Call For Govt Investigation of Funding of Exclusive Brethren School

Save Our Schools calls on the Federal Government to investigate the funding of the Exclusive Brethren school, OneSchool Global NSW. National Convenor of SOS, Trevor Cobbold, said that the revelations in The Guardian warrant a full Government inquiry into the legitimacy of Federal funding of the school. “The available figures strongly suggest that OneSchool Global NSW is being funded at a much higher level than is warranted.”

Mr. Cobbold said several aspects of taxpayer funding of OneSchool Global NSW warrant an investigation.

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Private Schools Serving Richest Queensland Families Over-Funded by Millions

New figures reveal scandalous over-funding of Queensland Independent schools serving the richest families in the state. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds are being squandered on just 19 highly privileged schools  while public schools go begging. The new figures demonstrate the innate unfairness of school funding in Queensland. The Commonwealth and Queensland governments must ensure that public schools are genuinely fully funded under the next bilateral funding agreement.

The new figures show that 19 Independent schools with a median taxable family income of $200,000 or more will be over-funded by $141 million from 2022 to 2028 inclusive by the Commonwealth Government. Of these, just nine will be over-funded by $96 million. The 18 schools will receive $1.0 billion in funding by the Commonwealth over the period.

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Private Schools Serving Richest Western Australian Families Over-Funded by Millions

New figures reveal scandalous over-funding of Western Australian Independent schools serving the richest families in the state. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds are being squandered on just 19 highly privileged schools  while public schools go begging. The new figures demonstrate the innate unfairness of school funding in Western Australia. The Commonwealth and Western Australian   governments must ensure that public schools are genuinely fully funded in future.

The new figures show that 16 Independent schools with a median taxable family income of $200,000 or more will be over-funded by $88 million from 2022 to 2028 inclusive by the Commonwealth Government. Of these, just seven will be over-funded by $63 million. The 16 schools will receive $693 million in funding by the Commonwealth over the period.

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Private Schools Serving Richest South Australian Families Over-Funded by Millions

New figures reveal scandalous over-funding of South Australian Independent schools serving the richest families in the state. Millions of taxpayer funds are being squandered on just nine highly privileged schools  while public schools go begging. The new figures demonstrate the innate unfairness of school funding in South Australia as in other states. The Commonwealth and South Australian governments must ensure that public schools are genuinely fully funded under the next bilateral funding agreement.

The new figures show that nine Independent schools with a median taxable family income of $200,000 or more will be over-funded by $54 million from 2022 to 2028 inclusive by the Commonwealth Government. Of these, just five will be over-funded by $39 million. The nine schools will receive $369 million in funding by the Commonwealth over the period.

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Private Schools Serving Richest Victorian Families Over-Funded by Millions

New figures reveal scandalous over-funding of Victorian Independent schools serving the richest families in the state. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds are being squandered on just 35 highly privileged schools  while public schools go begging. The new figures demonstrate the innate unfairness of school funding in Victoria. The Commonwealth and Victorian governments must ensure that public schools are genuinely fully funded under the next bilateral funding agreement.

The new figures show that 35 Independent schools with a median taxable family income of $200,000 or more will be over-funded by $180 million from 2022 to 2028 inclusive by the Commonwealth Government. Of these, just 10f these schools will be over-funded by $103 million. The 35 schools will receive $1.7 billion in funding by the Commonwealth over the period.

The most over-funded schools are Penleigh & Essendon Grammar, Ivanhoe Grammar, Mentone Grammar, Wesley College and Kardinia International College (Table 1). Over-funding figures for other schools are in Attachment Table A1.

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Independent Private Schools Are the Biggest Rorters of NAPLAN Results

A new research study shows that many schools in Australia are manipulating their published school NAPLAN results by encouraging parents of low achieving students to withdraw them from the tests.  The study shows that Independent schools resort to this practice more than other schools. It shows that Independent schools withdraw low-achieving students from NAPLAN at twice the rate  of public schools. The study said the evidence indicated that some Independent schools were attempting to “game” the system of reporting school results on the MY School website.

The study found that Independent schools “game” their NAPLAN results much more than public schools. It found that the withdrawal rate among low performing Independent schools was twice that of public schools. Manipulating school results by withdrawing students was less prevalent in Catholic schools.

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Private Schools Serving Richest NSW Families Over-Funded by Millions

New figures reveal scandalous over-funding of NSW Independent schools serving the richest families in the state. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds are being squandered on just 52 highly privileged schools  while public schools go begging. The new figures demonstrate the innate unfairness of school funding in NSW. The Commonwealth and NSW governments must ensure that public schools are genuinely fully funded under the next bilateral funding agreement.

The new figures show that 52 Independent schools with a median taxable family income of $200,00 or more will be over-funded by $353 million from 2022 to 2028 by the Commonwealth Government. Of these, just 13 of these schools will be over-funded by $180 million. The 52 schools will receive $2.4 billion in funding by the Commonwealth over the period.

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Victorian Labor MP Pleads Cause of Privileged Private School Crying Poor

A Victorian Labor MP has pleaded for a well-off Melbourne private school to be exempt from  payroll tax to be applied to high fee private schools, despite having voted for the legislation. According to The Age, leaked letters reveal that Tim Richardson, pleaded the cause of Cornish College, which is in his electorate of Mordialloc, to be exempt from the introduction of payroll tax for high-fee private schools Richardson voted for the legislation that introduced payroll tax for schools with fees over $15,000 a year.

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The State of School Funding in Australia

The following is a summary of a new Education Funding Brief by Save Our Schools. The full Brief can be downloaded below.

Income per student in Independent and Catholic schools exceeds that of public schools. The national average income per student in all Independent schools was $25,649 in 2022 and $19,747 in Catholic schools compared to $18,076 in public schools.

Independent schools have a large resource advantage over public schools in all states, especially in NSW and Victoria. Income per student in Catholic schools is greater than in public schools in all states except NSW and the ACT where resource levels are similar. Victoria was the worst performing state for resource gaps between public and private schools.

Government funding increases are the major factor behind the resource advantage of private schools. Government funding has favoured Catholic and Independent schools over public schools since 2009. Government funding adjusted for inflation increased by $2,901 per student for Catholic schools between 2009 and 2022 and by $2,478 per student in Independent schools compared to $1,621 in public schools in Australia.

Commonwealth Government funding increases heavily favoured Catholic and Independent schools over public schools in all states. Commonwealth  funding increases for Catholic and Independent schools was more than double that for public schools – $2,687 per student for Catholic schools and $2,345 for Independent schools compared to $1,021 for public schools.

Despite their primary funding role, the states have provided only small funding increase for public schools. State funding per student for public schools increased by only $600 from 2009 to 2022. State funding per student for Catholic schools increased by $214 and by $133 for Independent schools. The Western Australian and Northern Territory governments cut their funding for public schools by large amounts.

The resource advantage of private schools was supported by significant increases in income from fees, charges, donations, etc. while it fell in public schools.

The bias towards the funding of private schools and the under-funding of public schools is a major factor behind the large achievement gaps between rich and poor in Australia. Despite enrolling the vast majority of students with the most learning challenges, public schools are massively under-funded. Public schools are only funded at 87.6% of their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) in 2024 while private schools are funded at 104.9% of their SRS.

The new funding agreements being negotiated between the Commonwealth and state governments must ensure that public schools are genuinely fully funded by 2028. This includes ending the accounting tricks that defraud public schools.

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Private Schools’ Admission That Many Grandparents Pay School Fees Exposes Funding Model Defects

Some private schools have acknowledged that many grandparents pay school fees. In effect, this is an admission that they are over-funded by the taxpayer because payment of fees by grandparents is not counted in the assessment of the need for government funding. This assessment is based just on the capacity of parents to pay the fees. The result is that private schools are over-funded by governments by even more than shown by official figures.

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