Media release – Independent schools welcome Minister’s decision on deeming

3 December 2022

The Minister for Education has promised to avert funding shock for schools that serve some of the most disadvantaged students in Australia.

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) welcomes the decision and the four-year transition period to new funding levels. This will allow schools catering for our most disadvantaged students time to plan.

ISA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Margery Evans said today, ‘We will continue working with the Department of Education to ensure smooth and gradual transition for these schools.

‘It is vital that the work of the Special Assistance Schools, the Special schools and those educating majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students continues with confidence and certainty,’ Ms Evans said.


Based on 2021 data, there are 96 Special Assistance Schools in Australia. Of these, 93 rely on deeming.  There are 47 Special schools and all of these rely on deeming. There are also 37 schools educating majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Of these, 32 rely on deeming.

Special Schools cater for students with disability. Special Assistance Schools cater for vulnerable students who have disengaged from mainstream schools.

ISA is the peak body representing 1,187 Independent schools with 667,259 enrolled students.