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Funding changes welcomed

Schools

Changes to Commonwealth funding for non-government schools have been welcomed by the Catholic education sector.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last week that the Government had accepted all the recommendations of the National School Resourcing Board’s Review of the socio-economic status score, released in July. He said the new method for calculating school funding would make the education system fairer and more equitable.

“Commonwealth funding for non-government schools will be linked to parental income from 2020 using improved data collection and analysis that will ensure non-government school funding is targeted at the students who need it most,” Mr Morrison said.

“A vibrant, fairly funded non-government school sector ensures parents retain the choice of where to send their kids to school. The non-government system provides an alternative which improves standards and competition across the board, while also alleviating pressure on the state system.”

Catholic Education SA director Neil McGoran joined the National Catholic Education Commission and Catholic education leaders from other states in welcoming the announcement.

“The 2017 funding model threatened the future of low-fee, faith-based schools in remote and higher socio-economic status (SES) areas. It meant that many families would not have been able to afford to continue the education of their children at their school of choice,” Dr McGoran said.

“The SES methodology was flawed because it assumed all families living in the same suburb were equally wealthy, which is not the case. The reality is low-fee schools draw a higher proportion of students from lower income families and therefore need more funding support.

“The new funding arrangements will reassess the socio-economic status (SES) of parents at non-government schools in a more accurate way. This is good news – not only for families with students in Catholic schools – but for all South Australian low-fee non-government schools.

“It’s important for Australia to have a strong government school sector and an affordable non-government schools sector working side by side to educate our students.”

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