Independent Schools Welcome the ALP’s Commitment to Education Choice
23 November 2017
Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) today welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) commitments to provide extra infrastructure funding for independent school communities and to maintain existing stable recurrent funding arrangements for the sector.
In a response letter to the independent schooling sector’s election priorities, Education Minister Kate Jones confirmed that a re-elected ALP government would provide $52.65 million in supplementary capital funding to independent schools over the next three years while maintaining Capital Assistance and External Infrastructure funding.
The Minister also reaffirmed the ALP’s ongoing commitment to maintaining school choice for Queensland families.
“The Palaszczuk Government will always support independent schools as important partners in education. Our government remains committed to supporting choice for Queensland parents and we value the ongoing contribution of the independent schooling sector to Queensland’s education system,” Ms Jones wrote.
ISQ Executive Director David Robertson welcomed the ALP’s support for independent schools and its recognition of the significant costs independent school communities and their parents face to maintain and upgrade facilities.
“While parents will always be the primary funders of new and upgraded buildings in Queensland independent schools, the Palaszczuk Government has provided much-needed supplementary capital support to independent school communities,” he said.
Mr Robertson said future planning was a key area of concern for the independent sector with Queensland’s school-age population projected to increase by 263,000 students by 2036.
“A recent ISQ commissioned research report revealed the independent schooling sector will need 21 new Prep-Year 12 schools and 825 extra classrooms in existing schools to accommodate 46,600 of these extra students to maintain existing levels of school choice for Queensland families,” he said.
“Independent schools welcome Labor’s enhanced commitment to school infrastructure investment and its confirmation that existing recurrent funding arrangements for independent schools will be maintained.”
“This stability and certainty of future funding support will be well received by independent schools, particularly as they work through the impacts of new federal funding arrangements to commence from January 2018.”
“Independent schools look forward to working with Queensland’s next state government and the state and Catholic education sectors to further enhance education outcomes for all students.”
A copy of the ALP’s response letter to ISQ’s 2017 State Election Statement can be found on ISQ’s dedicated state election web page. Responses from other political parties as well as education polices released to date are also listed.
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