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Postcode error denies school funding: parent protest.
Yesterday sixty parents from Auburn North PS took their complaints about a Department of Education and Training error to the gates of Parliament House. The error is denying the school funding to which it is entitled.
The school should receive federal National Partnerships funding for extra assistance. However, the NSW Department of Education and Communities made an error with the demographic information that they sent to the federal Department of Education, which funds the program.
The wrong suburb postcode was provided. There is no student attending the school from within that postcode area.
Funding will stop next week for a series of programs run at the school through this funding.
One parent said:
““My son told me that he now loves maths because he has been in a special small group and he understands.
“The homework centre has over 60 students attending every day, and there is a waiting list.”
Auburn North, despite having one of the lowest socio-economic rankings in the state, with a school population being 90 percent refugee (a third of whom are new arrivals), has been denied the additional funding it is entitled to because of the DEC’s error.
After trying for four months, parents were finally able to meet with the Minister’s advisor and the Regional Director. This was as a result of raising their concerns publically and organising the protest.
The Federal Minister, Peter Garrett, has sent a letter stating that all he needs to release funding is a recommendation from the state government. The state government, through the DEC spokespeople, claims that “all the money is gone.”
The Greens MP, John Kaye, is pursuing the case in the NSW Parliament. The Labor Leader, John Robertson, and Shadow Education Minister, Carmel Tebbutt, have also given their support.