Catholic Educators Hold Bleak View of Gonski

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Catholic Educators Hold Bleak View of Gonski

The Catholic education system holds a bleak view of the likelihood that the federal government will introduce a new funding model based on the recommendations of the Gonski report, saying any changes introduced this year will be regulatory rather than financial, reports The Australian newspaper today.

In a letter last week to Australian Catholic bishops, obtained by The Australian, the chairman of the Bishops Commission on Catholic Education, Fr Greg O'Kelly, says advice provided by the National Catholic Education Commission was that the government's "preoccupation with reform measures" indicated its plan for school improvement would become the substance of the promised education bill.

"Bleak as this interpretation might be, there seems to be no additional financial capacity on the government's part to deliver any of the major Gonski recommendations regarding extra funding for schools," the letter says.

"All that will be achieved is 'regulatory' reform."

The letter is also critical of the school improvement plan, saying it would cost the government "next to nothing to mandate but . . . would cost schools and school authorities increasing amounts of energy, time and money to implement according to the commonwealth's satisfaction".

"Most Catholic school authorities were already successfully achieving the rubrics of the plan, despite its inherent narrow preoccupation with what can be 'measured'," it says.