Independent Schools Queensland today welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement that Dan Tehan would continue to lead the education portfolio in his new Cabinet.
ISQ Executive Director David Robertson welcomed the chance to continue the productive working partnership independent schools had developed with Mr Tehan since his appointment as Minister for Education in August 2018.
“Mr Tehan has already demonstrated his keen interest in the portfolio and willingness to act on issues. This was evidenced by the Federal Government’s $4 million flood assistance program for non-government school communities impacted by the major flood event in North Queensland,” he said.
Mr Robertson acknowledged the significant additional school funding provided by the Australian Government for all school sectors in recent years.
“As the second largest funding contributor to independent schools behind parents, the Australian Government is a critical partner in the delivery of quality teaching and learning in Queensland independent schools,” he said.
“It is therefore critical that the Morrison Government’s introduction of a new direct income measure to determine individual funding levels for non-government schools is accurate, does not have unintended impacts, will be consistently applied to all non-government schools and rigorously tested before implementation. At this point, there is still significant technical work to be done on the new measure and how independent schools would transition from the current funding model to the new one.”
Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network Executive Officer Sue Kloeden welcomed the Morrison Government’s continued support for parent choice in schooling.
“Parents of 1 in 7 school-age children in Queensland educate their child at an independent school. These children, like all Australian children, deserve a level of government investment in their future. It’s heartening to see the critical partnership between parents, schools and students has been identified as focus area in Queensland’s National School Reform agreement,” Ms Kloeden said.
“Decades of research has shown that parents who positively engage in their child’s education by valuing and taking an interest in their education, reading to them and having high, but realistic expectations, can enhance their child’s learning and wellbeing outcomes,” she said.
Mr Robertson and Ms Kloeden said independent schools and parents would also be seeking further detail and timelines on a number of new announcements the Morrison Government made prior to the election and during the campaign, including:
- the new $30.2 million Local School Community Fund
- a voluntary Year 1 phonics check
- a review of the National Partnership Agreement on preschool funding
- a review to lift the burden of compliance and red tape on teachers and principals
- the development of a national strategy to support schools to tackle the abuse of teachers in the classroom.
“Independent schools and their parents look forward to engaging with Education Minister Dan Tehan on the detail of the Morrison Government’s school education commitments and providing input into the Government’s planned reviews,” Mr Robertson and Ms Kloeden said.