Catholic schools provide a high quality, affordable education choice for Queensland families. Our schools work in partnership with government to ensure students achieve the best possible learning outcomes.
Prior to the Queensland state election on 25 November 2017 QCEC wrote to the ALP, LNP, One Nation, Katter’s Australian Party and The Greens seeking responses to eight key priorities for Catholic education in the term of government.
QCEC thanks those parties that took the time to respond to our priorities that aim to ensure Catholic schools can continue to deliver the best possible outcomes for all students in high quality learning environments.
The parties’ responses are outlined below:
|Recurrent funding||Continued support for the existing basket nexus funding mechanism according to current conventions. As the Federal funding position becomes clearer the ALP will work with QCEC to ensure recurrent support for Queensland Catholic Schools is maintained.||Supports the existing funding mechanism for Catholic schools. Will work with the non-government sector, the Commonwealth Government and the community to ensure the sector is not disadvantaged by future funding agreements between the state and Commonwealth.||Will advocate for retention at current levels.||No response||No response|
|Capital funding - schools||Will commit to continuing to fund the Capital Assistance and External Infrastructure funding over the next three years under the current arrangement. Propose to provide $82.35 million supplementary capital over the next three years to support additional infrastructure in Catholic schools.||No plans to change the existing capital funding arrangements including the Capital Assistance Supplementary Scheme. Will re-introduce an independent Schools Planning Commission which would include representation from the Catholic sector.||Will advocate for and support.||No response||No response|
|Capital funding - kindergartens||Prepared to discuss a proposal over the next term regarding future funding arrangements for kindergarten facilities on non-state school sites.||Will work with the Catholic sector to determine how best to further develop more kindergartens on school sites.||Will advocate to allow funding for kindergarten collocation on school sites.||No response||No response|
|Teacher Capability Program||Acknowledge that funding was provided over five years to 2017-18. Welcomes the opportunity to discuss this funding in the context of the 2018-19 budget round.||Will work with all sectors to ensure the right mix of support for teachers and school leadership development. Funding to be considered in the 2018 budget process.||Will advocate for increased funding for teacher capability, especially in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.||No response||No response|
|Schools Renewal Program||Acknowledge QCEC's request for $30 million additional capital to support ageing infrastructure in Catholic schools. This year $54.4 million in capital support has been provided. Future capital support to be discussed as part of the 2018-19 budget round.||Will be considered through the normal budget process.||Will advocate for funding for essential maintenance and repair of schools, particularly in regional Queensland.||No response||No response|
|Solar Installation Project||Acknowledge the importance of schools as large users of energy, implementing alternative strategies to support the environment and mitigate sector cost. Prepared to work with QCEC to explore options to access discounts that may be derived from the State Government's $97 million program to support energy efficiency in state schools.||Will be considered through the normal budget process.||Lower power prices and build coal fired capability in North Queensland.||No response||No response|
|Parent Engagement||Will continue to support Catholic parents in Queensland by maintaining existing $83,000 per annum funding to the P&F Federation. Believe that parental engagement is critical to achieving improved outcomes in all schools.||Acknowledges the important role of parents and families in student learning any additional funding to be considered in the budget process.||This is the role of the school, not Government.||No response||No response|
|Remote Teacher Housing||Acknowledge QCEC's request for additional funding to support new and refurbished teacher housing in rural and remote Queensland. This request sits beyond the current capital funding arrangements. Cannot assist with this request at this time..||Will work with the Catholic sector to ensure Catholic schools can attract and retain teachers in remote locations.||Support through increased funding and encourage liaison with Education Queensland to deliver under existing teacher housing arrangements.||No response||No response|
Find out more about the key issues facing Queensland Catholic schools in Queensland Election 2017 – Priorities in Catholic Education
Some of the high priorities for Catholic schools moving forward are:
Catholic schools in Queensland receive funding to pay for teaching and learning costs from a number of sources. The main funding sources for Catholic schools are the Australian Government, parents and community, and the Queensland Government. In 2016 Catholic schools received, on average, just under 85 per cent of the total average government annual funding per student received by government schools.
Catholic schools need the continued support of all political parties through a commitment to increasing combined recurrent and targeted program funding at least in line with Consumer Price Index rises and in a way that reflects growth in enrolments and changes in need.
Over the next 20 years the number of students in Catholic schools is expected to grow by nearly 50,000. That means planning now for the development of new schools in high growth areas as well as the expansion of many existing schools.
From 2018-2021 the Catholic sector expects to start work on 12 new schools and continue construction of 29 part-built projects.
To ensure this building can take place, the Catholic sector needs politicians to commit to continuing the Capital Assistance Supplementary Scheme which has provided extra support to help the sector meet growing demand and alleviate pressure on other sectors.
Currently there are 25 Catholic kindergartens in Queensland but to ensure the best start for all our youngest learners and improve access to kindergarten we need more schools to be able to include a kindergarten on their campuses.
Working in partnership with government, the Catholic sector hopes to build up to 40 new kindergartens over the next four years as we move towards universal access to kindergarten learning.
Over four years, almost 16,000 staff have participated in programs aimed at improving skills, better understanding student learning needs and developing the leaders of tomorrow’s schools.
Outcomes from this program include:
Funding for this vital program needs to be maintained so our schools can continue to improve teaching and learning outcomes. See why the program is so important here.
Find out more about the Teacher Capability Program here.