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Anglican And Catholic Archbishops Attack ALP’s Schools Policy

Anglican and Catholic archbishops have attacked the ALP’s schools policy in a statement released today.

Text of a media release on behalf of the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops of Sydney and Melbourne.

In response to the Australian Labor Party’s Schools Policy Great Australian Schools, we offer the following comments.

“We endorse strongly the principle of parents being free to choose the kind of education they want for their children. Parents may choose education provided by government schools or may choose a school that more closely supports their family’s values and beliefs.

“We welcome the provision of additional government funds for the schooling of Australia’s children and young people in the non-government school sector.

“We also particularly welcome the provision of greater government funding for government schools.

“We confirm that the principle of providing financial assistance to all schools – government or non-government – on the basis of need is a positive approach. However, the process for the allocation of such assistance must be clear and unambiguous.

“The criteria behind Labor’s proposed funding arrangements, the resource standards, have not been made public, and so have not been established in any way that can provide certainty in the funding allocation process. We would welcome clarification on these points.

“We recognise that additional government funding for schools with greater need is a positive action. However, during a time when the Federal Government budget is in surplus, Labor’s proposal to effectively cap government funding to schools within the non-government schools sector is regrettable.

“It is also regrettable that government funding for particular non-government schools with greater need is to be taken from other schools within the non-government school sector, which is likely to benefit schools of one faith background largely at the expense of another.

“We express our concern at the lack of clarity in Labor’s proposal and the potentially divisive mechanism of redistributing funds within the non-government schools sector.”

Cardinal George Pell, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney
Archbishop Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney
Archbishop Denis Hart, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne
Archbishop Peter Watson, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne

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