Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) has serious concerns about the Federal Government’s schools funding model changes outlined in the 2017/18 Federal Budget. It is no secret that as a system of low fee Catholic schools we are deeply concerned that our Catholic school students could be seriously disadvantaged.

The Federal Government’s move to a ‘school-by-school’ funding model seriously undermines our ability as system to move resources to best meet needs where required.

System funding

As a system of schools, SCS is able to function more effectively by working collaboratively to spread resources across all 152 Catholic schools to ensure there is equity and opportunity for all children, regardless of where they live. Resources are not allocated on a ‘school-by-school’ basis.

This allows us to:

  • lift educational outcomes for all students
  • to share resources to deliver specialist intervention programs across all our schools
  • to meet student needs
  • to keep small schools open; and
  • to fund major capital works.

School fees

SCS has serious concerns that school fees may have to increase in the longer term to maintain current funding levels per student. Under the proposed model, Catholic systemic schools will be funded by the system according to a Socio-economic Status (SES) formula for each school which are projections based on the perceived wealth of local government areas. Families with high mortgages are not necessarily wealthy and do not have the same ‘capacity to pay’ as other parents in the same SES locality.

Together, let’s call on the Federal Government to reconsider their funding model and to keep school fees affordable.