New school funding model a cause for concern

2 August 2018
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In the last few days significant publicity has been generated around the new proposed Federal Government funding model and its effect on independent schools. After reviewing the limited information available to us we have concerns with the new model and its impact on our community.

There are two key reasons why this is a worry.

Firstly, the proposed funding model could mean a significant cut in Federal Government funding support to independent schools such as ours. That leaves schools with the choice of either reducing the education services they provide – or increasing fees.

Secondly, the government funding proposal uses gross earnings on parents’ tax returns to calculate how much government support each child receives for their education. Parents currently make significant sacrifices – using their after tax income – to educate their child in a school that best meets that child’s individual needs. Not only does this proposal reduce parents’ freedom of choice, but raises questions about government use of their private and confidential personal tax information.

The initial modelling conducted by Independent Schools Victoria shows Beaconhills College would receive less Government funding in the future under this model. Our Board is fully aware of the significant sacrifices made by our families to send their children to Beaconhills and any reduction in Government funding would make it difficult to deliver all the current programs.

Our funding stream at Beaconhills College is relatively simple – 50 per cent of our income is made of largely Federal, and some State, money and the other half is from parent fees. It actually costs governments comparatively more to educate a student in a government school than it does to fund a student in an independent school. In independent schools, parents are making a personal choice to spend more on their child’s education.

For now, we are unsure about how this proposed school funding model will impact Beaconhills College and will keep you informed of any developments. I also urge parents with concerns to contact their Federal Member of Parliament

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