The report recommends the change come into effect in 2020.
The report recommends the change come into effect in 2020.

Big changes recommended for school funding

PARENTS' income could be used to determine how much funding private schools receive, under significant school funding changes recommended to Federal Government.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has today released the findings of the Review of the Socio-economic Status (SES) Score Methodology, chaired by Michael Chaney, which examined how the level of taxpayer funding for private schools is calculated.

The review was commissioned after some school sectors complained the current methodology for determining parents' "capacity to pay" for private schooling favoured wealthy independent schools at the expense of smaller Catholic schools.

The existing SES methodology, introduced by the Howard Government, determined how much taxpayer funding independent school should receive by using the average SES score for the census district in which students at the school live.

But the report released this morning recommends that "capacity to contribute" be instead based on a direct measure of median income of parents and guardians of the students at the school.

In a statement released this morning, Senator Birmingham said the report made clear this "direct measure of parental income" can now be obtained without breaching privacy or requiring the collection of tax file numbers by a school.

The report recommends the changes come into effect in 2020.

Senator Birmingham said he planned to consult with non-government school sectors and the states and territories before formally responding to the recommendations.

"The report's recommendations offer the potential to achieve a clearer picture of the capacity of families at non-government schools to contribute to the costs of their children's education," he said.



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