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New Schools Funding Model Will be More Equitable and Transparent

26 May 2017

The Australian Government’s proposed new schools funding model will be more equitable and transparent and create a level playing field between schools, according to Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ).

In its submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee on the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017, ISQ outlines its support for the proposed funding reforms, while acknowledging the changes will pose challenges for some independent school communities.

“This Bill creates a fairer and more consistent national platform from which to apply the Australian Government’s $242 billion investment in Australian schools over the next 10 years,” ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said.

“No funding model is perfect, but a policy that’s applied consistently and fairly to all schools, without regard to their state or sector, and without fear or favour, is an improvement on the current arrangements and deserving of acknowledgement and support,” he said.

“Unwinding the existing multitude of funding agreements to create a level playing field resonates with school leaders and many within the broader community.”

Mr Robertson welcomed the Australian Government’s creation of a $40 million 10-year Transition Adjustment Fund and recommended that schools losing funding in 2018 should be considered for priority assistance where there might be unacceptable dislocation to their school community.

“ISQ will work with all Queensland independent schools to support them in the new transition arrangements,” he said.

Mr Robertson said the Bill tackled a number of inequities inherent in the current schools funding model.

He said the Bill also proposed a significantly new transition path and benchmark for non-government schools (80 percent Commonwealth share of loaded school funding entitlements), but also reinforced the Australian Government’s role as the main public funder of non-government schools.

“A key point that often gets lost in debates over schools funding is that State and Territory Governments provide the lion’s share of public funding for state schools, while non-government schools receive the majority of their public funding entitlement from the Commonwealth Government,” he said.

“The level of Australian Government support for independent schools is fully justified. By not taking up a fully-funded place at a state school in Queensland, children in independent schools save taxpayers in the order of $1 billion a year in both recurrent spending and building costs.”

ISQ’s submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee is available on the Committee’s website

Media contact: Justine Nolan M: 0428 612 315 E: jnolan@isq.qld.edu.au

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