Since the announcement of the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, many NSW non-government schools have been uneasy about whether they may inadvertently breach Section 83C of the Education Act if required to make a funding contribution (Funding Contribution) under the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act (2018) (Cth).
From 11 October 2019, the Education Regulation 2017 (NSW) was amended to allow non-government schools to make redress payments without contravening Section 83C provided they can demonstrate that they did not use government financial assistance to make a Funding Contribution.
The new Regulation 10A provides as follows:
“10A School does not operate for profit because of funding contributions to National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
- For the purposes of section 83C(3) of the Act, a non-government school is not taken to operate for profit because of a funding contribution made by or on behalf of the school to the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, if the school demonstrates, to the Minister’s satisfaction, that the funding contribution does not comprise any money provided by the Minister as financial assistance in respect of the school.
- For the purposes of this clause, a funding contribution means a funding contribution for a participating non-government institution under the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 of the Commonwealth.”
As a result, a non-government school which is required to make a Funding Contribution will not be in breach of S83C so long as the funds used to make that Funding Contribution do not include any government funding. Non-government schools should be careful to keep clear records in respect of the source of funds used to make a Funding Contribution.