South Australia’s Catholic and independent schools are set to receive nearly $110 million in extra funding, with new State Government investment in public, independent and Catholic schools totalling more than $1 billion.
Boosting state funding from around 19.7 per cent to 22 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard for Catholic and independent schools will benefit 93,000 students across South Australia, bringing funding in line with other states.
Around $11 million per year will also be dedicated to infrastructure upgrades for Catholic and independent schools. This is in addition to the $692 million recently announced to upgrade 91 public schools across the State as part of the Building Better Schools program, as well as investment in four new public schools.
Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close said a world-class school system is essential to prepare children for the jobs of the future and the world that awaits them.
The funding, in addition to the Government’s infrastructure loans for non-government schools and record investment in public schools, would ensure South Australia has an enviable school system that helps to give children a head start, she said.
Dr Neil McGoran, Director of Catholic Education South Australia, welcomed the announcement and the impact it would have on the 46,000 students in Catholic schools in South Australia.
The increase would bring the state into closer alignment with Catholic schools throughout the country, he said.
The provision of $5.5 million in capital funding would also ensure Catholic Education South Australia could continue to deliver excellence in education.
Association of Independent Schools South Australia Chief Executive Carolyn Grantskalns said the announcement demonstrated the government’s commitment to the education of all students in South Australia and to parents’ rights to choose the school that best fits their family values and aspirations.
The additional grants delivered on the government’s promise of four years ago and would ensure the funding gap between schools in South Australia and in other States would close much faster, she said.
The additional money would enable schools to support student learning and staff development more effectively.
“The capital funding is very welcome and will enable schools to make improvements in infrastructure,” Ms Grantskalns said.
“We look forward to working with the government on the details of the scheme.”