Good news for chap­lains


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Swan River Carlisle - Jaime Shurmer

CHAP­LAINCY roles at Carlisle Pri­mary School and the South East Metropoli­tan Lan­guage Devel­op­ment Cen­tre were un­der threat late last year as fund­ing sources for some schools dry up at the end of last year.

The South East Metropoli­tan Lan­guage Devel­op­ment Cen­tre has three sites, in­clud­ing one in Cloverdale.

Carlisle Pri­mary School deputy prin­ci­pal Sean Laverly said fund­ing for its two-day-aweek chap­lain, shared with Bent­ley Pri­mary School, was all or vir­tu­ally all fed­er­ally-funded.

But the school re­ceived pos­i­tive news over the Christ­mas break when the State Gov­ern­ment filled a $1.4 mil­lion short­fall in fund­ing and added Carlisle Pri­mary School to the list of schools that will get fund­ing for chap­laincy roles.

Kent Street Se­nior High School in Kens­ing­ton also ap­peared on the State-funded list.

The mat­ter had be­come a po­lit­i­cal hot potato, with Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary to the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Scott Ryan blam­ing the pre­vi­ous La­bor Gov­ern­ment for pro­vid­ing no fund­ing for school chap­lains or stu­dent wel­fare work­ers be­yond the end of 2014.

“It is en­tirely a mat­ter for the WA Gov­ern­ment and the WA Gov­ern­ment-ap­pointed cross-sec­tor panel to de­cide which schools re­ceive fund­ing un­der the Na­tional School Chap­laincy Pro­gram,” Se­na­tor Ryan said late last year.

“The Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment will sup­port ap­prox­i­mately 2900 school chap­lain po­si­tions na­tion­wide from 2015-2018.”

Swan MHR Steve Irons said state gov­ern­ments had un­til March 31 to re­port to the Com­mon­wealth on both the method­ol­ogy used to se­lect schools and the spe­cific schools se­lected.

In De­cem­ber, Mr Laverly told the South­ern Gazette it was a “real shame” to lose the chap­laincy role at Carlisle be­cause the school had a high ESL pop­u­la­tion.

“The chap­lain would li­aise with par­ents whose kids were hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties at school or who had emo­tional needs es­pe­cially in times of grief and when be­reave­ments oc­curred over­seas,” he said.

Tranby Pri­mary School will have fed­eral fund­ing for a chap­lain for two days a week for a fur­ther two years, af­ter its chap­lain went to Bel­mont City Col­lege.

“We cur­rently do not have any­one fill­ing the role but this will be sorted by Youth­care over the next few weeks,” prin­ci­pal Mark Burns said.

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