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New Funding Package Enables Independent Schools to Plan with Certainty

Independent Schools Queensland says the school funding package announced by the Australian Government today provides vital short-term funding certainty for independent schools and also outlines a roadmap for the future.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said the funding package would now enable Queensland independent schools to make time-critical decisions about 2019 school arrangements.

Mr Robertson said the 10-year phased introduction of a new model for calculating government funding for non-government schools provided the foundation for future Australian Government funding for independent schools.

“The flexibility that has been built into this funding package through its transition options and extended timeframes will provide some relief and assurance to independent schools, particularly those serving drought-stricken communities,” he said.

“With 58 percent of Queensland now drought-declared, many families are doing it very tough. Independent schools located in these regional and remote areas, as well as boarding schools serving students from farming families, needed immediate funding certainty and an undertaking that future changes to the funding model would be rigorously tested to ensure they were not unfairly disadvantaged.”

Mr Robertson said the new funding package gave schools more time to transition to their funding entitlements.

“Schools that are transitioning up to their Commonwealth share of funding will do so by 2023, while those that are coming down will have until 2029. This will give those schools and their communities more time to adjust, which will ensure their sustainability. These transition arrangements will also be supported by an independent school sector support fund,” he said.

“ISQ thanks new Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan for his open and constructive approach to resolving future school funding arrangements for non-government schools.”

Mr Robertson said ISQ would work closely with the Australian Government and its national representative body, the Independent Schools Council of Australia, on the technical detail of the new model.

“A number of issues need to be ironed out before the model can be fully implemented. These include accurately matching parental income data, particularly for regional and boarding families, to ensure schools are not unintentionally disadvantaged,” he said.

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