Commonwealth Funding for Independent Schools

This week I attended the National Consultative Group meeting of the Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) in Canberra, which included a meeting with the new Federal Minister for Education, The Hon Dan Tehan MP.

The Minister indicated that he is looking to ensure that we maintain a sector blind and equitable funding model. He advised that the final model for post 2018 funding had not yet been finalised, but recognised that schools were currently doing budgets for 2019 and that certainty was essential. 

We anticipate an announcement on funding in the next few days.  This is likely to reflect a transition to a parental income model, the details of which we understand are still being finalised.  With further work needed on that model it may be that it would not commence until 2022 with funding for 2019 – 2021 being a transitional period.  The political realities facing the Government strongly support the speculation in media coverage that funding in this transition period will be structured to eliminate or at least minimise the potential for ‘losers’.  Whether this extends to all schools winding back to the SRS targets or merely those who may be moving to those targets quicker than others is yet to be seen.

Importantly, the Minister advised that the Prime Minister has indicated to him the importance of parental choice. The Prime Minister felt that parents needed to be able to choose a school that reflected the family’s values and beliefs.

Mark Bensley
Executive Officer, Queensland Synod