Independent schools focused on fairness in funding

The Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales (AISNSW) today welcomed the release of the National School Resourcing Board’s (NSRB) report of its review of the school funding socio-economic status (SES) score methodology.

AISNSW Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Newcombe AM, acknowledged the commitment by the Federal Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, to consult with the two non-government school sectors prior to formulating the Government’s response to the Board’s recommendations.

“The focus must now be on developing a funding methodology that is fair, needs-based and transparent and which applies consistently to all non-government schools,” said Dr Newcombe.

“It is of utmost importance that the methodology on which the recommendations are based undergoes a rigorous process of validation and testing so the direct impact on individual schools of any proposed funding model can be properly and fully assessed.”

Dr Newcombe said the transparency of any new funding model would be critical to its acceptance, and in addition it must also deliver a level playing field for schools and provide the opportunity for schools to appeal the funding result for their school.

“To give the community full confidence that the model is being applied in a fair and consistent manner, the funding entitlement for every non-government school must be publicly available, irrespective of whether or not they are part of a school system,” said Dr Newcombe.

He also said that any fluctuations in the funding levels of individual schools must be managed through appropriate transition arrangements.

“The impact of any changes to a school’s funding is felt directly by students and their families. For this reason it is imperative that suitable transition arrangements are in place to minimise any disruptions to the education of students.

“A great deal of work now needs to be done to ensure any new funding model is fit for purpose. An implementation date of 2020 appears highly optimistic in light of the considerable testing that will be required of the proposed methodology.”

AISNSW looks forward to engaging with our non-government school colleagues on this important work.

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