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Nelson wrong on which schools are needy.

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Media Statement

Jenny Macklin MP Shadow Minister for Employment, Education and Training

Nelson Wrong On Which Schools Are Needy

Jenny Macklin

19th September 2004

Brendan Nelson's claims about Labor's schools policy are wrong and confirm that he will say and do anything to defend multi-million dollar funding increases to the wealthiest schools in the country. Brendan Nelson is completely wrong to claim that Worawa Aboriginal College in Healesville, Victoria; Hillcrest Christian College, Nyora; Vic; Southside Education Centre, Qld; and Strelley Community School, Port Headland WA; are all above the national resource standard. Labor's national resources standard is a general recurrent standard and additional resources are provided to support the needs of students with special needs such as Indigenous students and students with a disability. These schools need extra resources because they have needy students. The Minister further undermined his case by incorrectly claiming that Labor had frozen when it should have cut funding to St Ignatius College, Riverview in NSW. In fact, under Labor this school will have its funding cut to a basic grant.

Brendan Nelson also ignores the fact that Labor's fairer needs based policy is based on a weighted average of a school's tuition fees. Against this criterion all schools listed in Brendan Nelson's press release are correctly categorised in Labor's policy. Instead of making inaccurate claims about Labor's needs based schools policy, Brendan Nelson must explain why he has classified 15 needy non-government schools as funding guaranteed schools. Brendan Nelson is more concerned with the wealthy schools keeping multi-million dollar funding increases than the plight of the following 15 needy non-government schools that have had their funding frozen by the Howard Government. SCHOOLS OPERATING BELOW THE STANDARD CLASSIFIED AS 'FUNDING GUARANTEED' UNDER THE HOWARD GOVERNMENT Sowilo Community High School SWANBOURNE WA Calvary Christian School HAMILTON HILL WA Fitzroy Community School NORTH FITZROY VIC Riverside Community School VICTORIA PARK WA Malvern Community School SOUTH YARRA VIC Aboriginal Community College GNANGARA WA Alia College HAWTHORN EAST VIC Yesodei Hatorah College ELWOOD VIC Trinity College POATINA TAS Caulfield Montessori School CAULFIELD SOUTH VIC Early Learners School NEWPORT VIC Coogee Boys' Preparatory School RANDWICK NSW Brighton Montessori School Inc EAST BRIGHTON VIC Blue Gum School WATSON ACT Seymour Christian College TYAAK VIC

These 15 schools all operate below the national resource standard but are being denied indexation by the Howard Government while schools like St Ignatius College, Riverview, in NSW listed in the Minister's release today would continue to receive generous indexation under from the Howard Government.