Media release: Independent schools are accountable to parents, communities and the public

10 November 2022

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) responded strongly today to comments challenging the financial accountability of non-government schools.

ISA Chief Executive, Ms Margery Evans, said “Normally, Independent Schools Australia wouldn’t bother responding to unjustified claims but the statements made today by Greens’ Senator Penny Allman-Payne are the same tired arguments about the lack of accountability in how non-government schools spend government funding that get rolled out for an easy headline, but are not based in fact.

“Independent schools comply with a range of accountability and reporting requirements at both the state and Commonwealth level. This can range from simply reporting the number of students enrolled in a school to their state or territory registration authority through to the much more involved provision of audited financial statements to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission.”

“As the only non-systemic sector of schooling, in Independent schools there is a clear line of sight between the current need-based funding model and the base and loadings for disadvantage that individual schools receive,” said Ms Evans.

Independent schools need to comply with multiple accountability and reporting requirements in order to be receive Australian Government funding, all of which must be managed at the individual school level.

“It is careless or naïve to suggest that accountability of non-government schools is somehow less than government schools.

“If anything, the demands of parents and the community are even greater for Independent schools than other sectors,” Ms Evans said.

ISA would welcome the opportunity to meet with all new Senators in the current parliament to provide an accurate understanding of the Independent sector, which educates one in six school students, and the role of non-government schools in educating approximately one-third of all school students.

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

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