Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rudd never signed off on deal with Catholic education sector

3010schoolstudentsThe Abbott government plans to review all aspects of Labor's education funding reforms, amid revelations Kevin Rudd never signed off on the $1.6 billion deal with the Catholic education sector, reports The Australian

'Everything needs to be examined fresh, because the model that Labor came up with is a shambles and quite unimplementable,' Education Minister Christopher Pyne said.

National Catholic Education Commission executive director Ross Fox confirmed a legal agreement for the school funding reforms still needed to be signed.

Speaking to The Australian, he said there were some 'very good things' about the Better Schools reforms put in place by Labor, but he said Catholic schools would welcome any move to improve the funding model.

'The best feature of the new arrangements are the ability of the most needy and disadvantages students to be supported with funding irrespective of the school they attend,' Mr Fox said. But he said there was nevertheless, 'an opportunity to streamline some of the things relating to reporting.'

Mr Pyne criticised the former government's overhaul of the school funding system, describing it as complicated, devoid of transparency and 'much worse' than the Howard government's socio-economic status-based funding model it replaced. 'We are going back to the drawing board because we don't have any choice,' he said.

Mr Pyne's remarks are set to escalate accusations from Labor that Tony Abbott is breaking the pre-election promise he made when he said there was 'no difference' between he and Mr Rudd on school funding.

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