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Notice given 18 March 2008

55  Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Allison): To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the comments by the Minister for Education (Ms Gillard) that she is considering extending the Federal Government’s method of funding private schools on a socioeconomic basis to the public school system;

(b) recognises the limitations of this model, as evidenced by the fact that 51 per cent of non-government schools receive more money than they are entitled to on the basis of their socioeconomic status (SES) score and that many issues affect the resourcing needs of schools, aside from socioeconomic status; and

 

 (c) urges the Government to commit to ensuring that any changes to funding models for public schools:

(i) guarantee that no school will lose money, as was promised when the SES model was introduced for private schools funding,

(ii) takes into account the proportion of students who have special learning needs as a result of:

( a ) intellectual or physical disabilities,

( b ) learning difficulties or disabilities,

( c ) a language background other than English,

( d ) Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background,

( e ) geographic isolation, and

( f ) disruptive behaviour, and

(iii) raise the level of per capita funding for primary schools to that of secondary schools in recognition of the importance of early learning.