The Coalition Government has backed school chaplains across the New England Electorate with hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Government’s 2018-19 Budget extended the National School Chaplaincy Programme, which provides vital pastoral care services to thousands of students and school communities across Australia, on a permanent basis and backed it with an extra $247 million.
“There’s 34 schools across the New England that will benefit from this funding boost so that chaplains can continue their vital role supporting the health and wellbeing of young people,” Mr Joyce said.
“This is in addition to more than $7 million in funding already delivered through the Capital Grants Program for improvements at schools in the Upper Hunter and Tamworth, and tens of millions more in Commonwealth funding in just this year alone, to primary and secondary schools all around the electorate.
“Every student deserves support that suits their needs - that’s why this Budget confirms the Coalition’s record levels of school funding with $18.8 billion this year and growing by an additional $1 billion dollars each and every year over the next 10 years.
“Our schools funding and school chaplains programme will deliver a quality education so that every student in every school in New England is given every opportunity to succeed and thrive.”
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the school chaplains program would also have a greater focus on tackling bullying.
“A focus on bullying, specifically cyberbullying, will see school chaplains required to undertake training in this area to ensure they are fully equipped to deal with the challenges in the school community,” Minister Birmingham said.
“This funding will also mean school chaplains can continue to provide important pastoral care and run programs such as breakfast clubs and other volunteer activities within their school communities.”
Participating schools are eligible to receive up to $20,000 (in metropolitan or regional areas) or $24,000 (in remote/very remote areas) to employ a school chaplain.