Home' Independence : Independence Vol 35 No 1 May 2010 Contents 6 Independence Vol 35 No 1 May 10
STRONGLY DISAGREE DISAGREE UNSURE NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE
AGREE STRONGLY AGREE
makers are continually made aware
that the independent schools sector
makes a significant social, educational
and ultimately economic contribution
– and that it can only continue to do so
through a sustained partnership with the
A full list of ISCA’s policy positions on funding
and fact sheets about the funding of independent
schools are available at www.isca.edu.au .
mixture of schools provided by both the
government and non-government sectors.
Additional needs based support
The basic per student grant should
be supplemented by a needs based
approach, which recognises the relative
educational disadvantage of students,
including students with disability,
students from non-English speaking
backgrounds, Indigenous students and
students from rural and remote areas.
Again there is strong public backing
for additional needs based support.
Some 75 per cent of respondents in
the UMR survey agreed that students
with a disability should be funded at
the same level regardless of the type
of school they attend – a fundamental
part of ISCA’s policy platform.
Stability and predictability
Stability and predictability in funding
is critical for quality school provision.
The greatest certainty that the federal
government can provide all school
sectors is an undertaking that no school
would be worse off as a result of the
funding review. ISCA also strongly
endorses the federal government’s
established policy of providing legislated
quadrennial funding for non-government
schools, adjusted annually to meet cost
increases. This facilitates long term
financial planning and management
within schools, enhancing their
capacity to provide the best quality
education with the resources available
to them. Stable and predictable funding
arrangements also support families in
planning for the private funds that they
commit to their children’s schooling.
The sustained enrolment growth of the
independent sector strongly supports
the case that independent schools
provide value for money and meet the
educational needs of their students. It is
crucial that political and policy decision
COMMUNITY ATTITUDES TO INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS
In 2009 AIS NSW, AISSA and ISQ commissioned UMR Research to undertake a
national survey of community attitudes to independent schools, including attitudes to
funding of independent schools. A report on key findings, issued in February 2010, is
published at www.isca.edu.au, www.aisnsw.edu.au and www.aisq.qld.edu.au.
Independent schools are well regarded by the general public, with 75 per cent of those
surveyed expressing positive views, increasing to 94 per cent for those with children
attending an independent school.
For those parents who have children at gover nment schools, four out of every ten
surveyed indicated they would prefer to send them to an independent school if fees
were not an issue.
Most of those surveyed (88 per cent) agreed our education system should have a mix of
schools provided by both the government and non-gover nment sectors.
Three in five respondents believed, incorrectly, that each student in an independent
school receives the same or more government funding than a student in a
gover nment school.
Almost 70 per cent of those surveyed rejected the notion that independent schools
should not receive financial support from governments, up from 51 per cent in a 2001
survey asking a similar question.
Almost 60 per cent of respondents believed that independent school students should
receive the same amount of government funding support as government school students.
Three in four respondents agreed that students with a disability should be funded at
the same level regardless of the type of school they attend.
Children should receive the same financial support from the government
regardless of whether they attend government, independent or Catholic schools
In general I support independent or private schools
Figure 1. UMR Research: Key findings on community attitudes to independent schools
Private schools provide benefits to the wider community by reducing the burden
on the public or government school system
Independent or private schools should not receive any financial support from the
government, state or federal
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