Changes to indigenous fund anger principals


GLADSTONE principals are frustrated by funding changes to school indigenous programs which they say are causing more red tape and holding up the allocation process.

At a meeting staged yesterday, representatives from the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) told local principals, community members and indigenous parents how the changes would affect them.

Mount Larcom State School principal Jenny Grother said some programs had been delayed and others had to be funded by other school resources because the funding had still not been received.

'It's now April and we want to get started on these programs, because the sooner we get funding and provide these programs, the sooner we will start seeing results,' she said.

She said the region had 'some outstanding programs' to improve retention rates and results for indigenous students and she hoped they would not be tied up in red tape.

Education Queensland Gladstone District executive director of schools David Manttan said schools were previously allocated funds based on the number of students, but the changes would allow for schools, or clusters of schools, to receive funding based on their programs.

'Schools must now develop concept plans, which they will submit to the federal department (DEST), about what they need to increase parent-school partnerships to support children's learning ... personally I think this is a better system because it will target funds to what schools see as their highest priority needs,' he said.

He said Education Queensland currently had a 'Partners for Success' policy to focus on retention, attendance and attainment levels for indigenous students, and the federal government funding was an added bonus on top of the funding already in place.

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