Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training, Christopher Pyne, is calling for an indexation of funding for non-government schools following the release of commissioned research conducted by the Federal Government’s review into education funding.
Senator Marise Payne accompanied Mr Pyne on Tuesday as he visited two University of Western Sydney campuses, held a round-table discussion with non-government school principals and held a meeting with the Schools Industry Partnership.
“People are very nervous and concerned about government cuts to federal funding for the independent and catholic school sector," Mr Pyne said.
“In Lindsay, if the government followed through with its policy of not indexing funding to the non-government schools over the next four years it will mean a cut of funding worth $39 million for the local 18 independent and catholic schools.”
Mr Pyne said that a funding cut of $39 million in Lindsay would mean either an increase in school fees – $3815 on average per parent – or schools would have to either cut the number of teachers.
Ms Payne said that many families would not be able to cope with the added financial strain.
“Many of them are already struggling single parent families, families with children who have disabilities, mental health issues, behavioural issues. We discussed these issues with in a round table today," she said.
“The schools bare a lot of costs themselves which is not recognised, we were talking to one school today where they arte supporting two classes of severely challenged children without any special funding and I was very impressed with their work.”
“It certainly isn’t beyond the realms of possibility for schools to close in Lindsay if there is a $39 million cut to funding in real terms over the next four years,” Mr Pyne added.