Media Release – On-Country learning funding welcomed by Independent schools

27 July 2023

ISA has welcomed additional Commonwealth funding to Central Australian schools next year.

Independent Schools Australia (ISA), the national peak body for Independent schools has welcomed additional Commonwealth funding to Central Australian schools next year.

The On-Country Learning measure was announced in the 2023-24 Federal Budget and committed $40 million over 2023-24 and 2024-25 to support improved attendance and engagement at the 46 schools in the Central Australia region.

Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare visited Central Australian schools this week and hosted a roundtable discussion, which included Independent school principals, sector leaders and senior government officials.

ISA Chief Executive Officer Graham Catt said, “Additional funding from the On-Country Learning measure will be welcomed by Independent schools, as it provides additional support for the innovative programs they have developed and are operating in collaboration with communities in Central Australia.

“These innovative approaches to education take a holistic approach to meeting student needs and overcoming barriers to education, and our schools are working closely with communities.

“These programs are successful, but they are very resource intensive.

“So while the On Country Learning measure funding is welcomed by schools, certainty of funding and continuity will be vital to lasting improvements in education outcomes.

“Independent schools look forward to ongoing engagement with the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments and local communities, as we believe that working collaboratively across school sectors, across governments and with communities is the way we will find solutions to the challenges we collectively face,” Mr Catt said

The seven Independent schools supporting students across Central Australia are:

  • Yipirinya School
  • Yirara College
  • Living Waters Lutheran School
  • The Alice Springs Steiner School
  • Nyangatjatjara College
  • St Philip’s College
  • Araluen Christian College.

ISA is the national peak body representing 1,209 Independent schools with 688,638 enrolled students (full time equivalent), accounting for approximately 17 per cent of Australian school enrolments and a workforce of 115,090 people.