Hills private schools to benefit from new Federal funding model

Stock image.
Stock image.

PRIVATE school students will receive on average more than twice the Federal funding increase of state schools, according to figures in the new online school funding calculator released by the Federal Education Department.

The Government’s calculator shows per-student funding for the Bible Baptist Christian Academy in Mt Helena will rise by $761 per student next year, while funding for students at Eastern Hills Senior High School, Kalamunda Senior High School and Darling Range Sports College will rise by about $174 per student.

Mazenod College in Lesmurdie will get a $234,400 funding boost, while La Salle will receive $588,600, taking its total funding to more than $15 million.

Greenmount and Northam primary schools will receive about an extra $140 per student, while Treetops Montessori in Darlington will receive an extra $636 per student.

Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt said the new funding estimator would help parents, teachers, principals and school communities see exactly how they stood to benefit from the Federal Government’s new $18.6 billion needs-based schools funding plan.

Mr Wyatt said the estimator showed schools across the local area would benefit from a $128.6 million funding increase between 2017 and 2021.

“From 2017 to 2027 in Hasluck, estimated average funding per student in the government education system is estimated to rise from $2158 per student to $4202 and from $7608 to $11,610 per student in the independent education system,” he said.

“Funding will also continue to grow in the Catholic education system, with the on average per student growth rising from its current $9856 per student to $14,461 per student in 2027.”

While Mr Wyatt said the funding would deliver certainty for schools and ensure everybody was treated fairly and equitably, WA Education Minister Sue Ellery said the figures released were ‘disingenuous and inaccurate’.

“Commonwealth funding is allocated to states to distribute accordingly,” she said.

“In WA the funds are put into our student-centred funding model and allocated to schools dependent on the students’ characteristics at that school.

“The funding includes allocations for social disadvantage, locality, disability, Aboriginality and English as an additional language and this is based on a snapshot of all students done by a twice yearly census.

“That’s done each year and there is no way the Commonwealth could know what those characteristics are.”

Public education advocacy group Save Our Schools convenor Trevor Cobbold said Catholic and independent schools in Perth received more Federal funding per student than public schools because of the division of funding responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the state.

“State funding for public schools is much higher than for Catholic or independent schools,” he said.

“Overall, public schools receive more total government funding per student than Catholic and Independent schools.

“However, the total income of Catholic and independent schools is higher than for public schools when income from fees and donations is included.

“In 2015, the comparative figures for total income per student were $14,716 per public student, $15,254 per Catholic student and $19,110 per independent student.”

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the new funding model would ensure all schools and states transition to an equal Commonwealth share of the resource standard within a decade.

The school funding estimator is at www.education.gov.au/quality schools.

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