No public money for private schools without full transparency


The Greens spokesperson for schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne, has written to Education Minister Jason Clare calling on the government to make public funding to private schools conditional on full transparency of how those funds are used.

The call comes after a report that headmasters in some Sydney private school are being paid five times more than their counterparts in government schools, and revelations earlier this year that the King’s School – which received $17.2 million in federal funding in 2020 – had planned to pay for a plunge pool for the headmaster’s residence and business-class flights for staff to attend a sporting event in England.

Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson on schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“The Department of Education conceded during budget estimates last week that they have no ‘clear line of sight’ to how private schools are using the money

“This is unacceptable. Not only is the federal government over-funding the non-government school sector by giving private schools more than the Schooling Resource Standard says they need, it has absolutely no idea how or where the money is being spent.

“The government has committed to $70 billion in private school funding over the forward estimates. It’s not unreasonable for Australians to want to know precisely how that $70 billion is being used, particularly during a cost of living crisis when most people are having to watch every dollar.

“In the next National Schools Reform Agreement the government should ensure that every non-government school is required to give a full, itemised accounting of how they spend government funding as a condition of receiving that funding.

“I also call on the government to ensure that every public school is funded to 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard from the commencement of the next Agreement. The persistent underfunding of our public schools is a national shame that punishes students and families and widens inequality.”

Letter to Minister Clare