.
“This is a great result that keeps students in the regions and families living closer together” Mr Love said.
“Geraldton-based students have the opportunity to travel home at weekends and retain some connection with their families and their communities, an option that is not possible if these students were to relocate to Perth, a five hour drive away.”
Mr Love praised the efforts of the ICPA who had lobbied the government to review the college fee structure for students attending public and non-government schools.