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Transition Support Normal Part of Moving to New Schools Funding Model

Attacks on independent schools receiving Australian Government support to help them transition to the nation’s new federal schools funding system are unwarranted, according to Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ).

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson was responding to interstate media reports published today that were critical of the Gonski 2.0 transitional funding arrangements for independent schools.

“The Australian Government is rightly providing additional support for schools across both non-government schooling sectors as the new funding arrangements are implemented,” Mr Robertson said.

“This type of support has been available during past funding model changes and is therefore not new. It is particularly important in the first year of a funding change as schools grapple with reassessing their budgets and fee structures,” he said.

“The education stability and best interests of students is paramount in this process.”

“For stand-alone independent schools, this support is particularly important as they operate in a competitive market based on fee levels. It is also important that their fee-paying parent communities are not disadvantaged compared with other non-government schools that have also been granted special transitional arrangements.”

“The last thing that any parent wants is disruption to their child’s education as a result of changes in funding policies. Parents often plan many years ahead in terms of the payment of fees and it is fair that they be provided with time to adjust to any required changes in fee levels.”

Mr Robertson said government funding contributions represented a low percentage of the income received by many independent schools.

“Parents, not taxpayers, provide the majority of funding for some independent schools from their after-tax income and it is entirely appropriate that governments, as they have in the past, provide support to school communities when adjustments are made to their mix of funding sources.”

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