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Rural and Remote Education Access Program (RREAP) procedure

Version number 1.0 | Version effective 24 January 2022
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Rural and Remote Education Access Program (RREAP) procedure

Audience

Department-wide

Purpose

This procedure outlines the responsibilities and processes for the consistent management of Rural and Remote Education Access Program (RREAP) funding.

Overview

RREAP funding is available to support state schools, including special education schools and Schools of Distance Education, to improve the educational outcomes and opportunities for geographically isolated students. Eligible schools and clusters receive funding to support projects that:

  1. enhance their students' curriculum opportunities by providing access to services and programs supporting specific learning areas that cannot be sourced locally or incur additional costs compared to urban school communities;
  2. supplement their school’s access to information and communication technologies by extending the department’s existing equipment and software provisions; and
  3. provide professional development to their staff and capability building opportunities for school community members to contribute towards improved educational outcomes for geographically isolated students.

Eligible schools access RREAP funding through appropriation payments made directly to their school and to their cluster every semester (February for Semester 1 and July for Semester 2). Clusters receive additional funds once a year in September to support professional development and capability building cluster activities. Schools and clusters do not need to apply for RREAP funding. Entitlements are automatically calculated and paid each year.

Eligibility

Eligibility is based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Australian Statistical Geography Standard –Remoteness Area (ASGS-RA) classification. Schools classified as ‘Very Remote’ and ‘Remote’ are eligible for RREAP funding. ‘Outer Regional’ schools are eligible if they are 90km or more from an urban centre locality of 20,000 people or more. All Schools of Distance Education (SDEs) are classified as ‘Very Remote’ for the purposes of RREAP, with funding provided to SDEs based on their student’s home address meeting the geographic criteria above.

ASGS-RA classifications and urban centre localities are reviewed following the Australian Census (every five years) and may impact on RREAP funding eligibility.

Responsibilities

Principals

  • ensure RREAP funds are used to support the improvement of educational outcomes and opportunities for state school students who are disadvantaged because of their geographical isolation
  • expend funds on projects that provide: curriculum enhancement opportunities to students; supplementary access to Information, Communication and Technology; and professional development and capability building
  • undertake consultation with the P&C or parents of children attending the school and local community members, including Traditional Owners and other key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, regarding how to best expend funds
  • include RREAP as a standing agenda item at P&C meetings or as a part of the Principal's report
  • participate in the RREAP School Cluster Committee (SCC) providing feedback to the SCC on proposed projects obtained from consultation with the school community
  • ensure all projects are implemented in line with all relevant policies and procedures including the department's Managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure
  • maintain clearly identifiable records of all RREAP expenses and record all relevant approvals in line with the department’s Information asset and recordkeeping procedure
  • use the nominated OneSchool Revenue cost centre (Cost Centre 1097) to which funds are appropriated and OneSchool Expenditure cost centre (Cost Centre 2080) for recording RREAP expenses
  • ensure that a plan is in place to expend all RREAP funds and minimise unspent funds each year
  • ensure all expenditure complies with the department’s Purchasing and procurement procedure
  • seek advice from regional finance teams, supervisors or RREAP@qed.qld.gov.au as required.

School Cluster Committee (SCC) host school principals

  • convene periodic SCC meetings with their respective RREAP cluster to collaborate, plan, budget and report on RREAP expenditure
  • provide opportunities for all members to contribute to decision making regarding the use of cluster funds
  • maintain clearly identifiable records of all RREAP cluster expenses and record all relevant approvals in line with the department’s Information asset and recordkeeping procedure
  • ensure all revenue and expenditure relating to cluster funds are processed through an Administered Cluster cost centre (Cost Centre grouping 6000**)
  • ensure that a plan is in place to expend all RREAP cluster funds and minimise unspent funds each year
  • email RREAP@qed.qld.gov.au to advise of SCC host school changes with endorsement from relevant principals
  • seek advice from regional finance teams or RREAP@qed.qld.gov.au as required.

School Cluster Committees (SCC)

  • ensure cluster funds are used to support the improvement of educational outcomes and opportunities for state school students who are disadvantaged because of their geographical isolation
  • expend cluster funds on projects that provide: curriculum enhancement opportunities to students; supplementary access to Information, Communication and Technology; and professional development and capability building
  • ensure that a plan is in place to expend all RREAP cluster funds and minimise unspent funds each year.

P&Cs or parents of children attending the school and local community members

  • actively engage with principals during consultation regarding how best to expend RREAP funds
  • offer their experience, support, intellectual and physical resources to improve students’ learning outcomes
  • comply with all relevant contractual conditions for services provided to schools as part of RREAP projects.

Managers, Financial Advisory Services

  • liaise with, support and provide advice to Principals and Business Managers regarding the use of RREAP school and cluster funds
  • promote the appropriate use of RREAP funds and maintenance of clearly identifiable financial records and assist with processing and accounting for separate individual school and cluster funds
  • assist schools in providing evidence of RREAP expenditure to Rural and Remote, State Schools Division if requested.

Strategy and Performance

  • identify schools in RREAP locations and their student count
  • identify the number of full-time students enrolled in Schools of Distance Education who live in RREAP locations
  • share data with Rural and Remote, State Schools Division.

Rural and Remote, State Schools Division

  • define an appropriate annual budget and calculate entitlements for eligible schools based on remoteness classifications and enrolments
  • distribute funds as per the RREAP appropriation profile in line with the Payments to State Schools Framework
  • ensure requests for SCC host school or cluster membership changes are reflected in subsequent payments
  • provide advice to Principals and regional staff concerning the use of RREAP funds and school eligibility as required
  • review RREAP Expenditure cost centre (Cost Centre 2080) and Administered Cluster cost centre (Cost Centre grouping 6000**) reports in OneSchool each semester
  • meet with RREAP regional contacts each semester to discuss school use of funding.

Process

1. Calculate school entitlements

Identify eligible schools and students

  • Strategy and Performance to identify eligible schools based on the Eligibility criteria above
  • Upon request, Strategy and Performance to provide Rural and Remote, State Schools Division with Day 20 student census data identifying:
    • student count for eligible RREAP schools
    • full‑time students enrolled in Schools of Distance Education (SDE) whose home address is in an eligible location, based on the Eligibility criteria above.

Calculate entitlements

  • Rural and Remote to calculate school entitlements by applying the funding formula to Day 20 student census enrolment data.

2. Distribute funds

  • Rural and Remote to approve appropriation payments (Specified Items category) to eligible schools' accounts in line with the department’s Financial Delegations Matrix (DoE employees only) for:
    • semester 1 payments to individual schools and clusters in February
    • semester 2 payments to individual schools and clusters in July
    • professional development payments to clusters in September
  • Finance Branch to process payments via the School Appropriation Payments Application (SAPA).

3. Expend funds

Plan RREAP projects

  • Principals to undertake consultation with P&Cs or parents of children attending the school and local community members, including Traditional Owners and other key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, regarding how best to expend RREAP funds
  • Schools to use funds to support the improvement of educational outcomes and opportunities for state school students who are disadvantaged because of their geographical isolation
  • Schools to document RREAP projects with clear links to the RREAP focus areas of:
    • access to curriculum enhancement opportunities for students (access to services and programs supporting specific learning areas that cannot be sourced locally or incur additional costs compared to urban school communities);
    • supplementary access to Information, Communication and Technology (ICT projects that enrich high quality teaching and learning extending beyond the department’s existing equipment and software provisions); and
    • professional development to staff and capability building opportunities for school community members to contribute towards improved educational outcomes for geographically isolated students.

Deliver RREAP

Maintain records of RREAP expenditure

  • Schools to maintain clearly identifiable records using the nominated OneSchool Revenue cost centre (Cost Centre 1097) and Expenditure cost centre (Cost Centre 2080) for recording RREAP expenses
  • SCC host school principals to use an Administered Cluster cost centre (Cost Centre grouping 6000**) to clearly separate RREAP cluster expenditure
  • Schools to record all relevant expenditure approvals in line with the department’s Information asset and recordkeeping procedure
  • Schools and SCCs to ensure funds are expended in the year they are received and, if required, a plan is in place to expend unspent funds in the following year.

4. Share outcomes

  • Principals to share RREAP project outcomes, including cluster projects, with P&Cs or parents of children attending the school and local community members
  • Rural and Remote to review RREAP Expenditure cost centre (Cost Centre 2080) and Administered Cluster cost centre (Cost Centre grouping 6000**) reports in OneSchool each semester and share with the Assistant Director‑General, State Schools – Rural, Remote and International.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Parent

Means a person who meets the definition of parent in Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (s.10).

Professional Development (PD) funds

Funding provided to School Cluster Committee host schools to organise professional development for cluster staff and capability building opportunities for school community members to contribute towards improved educational outcomes for geographically isolated students.

School Cluster

A group of schools in a similar geographic location or group of schools that share a similar education delivery format.

School Cluster Committee (SCC)

Principals from each school in their respective RREAP cluster. Principals represent their school, P&C or parents of children attending the school and local community members at their SCC.

School Cluster Committee host school

A school nominated to receive RREAP funds on behalf of the cluster and administer joint school projects in consultation with the SCC.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

Other resources

Policies and procedures

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

Nil

Review date

24 January 2025
Attribution CC BY
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