The National Catholic Education Commission says Tuesday’s federal Budget provides little certainty for parents "seeking an affordable Catholic education".
Despite Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s promises that the Turnbull Government will respond to the Independent Report of the Review into the Socio-economic Status Score methodology from the National School Resourcing Board later this year, the NCEC said the Budget lacked detail on how the government intends to address this and other “landmark” education reviews it has received this year.
NCEC’s acting executive director Ray Collins said the key issue for the Catholic sector is the inequity in the current funding model for non-government schools and the negative impact it is particularly having on Catholic schools.
“Whilst Minister Birmingham has indicated that he is awaiting the report from the National School Resourcing Board on the SES, there needs to be a significant boost to school funding across the board for all sectors if the vision for quality schools across Australia is to be achieved,” Mr Collins said.
“Our continued efforts in communicating our concerns to the minister certainly haven’t been reflected in this Budget,” he said. “Parents seeking an affordable Catholic education for their children will have little certainty from this Budget.”
Mr Collins said he was surprised at how little funding was allocated to the recommendations from the Halsey Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education.
“All the recommendations this report made in relation to school education, including the provision of experienced teachers and principals to rural and remote schools, have not attracted any funding in this Budget,” Mr Collins said.
“The focus has been on post school opportunities for students, but nothing to support the important school years that enable the young people of these areas to access tertiary education.”
Mr Collins said one aspect of the Budget that will please principals and school communities is the continuation of the National School Chaplaincy Program.
Federal budget 2018: Catholic backlash builds over funding concerns (The Australian)