Schools hit back over fund tales

INDEPENDENT schools in Bundaberg have joined in a campaign to protect the amount of funding they receive from the federal Government.

School representatives met in Brisbane this week for a myth-busting think tank to discuss a Federal Government review of their funding.

St Luke’s Anglican School principal Martin Oates said when people talked about government funding for schools the same myths were drawn out year after year.

He said the government funding for independent schools would be more than $8 billion in 2011.

But he said independent schools played a vital role in the education community.

Mr Oates said parents sending their children to independent schools was a matter of choice.

“We’re in the very fortunate position in Australia a parent can choose to send their child to a school that matches their philosophy,” he said.

“That could be an Anglican or a Catholic school.”

Mr Oates said choice was a very important part of the education system.

For Wednesday’s think tank education policy analyst Professor Scott Prasser identified five common myths about funding for independent schools.

These included that non-government schools received more funding from the government than government schools, and funding policies undermined social cohesion and promoted social segregation.

But Mr Oates said in any club sport students could play in a team with people from several schools and there was no division.

“I believe we’re a very cohesive community,” he said.

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said the funding review had given stakeholders opposed to government funding for non-government schools plenty of opportunity to state their views publicly.

“While it’s important school funding arrangements are regularly reviewed, it’s equally as important to ensure the debate is properly informed,” he said.

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