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Welcome – February newsletter

 

Dear Colleagues,

Parliament has well and truly resumed for the year. It began with a church service on Tuesday morning just a stone’s throw from Parliament and there are many hot issues that have already been debated.

At present, things are fairly quiet regarding faith-based schools. At the start of the week, Greens’ Senator Janet Rice publicly stated that she believed legislation on discrimination within schools would be passed within a week. However debate on the topic didn’t even take place.

Last week, I presented with our colleague Mark Spencer, from CSA, at another Senate Inquiry into Discrimination in faith-based schools. This time the inquiry was chaired by the Government.

The report of that committee was due to be released on Monday but it was delayed until the end of the week, meaning that the topic has been pushed forward and is now extremely unlikely to be decided before the election in May as the Senate doesn’t sit next week. The key findings of the report are below, along with a couple of other updates.

On a different note, we have heard that a couple of schools have received less than they expected in funding at the start of the year, from the federal government. If you are in that position and don’t know why, please let us know, giving as much detail as you are able, by emailing enquiries@aacs.net.au.

We have been praying for you as the school year has commenced. It is wonderful to think of the many children and families being served by your work. Thank you.

Yours in Christ,

Erik (and the AACS Board)

Report from the latest Senate Inquiry

The report from the latest Senate Inquiry into faith-based schools has been tabled.

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Government letter to AACS

A number of schools have had letters from their local MP in response to the communication they made at the end of 2018, regarding changes to the Se x Discrimination Act. AACS has also received a number of letters from both sides of Parliament, in response to our advocacy.

Attached is the latest letter we received from the Attorney-General, which he asked us to share with all our schools. The Government’s position on this has not changed, though they are again suggesting further work needs to be done to establish how best to resolve this issue.

Click here to read the letter from Attorney General, Christian Porter.

Productivity Report into School Education

The Productivity Commission releases a report each year on Government Services, and included is a chapter on School Education.

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School Chaplains

The Australian Government has signed an agreement with all states and territories to continue the National School Chaplaincy Program.

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Closing the Gap

Yesterday, the 11th Closing the Gap report was handed down to Government. The report found that education targets are generally not …

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New SES Model and the Choice and Affordability Fund

At this stage there is still nothing more to announce regarding the Choice and Affordability Fund and how it will be used and administered. We have made enquiries with the Minister’s office but have been told this matter is yet to be resolved.

Erik will be attending a consultation meeting next week, looking at the new model for calculating parent’s ‘capacity to contribute’ and therefore what their SES level should be. This work will be very important for the funding future of schools and will be a significant focus for the Department of Education this year.