AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
PRESS RELEASE 427
April 28, 2011
MORE GHOST PUPILS IN PRIVATE SECTOR:
THERE CAN BE NO PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY WITH SCHOOLS
THAT ARE NOT PUBLIC IN OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL
A report in The Weekend Australian 23-24 April 2011 p. 5 was entitled ‘Indigenous Schools Claims Funds for 250 ‘Phantom’ students proves once again that there is no public accountability with private educational institutions. Nor can there be. if they are privately owned and controlled and practice sectarian discrimination in enrolment or employment policies. Accountability is opaque when ‘commercial in confidence’ is practiced in expenditure of public money.
Once again, the latest scam has only surfaced because there was internal strife within a private school and someone blew the whistle.
Admittedly there was an outside body to which the whistleblower or whistleblowers could appeal, some action has occurred, and the scandal has hit the press. But this particular school is an individual ‘showpiece Indigenous’ school, not a school protected by any of the powerful centralized bureaucracies which administer mainstream religious institutions throughout Australia.
DOGS quote from the report by Tony Koch and Sarah Elks:
Australia’s showpiece indigenous school claimed government funding for more than 250 ‘phantom’ students over three years, an audit has found.
Queensland’s Education Minister Cameron Dick has referred the findings about Djarragun College, near Cairns, to the state’s police commissioner.
The audit, conducted by the independent statutory Non-State Schools Accreditation Board found evidence of one or more staff members at the independent school allegedly tampering with the attendance records. …
According to the MySchool website, the federal government funded Djarragun at the rate of $11,568 a student in 2009, while the Queensland government provided $4130 a student.
Mr Dick said he had ordered the NSSAB investigation into Djarragun after allegation of exaggerated enrolment figures, bullying of staff and the strip-search of a 15 –year-old girl were reported by the Australia last month.
Federal Schools Minister Peter Garret has requested a departmental investigation.
Enquiries and threatening noises by Ministers only reveal that the emperor has no clothes. The principle of proper public accountability has been breached as soon as taxpayer funds are distributed to institutions which are not public in purpose, outcome, access, ownership, and control.
The temptation to rort the system by sectarian institutions is endemic to the current situation. It has been so since the revival of taxpayer funding 0f denominational schools in the 1960s.
DOGS have constantly attempted to expose the rorting of the Needs policies of successive governments since that time. There is nothing surprising about the Howard/ Gillard SES funding scandal. Nor is there anything surprising about the incidence of ‘phantom’ students when enrolment numbers form the basis of most direct funding.
For a history of DOGS attempts read our Press Releases:
Press Release 423 at www.adogs.info/pr 423.htm;
Press Release 417 at www.adogs.info/pr423.htmp;
Press Release 246 at www.adogs.info/pr246.htm,
Press Release 256 at www.adogs.info/pr256.htm
Press Release 270 at www.adogs.info/pr270.htm.
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