School cost of living relief for families

The Malinauskas Labor government is supporting families ahead of the return to school with a range of relief measures designed to help with cost-of-living pressures.

All families with children at government schools and who are required to pay the materials and services charge will benefit from a discount of $100 per child in 2023. The discount was first introduced in 2022, as part of the Malinauskas Government’s election commitment to support families – and it will automatically be applied to their school invoice.

Applications are also now open for the 2023 school card with families encouraged to apply at https://sa.gov.au/education/schoolcard.

The income limit has been lifted by about 6.4 per cent this year with hopes the school card will be more accessible for thousands of families.

If families aren’t eligible for the school card, they should reach out to their school who can help with assistance such as payment options and plans.

A new initiative to support Ukrainian refugees has also been extended, with families exempt from school fees in 2023. There are currently 42 students from Ukraine currently enrolled in South Australian Government schools. Afghan evacuees will also continue to have school fees waived in 2023.

Families who do not have access to internet at home, for the purpose of learning and studying, have also been provided internet solutions at no cost to families with 3,197 families already receiving it for this school year. The Department for Education is working towards ongoing internet access to all school card students.

By the end of Term 1, each student on a school card who needs a device in Years 10-12 will begin receiving one, such as a laptop, to help with their learning.

Other initiatives designed to support families include a free school bus services for students in rural areas who live more than 5 kilometres from their nearest Government School. At the start of 2023, there will be 428 school bus services operating, which will transport around 15,000 students to and from school free of charge.

This year, the State Government will continue to fund the preschool and school breakfast programs run by Kickstart for Kids and Foodbank SA – which were provided with extra funding in 2022.

The programs assist students to have a good start to their day, recognising that children who consume a healthy breakfast each day generally have improved learning outcomes. The breakfast programs continue to have strong demand and are highly valued, especially in disadvantaged communities.

Quotes

Attributable to Peter Malinauskas

We’re pleased to able to step in and provide help to families, some of whom we know are doing it tough at the moment, as costs rise across the board.

These measures provide a practical way to give parents some relief from some of those financial pressures.

This is a way in which we ease some of that financial pressure, particularly as we head into the new school year.

Attributable to Blair Boyer

A good education is the key to every child’s future – regardless of their ability or circumstances – and the assistance we’re providing across a range of programs will hopefully make it easier for families with school age children.

Back to school can sometimes be a difficult time for families, with parents juggling a range of expenses to prepare their children for the new school year.

We hope these cost of living initiatives will bring some reprieve for families so the focus can be on helping children settle into their new classrooms for 2023.

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