Governments must invest more money in education, delivered in a fair, transparent and equitable manner that accounts for all students’ needs. This is vital for the education of young Australians whether they attend Independent, government or Catholic schools.
All Australian schools need money to be spent more effectively to build an education system that will be the best in the world, creating a tolerant, diverse and prosperous nation. There must be adequate funding so that all students can achieve their educational potential.
Government funding for students in all sectors promotes choice. All Australian students, wherever they go to school, are entitled to government support.
Every parent, having paid their taxes has earned the right to a share of public money for their child’s education. The role of government is to ensure equity of access, not to direct the way that individuals will spend their post-tax income.
Independent Schools Victoria promotes choice in education, champions the values of Independent schools and protects the autonomy of Member Schools. We work with the Australian and Victorian Governments to achieve more equitable, choice-orientated and efficient means of funding students’ learning. Nationally and in Victoria we contribute to the development, implementation and evaluation of education policies to achieve quality education outcomes.
In our response to the Australian Government’s Review of Funding for Schooling, we set out four principles:
- choice in education should be defended in legislation
- a freeze of funding on individual schools is unacceptable
- funding should be centred on students, not schools
- personal or private contributions towards a child’s education should have no bearing on the level of government funding that the student receives.
There are four main areas of student diversity that need attention from government:
- Students with a disability
- Students with a language background other than English
- Indigenous students
- Students in rural and remote regions.
Independent Schools Victoria seeks fair funding for all students. It is not right that a student who is educationally disadvantaged and attending a school in the non-government sector should be funded differently to a student in the same circumstances at a government school.
A funding model must be based on students’ educational need and not ideology. It should reward positive outcomes and good stewardship.
Penalising a sector, a group of students or a community for having existing resources, either tangible or in the form of societal attributes, does not make the pool of available funds any larger.
Debates about who should get how much school funding – divisive attempts to take money from some schools to give to others – distract attention from the fundamental question of the amount Australia should invest in education and how it can be spent most effectively.