Catholic sector welcomes school infrastructure commitment

Queensland’s Catholic education sector has welcomed today’s funding commitment by the Australian Labor Party to provide additional funds for school capital projects including new schools.

The Catholic sector would share in $180 million of additional funding for the non-government sector.

Queensland Catholic Education Commission Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the promised funding would help the Catholic sector meet demand.

“Today’s announcement from the ALP supports choice in education for Queensland families,” Dr Perry said.

“Local communities make a considerable contribution to the cost of building Catholic schools but support from government is also essential.

“New schools are currently being planned and built in communities across the state including the Lockyer Valley, Mackay and Cairns,” she said.

Dr Perry said Catholic schools were looking to the major parties to commit to a range of other important promises for Catholic education.

“Most importantly in these challenging economic times we want to see a commitment to maintaining recurrent funding at its current percentage over the next term of government.

“Any reduction would mean increased costs for families, many of whom are already facing tough financial choices because of the pandemic.”

Dr Perry said the Catholic sector also wanted to partner with the incoming government to deliver more kindergarten places.

“We’ve identified up to 80 Catholic schools that could accommodate an onsite kindergarten, but the current funding arrangements don’t allow us to use government capital funding to build kindies.

“The early years are so important in preparing students for success later on and we want to find new ways to work with government to ensure more children have access to high quality kindergarten facilities.”

Dr Perry said student success was also strongly linked to family engagement in learning.

“We’re asking all parties to commit to providing a small amount of funding that would make a very big difference by supporting the development and implementation of family engagement strategies.

“We know these strategies work and help students to reach their full potential and we’re seeking the support of an incoming government to help us implement these strategies more broadly,” she said.