Catholic schools are the biggest winners from an apparent increase of $561 in the allocation to private schools over the four years from 2001.
    But the increased funding for the schools comes with some strings. The Government will for the first time require private schools to meet national targets in areas such as literacy, numeracy and science and a condition of Commonwealth funding. Education Minister David Kemp said the Government would not withdraw funds from under-performing schools, but ask them "to report on how they are going to fix the problem".
    The Government has abandoned the Education Resources Index, in favour of a model that takes account of the socio-economic status of the school, saying this would provide a more "transparent and objective measure of school needs".
    Commenting in The Australian newspaper, Melbourne's Xavier College Principal Chris McCabe described the changes as an "encouraging step in the right direction". He said: "We do need to come up with a new model, we particularly welcome that. We need a fairer system based on more accurate socio-economic data".

1:42pm 12/5/99 / The Australian


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