FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Budget, Funding and NAPLAN
The news this week has been dominated by the Federal Budget, and Education Funding has again been in the spotlight. It has always been my practice as a school administrator to not engage in political debate within our school community so I will stay clear of the politics, though I clearly follow policy development with great interest, given the potential impact on our operations. This week’s budget announcement regarding Federal Government Funding for Public and Private schooling is significant, not only because it provides, if passed into legislation, a level of certainty about funding levels for schools over the next 10 years which we have not had previously, but it also reflects an intent by the current government to tidy up all the inconsistencies and special deals that have been done over the past several decades, to endeavour to provide a needs based funding model for all schools in Australia. If achieved, this would be a great step forward for our country.
It does frustrate me that the facts regarding Government Funding, particularly to the Private Sector, are often misrepresented by the media as they report on the various political lobby groups, with independent schools often being portrayed as the enemy. The reality is that Public and Private schools (which includes the Catholic sector) carry a shared responsibility in the education of Australia’s children and all have their place. Public schools are operated and largely funded by State Governments, with a smaller Commonwealth contribution, while private schools like ours are provided with the bulk of their funding from the Commonwealth government – so ignore any comparisons you may see between federal funding for Public and Private schools – it is just plain misleading. The highest need private schools – determined largely by the socio-economic status of their community - will only ever receive a maximum of 80% of the funding received by an equivalent public school, with this figure tapering off to 20% for the least needy schools. Our education system reflects a policy of choice – evidenced by your choice as parents to send your children to CCAS, with schools differentiated by philosophy, culture, educational practice and programs. By the way, we are glad you have chosen our school and hope that we are continuing to meet your expectations, while continuing to improve the quality of our program.
The budget announcements for school funding are a positive development for CCAS. Although they only represent a modest net increase in funding, we value the certainty that these announcements have the potential to bring, which assist in our forward planning to continue to provide a quality learning experience for your child, without the need for significant fee increases.
NAPLAN is now done and dusted for the year, and our students can again settle into the routine of learning after this minor disruption. I hope you enjoy the rest of this week’s newsletter.