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Wednesday, 22 August 1973
Page: 191

Mr BERINSON (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The Minister for Education will be aware that the Karmel Committee has indicated that it will consider categorisation appeals by schools on technical and restructuring grounds. Is the Minister aware that Jewish schools propose to appeal on the wider ground that their inclusion in the general group of non-government non-systematic schools obscures their distinctive characteristics and results in the categorisation formula operating to their particular disadvantage? Will the Minister ensure that appeals on such grounds will, in fact, be considered either by the interim committee or by the commission, when constituted, in time for a decision to be available for the 1974 school year?

Mr BEAZLEY (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Education) - It can certainly be said that the appeals will be considered before the existence of the school's commission. A problem appears to have developed with Jewish schools in this sense. Perhaps their difficulty is that the questionnaire was drawn up by Christians and in the questions that were put they were asked to include religious teachers who are on their staffs. If you ask that question in a Catholic school, it has a definite meaning - the religious teachers would be Marist Brothers, Christian Brothers or Sisters of Mercy. In a Jewish school, apparently, there are religious teachers who do not teach secular subjects at all but who come in purely to teach religion and therefore are more in a category equivalent to chaplains. For instance, you would not add to the staff in a Catholic school a priest who came to say Mass or to act as a chaplain. The position of these religious teachers who were all put in the category of staff by Jewish schools appears really to have nothing to do with the secular structure of the schools. This matter is under review.

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