School chaplaincy funding to be available in time for 2015 school year

Media Release
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education

Government, Catholic and independent schools around the country are being invited to apply for funding under the National School Chaplaincy Programme after final agreement was reached between all state and territory governments and the Commonwealth.

State and territory governments will have access to funding under the National School Chaplaincy Programme in time for the 2015 school year.

“All states and territories have agreed to deliver the new National School Chaplaincy Programme,” Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, said.

“State and territory governments will soon be inviting schools to apply for up to $20,000 a year in financial assistance for a school chaplain. Schools in remote or very remote areas will be eligible for up to $24,000 per annum.”

“The Australian Government has committed $243.8 million over four years to support school chaplains, unlike the previous Labor government, which provided no ongoing funding for the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Programme,” Senator Ryan said.

Participation by schools and students in the National School Chaplaincy Programme is voluntary, chaplains may be from any faith, chaplains are not permitted to proselytise and they must respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs.

Following the June ruling by the High Court of Australia that payments made under the previous government’s National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program were invalid, the Commonwealth Government designed the new National School Chaplaincy Programme so that funding is delivered via states and territories, rather than directly to schools.

The National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Programme expires in December.

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