Report just start of revamp

THE Gillard Government has proposed to overhaul funding to Catholic schools, meaning school fees could rise by up to 131%.

Chair of the national Catholic Education Commission Therese Temby said the release of the much anticipated Gonski Review yesterday was merely the beginning of the process to ensure Australian schools were getting the best treatment possible.

"This is a major piece of work and a roadmap for a way forward," Mrs Temby said.

"(However) there are key questions that remain unanswered.

"Substantial analysis needs to be done to test the model and the report's recommendations," she said.

The Gonski Review mentioned the need for schools to make funding equal across the board.

"The panel believes that a significant increase in funding is required across all schooling sectors, with the largest part of this increase flowing to the government sector due to the significant numbers and greater concentration of disadvantaged students attending government schools," the report read.

Mrs Temby said the government recognised that families already faced financial pressures when it came to school fees and did not wish to see them rise beyond reach.

"We will be working hard during the consultation phase to ensure we do not end up with a model that has the potential to put pressure on school fees for parents in Catholic schools," she said.

"We strongly back the Gonski panel's call for an additional $5 billion in funding for all schools.

"School funding reform of the magnitude suggested by the Gonski panel is not achieved by simply adjusting the current arrangements and we call on the Australian Government to show strong leadership by committing increased funding for schools sooner rather than later," Mrs Temby said.

The report recommended a minimum public contribution per student for every non-government school should be applied and set between 20 and 25% of the schooling resource standard excluding loadings.


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