Birmingham scores an F for Quality Schools

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2 May 2017

Today’s Quality Schools announcement is a direct attack on Catholic parish primary schools, Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Executive Director Stephen Elder says.

‘Under the government’s plans parents at these schools will be expected to pay similar fees to those charged by elite independent institutions.

‘Not only is this a direct attack on parent choice. It means schools face the grim reality of significantly raising fees or cutting programs.

‘This will hurt families of modest means most of all.

‘Earlier this year we presented compelling evidence to the government that fundamental flaws in its funding model short-changed Catholic schools by overestimating how much families could afford in fees.

‘Not only did the government fail to respond to our legitimate concerns about school SES scores - it is now exacerbating the problem by making this biased measure more important in determining the funding that schools receive.’

A copy of the report can be found here.

Mr Elder said he was concerned other elements of the government’s plans were naïve.

‘The government’s funding model pretends there is a uniform national salary for teachers.

‘Instead, they differ significantly from state to state due to cost of living pressures and competition over labour, which makes the government’s one-size-fits-all approach delusional.

‘In addition, the government wants to allocate funding to students with disability using a dataset no one believes is credible or accurate – including Education Minister Senator Birmingham himself.

‘The government’s adoption of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability will mean teachers assess their own students’ needs and self-determine the disability funding that their schools receive – a blank cheque approach.’

Further information: Christian Kerr, Media Adviser, 03 9267 4411 or 0402 977 352

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