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Government Funding Supports Growth in Special Needs Students in Queensland’s Independent Schools

The growth in students with disability and disengaged youth in Queensland’s independent schools rightly attracts additional funding for these special-needs students.

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said the Productivity Commission’s 2019 Report on Government Services in the school education sector, released today, reflects the increase in enrolment numbers in the independent sector.

“It is not surprising that public funding for non-government schools has grown at a faster rate than for public schools since 2012. This reflects the continuing increase in enrolments in independent schools serving low to middle socio-economic communities and the significant increases in the number of students in independent schools with special needs,” Mr Robertson said.

“In Queensland, the number of students with disability enrolled in independent schools has more than doubled since 2012 while the number of Indigenous students has increased by nearly 2,500 to more than 4,000. The Queensland independent sector is also catering for an additional 1,500 students in Special and Special Assistance Schools since 2012. Rightly these students attract higher levels of public funding, as do students from low socio-economic areas.”

The report, compiled from published and unpublished government statistical and budget data, confirmed Queensland state school students attract $17,414 each in recurrent taxpayer funding from state and federal governments compared with $10,977 in taxpayer funds for each non-state school student.

Queensland non-state school students attract $6,437 a year less than students in state schools. Parents are charged tuition fees to cover the shortfall in the cost of educating students at not-for-profit independent schools.

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