AYAC urges government to protect $74 million in support for student wellbeing

We call on the Federal Government today to make urgent arrangements to protect programs that support student wellbeing in 3,500 schools across the country. Today the High Court of Australia declared that funding under the National School Chaplaincy & Student Welfare Program could not be administered by the federal government, without enabling legislation passed by the parliament.

Andrew Cummings, executive director of AYAC said “both the government and the opposition have championed this program, which provides vital services to young people in need of support. We called on all sides of politics to pass urgent legislation that will allow the program to continue.”

The decision jeopardises $74 million annual funding going towards students accessing support from qualified youth and community workers in their school communities.

Earlier this year, the National School Chaplaincy & Student Welfare Program underwent a major revamp, in response to a significant consultation process with schools, parents, the community and the social welfare sector.

“As a result of this substantial community consultation, the new and improved program is no longer based around religion, but around the wellbeing needs of students and the desires of the school community” Mr Cummings said. “The new program also ensures workers are qualified and that additional funding is available in rural and remote schools – where this type of support for student wellbeing is often most needed.”

Click here to download the complete media release – PDF (2.1mb)

Click here to download the complete media release – Plain Txt (3 kb)

Following the release of the statement, AYAC’s Executive Director – Andrew Cummings – was interviewed by tripleJ and 6PR. to listen to the audio from the program click here (MP3 – 1mb)