State picks up bill for chaplains

Education Minister Peter Collier last week announced that 179 schools would share in $2.7 million for the chaplaincy program, including seven in Fremantle and 10 in Cockburn.

Mr Collier said there would also be $5.05 million set aside for the program in 2016.

YouthCARE provides a chaplaincy service for WA schools. South Coastal Area chaplain Ruben Rivis said they and the school communities welcomed the news.

�YouthCARE chaplains build relationships, they help support and provide a caring presence in the school community and they care for all the school community members,� he said.

�Chaplains are valuable for the school communities because of their distinctive role in providing pastoral care to the school communities in which they work and they provide a link between the physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing of each of their members.�

Jandakot Primary School principal Ian Hastings said they were delighted to receive funding after the cuts forced them to reduce their program to one day a week in Term 1.

�We will now be able to reinstate our two-day per week program,� he said.

�It is an outstanding program which helps schools achieve so much more for students who are facing troubled times or are in vulnerable situations.�

Richmond Primary School principal Lisa Dentith said the chaplain was a valuable member of the school staff.

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk said she was disappointed when the funding was cut in the first place.

�To hear that funds for chaplains were cut was devastating for schools,� she said.

�I welcome the announcement to reinstate funding for school chaplains.�

Fremantle Schools Receiving Funding

-Beaconsfield Primary

-East Fremantle Primary

-Fremantle Language Development Centre

-Fremantle Primary

-John Curtin College of the Arts

-Richmond Primary

-White Gum Valley Primary

Cockburn Schools Receiving Funding

-Atwell College

-Atwell Primary

-Aubin Grove Primary

-Bibra Lake Primary

-Harmony Primary

-Jandakot Primary

-Lakelands Senior High School

-South Coogee Primary

-Spearwood Alternative School

-Success Primary