Federal funding plan to pain Bendigo government schools

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THE principal of one of the city’s largest primary schools says federal government funding cuts will affect education providers’ ability to plan for students’ education. 

Kennington Primary School is next year set to miss out on $400,000 promised as part of the National Education Reform Agreement.

Under the federal government’s new needs-based funding plan, the school will receive $73,900. 

“It enables us to do a little bit – maybe 0.6 of a full-time teacher,” principal Travis Eddy said.

While he welcomed the funding, Mr Eddy said the shortfall would affect programming.

“It’s a significant amount of money to withdraw from the planning,” he said.

With almost 600 students, Kennington is one of Bendigo’s largest primary schools. 

White Hills Primary School will receive $77,800 next year, but miss out on a further $300,000.

Lightning Reef Primary School will receive $34,600 - $100,000 less than was arranged under the NERA.

Kangaroo Flat Primary School will be in receipt of $44,100, with an estimated shortfall of $200,000, while the funding shortfall estimated for Kalianna School Bendigo is $400,000. The school is expected to receive $109,200.

Bendigo South East College acting principal Dale Pearce said the federal plan heightened schools’ dependence on state funding. 

“We will need to wait and see what they are able to do to support the level of need in our schools,” he said. 

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said the region’s schools would be hit hard by the cuts, equating to fewer teachers and less one-on-one attention.

But Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie defended the plan, describing it in a pre-election interview as ‘fair.’

While the funding plan will strip some schools of funding, others will receive more than expected

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