More than 12,300 Sydney Catholic school parents have signed a petition which asks the federal government to review its planned ‘Gonski 2.0’ schools funding model to keep school fees affordable.
Another 1,300 signatures were placed on the Sydney Catholic Schools petition following the eighth in a series of parent forums held at Aquinas Catholic College Menai on June 5.
More than 300 parents from low-fee Catholic systemic schools in Sydney’s southwest attended the first of the forums held by the Archdiocese of Sydney on May 29 at De La Salle College Revesby Heights to discuss the impact of the funding model on families.
At events in the electorates of Banks, Reid, Werriwa, Barton and others, parents have expressed concern over the impact the funding model will have on school fees.
Evonne Kalafatas, whose two children attend Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary Kingsgrove, has signed the petition and said she was devastated by the potential impacts of the new funding model.
“My concern is that families will be forced to leave the Catholic system because they are financially stretched,” she said.
Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Dr Dan White said while parents and schools welcomed the government’s assurances that the Catholic sector could continue to work as a system which supports the needs of its individual school communities, they needed to see these worded into the legislation.
“Parents at the forums were reassured that if Catholic schools could continue to work as a low-fee system, without restrictions to the manner in which they currently share resources, then catastrophic fee increases could be avoided,” Dr White said.
“As a system of low-fee schools, we are committed to providing access to quality Catholic education for all families regardless of their postcode and financial need.
“The wording of the actual legislation with respect to needs-based funding for the next 10 years, and misleading information from the School Funding Estimator on how schools will be funded, continues to cause real concern.”
Click here to sign the petition, or join the conversation on twitter: #gonski2.0fairdeal
Watch this video to find out how you can help stop the Gonski 2.0 changes.