Minister Releases Report Into Non-Government Indigenous Boarding School Sector

Minister Releases Report Into Non-Government Indigenous Boarding School Sector

Northern Territory Minister for Education Eva Lawler

Review Of Funding Of Non-Government Indigenous Boarding In The NT

Victor P Taffa

Education Minister Eva Lawler today released a report into the funding arrangements for the Northern Territory’s Non-Government Indigenous Boarding School sector.

In November last year the report, by KPMG, was commissioned by the previous CLP (Country Liberal Party) Government.

Ms. Lawler said the previous government initiated the report after pressure from the Non-Government Schools Ministerial Advisory Council, which was becoming increasingly concerned about funding of Indigenous boarding schools.

 

“Members of the Council have raised concerns with me about the cost of providing boarding due to the significant gap between revenue received and the cost of providing services for these students.” Ms. Lawler said.

“I am advised Council members were dismayed by the previous government’s lack of response to the funding issues affecting 700 Indigenous Territory students and their families.”

“The great tragedy is the only response the previous CLP government could muster in the face of all the evidence about this looming problem was to commission a report.”

“The previous government swept this matter under the carpet and has left others to pick up the pieces.” Ms. Lawler said.

Ms. Lawler said the report indicated there was a need for the Northern Territory (NT) and Federal Governments to work together to address the issues highlighted by the KPMG findings.

On average, the Territory’s Indigenous boarding schools are reliant on the Federal Government for more than 70 % of their funding.

Federal Government funding comes from a combination of the Abstudy and the Indigenous Boarding Initiative.

“With the Federal Government’s Indigenous Boarding Initiative agreement due to expire at the end of this year these schools really need a sense of financial certainty as they enter the new school year.”

Ms. Lawler has contacted Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham and Indigenous Affairs Minister, Senator Nigel Scullion, to discuss the KPMG report.

“We will work with the Federal Government and key stakeholders to address the report findings for a viable and sustainable boarding model that gives families options around their child’s education.” Ms. Lawler said.