20 September 2018

AHISA welcomes progress towards resolution of federal funding arrangements for non-government schools

National Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), Dr Mark Merry, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s news of significant progress towards finalising funding arrangements for non-government schools, but says there is still much work to be done.

‘Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the basic infrastructure of the new funding model – that it will be based on parental income – and defined the funding envelope, but schools are still to learn whether they are to be positively or negatively affected under the new model,’ said Dr Merry.

Dr Merry, who is Principal of Yarra Valley Grammar in Victoria, said schools would welcome the news that introduction of the new model would be delayed until 2020.

‘The delay in introducing the model at least allows schools to finalise their planning for 2019,’ said Dr Merry, ‘but independent schools have a planning cycle that can stretch well beyond five years if they are contemplating expansion and capital development. We would hope to see the model fleshed out with more detail as soon as possible.’

Dr Merry said that news of the new funding model had come with a promise from the Prime Minister of significant additional funding for the non-government sector, to ensure swifter gains for ‘winners’ and an extended transition period for ‘losers’.

‘Reasonable transition arrangements are essential for the stability of school communities,’ said Dr Merry. ‘The Prime Minister’s announcement of a new fund of $1.2 billion to address specific challenges faced by non-government schools, such as provision for drought-affected families, will also be welcomed as further support for stability in Australia’s schooling system and certainty for families.’

Dr Merry said Education Minister the Hon Dan Tehan and his predecessor Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham had shown great courtesy as well as tenacity in negotiating the shift to the new model.

‘We look forward to continuing dialogue with Minister Tehan,’ said Dr Merry.


Contact: Ms Beth Blackwood, AHISA CEO, mobile 0417 180 842.

AHISA is a professional association of 440 Heads of independent schools. Its members lead schools that collectively account for over 11 per cent of total Australian school enrolments and 20 per cent of Year 12 enrolments.

AHISA welcomes progress on funding arrangements - Media release