6 July 2018
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has welcomed the delivery of the final report of the Review of the Socio-Economic Status (SES) Score Methodology to the Australian Government today, but said, “now the hard work begins to achieve a fair and equitable school funding model”.
Acting executive director Ray Collins said the highly anticipated report, delivered by the National School Resourcing Board (NSRB), endorses the Catholic sector’s long-held position that the current methodology for measuring a school’s SES is flawed.
“We have known well before the first Gonski review that the SES methodology is fundamentally flawed and negatively impacts a significant number of Catholic schools, as well as some Independent schools,” Mr Collins said.
“We are very pleased that the NSRB has recognised the inherent inequities with the current methodology and look forward eventually to a new approach to ensure fair and equitable funding for non-government schools.”
However, Mr Collins said the NCEC does not believe that all appropriate measures of determining a school’s SES have been incorporated into this review.
“Of particular concern is the impact of a new methodology on long-established, low-fee charging Catholic schools in metropolitan areas,” he said.
“We believe there is a lot of hard work ahead before a realistic funding model can be achieved.”
Mr Collins said the NCEC will provide a fuller response once it has time to consider the detail of the report.
“The NCEC appreciates the willingness of the Minister to engage in further conversation regarding the recommendations with both the Catholic and Independent sectors including the finalisation of the transition process in 2019 before the introduction of a new formula in 2020.”
Mr Collins said the NCEC welcomes the opportunity to discuss a range of matters not covered by the report with the Minister.
“Representing the Catholic Church as a major provider of school education in this country, the NCEC appreciates and acknowledges the opportunity we have had to make a submission to this review, for stakeholder meetings with representatives from the board to date, and for recent briefings on the direction the board was taking,” he said.