Queensland Catholic schools applaud new funding deal

The Queensland Catholic Education Commission has welcomed today’s announcement of a revised funding package for Catholic schools.

QCEC Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the federal government had listened to the concerns of the Catholic sector over the funding system introduced by the Turnbull government last year.

“Today’s announcement means that all schools, including the 304 Catholic schools in Queensland, will have a fairer system that will deliver them funding certainty,” Dr Perry said.

“A fair system for all schools is all we have ever sought.  Critically, the revised funding package introduces a fairer schools-based transition arrangement, which we have long argued for.

“It means Queensland Catholic schools transitioning down to a new funding level will be able to do so over a 10-year period, just like independent schools in the same position.

“QCEC has been adamant that these fairer transition arrangements needed to be part of the funding package and we are pleased to see the Government has finally agreed.

Dr Perry said the new direct income measure of socio-economic status, being implemented as a result of the Chaney Review, addresses the flaws in the current methodology.

“The Catholic sector has long identified that the current SES methodology isn’t an accurate way to assess the capacity of school communities to contribute to the cost of education,” she said.

“We see the new measure as a positive change.”

Additional aspects of the funding package include fairer transition arrangements for 2019 which recognise that schools need time to adjust and implement the Chaney Review recommendations and increased funding for life of the agreement between 2020 and 2029.

“The changes announced by the Government recognise the Catholic sector’s legitimate concerns about the funding package introduced last year,” Dr Perry said

“The sector has been working closely with the Federal Government for many months to find a resolution to the funding impasse.

“Our discussions have been ongoing and carried out at many levels. We are pleased that today they have resulted in a fairer model for all schools, regardless of sector or location.

“I thank Minister Dan Tehan for working to find a swift resolution to these important issues for our sector.

“We look forward to these changes delivering funding certainty and stability to our schools.”