The Department of Education has admitted during Estimates that they have no visibility on how public funding to private schools is being spent.
Under questioning from Greens Senator Penny Allman-Payne the Department conceded that they have “no line of sight” from the “cheques” they give to Independent and Catholic authorities in each state and territory to where and how that money is used.
The Department also acknowledged that even though recurrent funding to the private and public sector is determined by the Schooling Resource Standard, a needs-based model that takes into account loading for students with additional needs, funding is being distributed on entirely different models in each jurisdiction.
Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson on schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“Not only is the federal government giving private schools more than the Schooling Resource Standard requires, they don’t even know how that money is being spent.
‘We have elite private schools spending money on plunge pools for headmasters, but the Department of Education can’t tell us where all of those billions of dollars in private sector funding are going and whether they’re being used to support students who need it the most.
“We have public schools in crisis across the country, yet we’re giving private schools $70 billion over the next four years to do whatever they want with it.”
You can watch the full exchange here.