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Independent Schools Welcome Clarification of Future Funding Arrangements

The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) congratulates the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, for moving quickly to clarify future funding arrangements for Independent schools. The Government today announced the phased introduction of a new model for calculating government funding for non-government schools which creates the foundation for a fair and reasonable resolution of the current funding issues.

The extension of 2018 funding arrangements to 2019 by Minister Tehan provides immediate certainty for schools planning for the new year, while allowing time for further work to be undertaken on the complex technical issues involved in implementing the new methodology.

ISCA thanks the Minister for engaging with the Independent sector in a timely, open and constructive way, building on the work of his predecessor to ensure suitable funding for 2019 and beyond.

Many Independent schools could, over the long term, face significant changes in government funding, and for this reason ISCA supports the announcement of transitional measures that will help form the basis for a long-term funding model that is sector-blind and focused on the needs of students.

Of particular note is the decision to allow schools transitioning up to their full SRS entitlement to do so by 2023, while schools transitioning down to 80% of their Commonwealth SRS will have an extended transition to 2029 to assist them in managing the challenges that the changes will bring.

Also of note is the announcement of the Choice and Affordability Fund which will allow the Independent sector the flexibility to support disadvantaged school communities such as families affected by drought, including boarding students, and students in regional and remote areas.

In addition, ISCA acknowledges the Government’s commitment to review the new funding arrangements in 2027 and further to review the indexation arrangements of the SRS by 2023 to ensure that funding keeps up with costs.

The Independent sector appreciates the Government’s ongoing support for parental choice. ISCA recognises that there is much more work to be done to enable the full implementation of the new methodology, to be phased in over ten years, and the Independent sector will continue to work closely with the Government and the Department of Education and Training on this important work.

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