Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin.
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer.
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Strategy for chaplaincy programme begins to take shape



SENATOR THE HON SCOTT RYAN
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education

MICHAEL SUKKAR MP
Federal Member for Deakin

MEDIA RELEASE

20 May 2014

Strategy for chaplaincy programme begins to take shape

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, today joined Federal Member for Deakin, Michael Sukkar, at a Blackburn North school to discuss the new National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP).

Old Orchard Primary School currently receives funding under the existing National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Programme (NSCSWP) and is keen to secure funding as one of just under 3000 schools that will benefit from the Coalition Government’s $244 million commitment to continue funding for chaplains under the new NSCP for another four years.

Senator Ryan and Mr Sukkar met with staff and parents at the school to discuss the funding commitment as well as the general policy parameters of the programme.

“The initiative to deliver $243.8 million over four years to continue funding the programme will enable more than 2,900 schools across Australia to benefit from the services of a chaplain,” Senator Ryan said.

“By doing so, we are honouring an election commitment to continue to support chaplaincy in schools that wish to take up the option of this additional resource.

Mr Sukkar said the renewed programme will be returned to its original intent; to provide funding for school chaplains.

“Discussions, such as those that took place today, will provide us with valuable insight on how best to take this renewed programme forward,” he said.

“All schools will be invited to apply for the programme and can receive up to $20,000 per year.”

“Schools in remote areas can receive up to $24,000 per year. This re-focused programme will allow schools, especially those with higher levels of disadvantage, to provide much needed chaplaincy services to support their students.

It is expected the programme will begin delivery in January 2015.

The programme supports the Government’s Students First policy.

Under the Students First approach, the Coalition Government is working with the states and territories to focus on the four key areas in order to make a real difference for students. They are:

  • improving teacher quality;
  • increasing school autonomy;
  • engaging parents in education; and
  • strengthening the curriculum.

The Government is making decisions that repair the Budget, strengthen the economy and prepare Australia for the long-term challenges before us.

Senator Ryan’s media contact: Luke Buesnel 0408 323 122
Mr Michael Sukkar’s media contact: Kate Bruce-Rosser 0403 499 407

Department Media: media@education.gov.au