In May 2015 my department initiated a formal review into six school authorities affiliated with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) following ongoing concerns about their independence, financial management and governance arrangements.
As a result of this review, on 13 November 2015, my department issued a Notice of proposed decision to each of the six school authorities as required under Commonwealth legislation. These notices detailed the department’s concerns about their independence, financial management and governance arrangements and invited each authority to ‘show cause’ why its approval to receive Federal Government funding should not be revoked.
After carefully considering the responses received from Malek Fahd Islamic School Limited my department had to make the difficult decision to revoke the funding approval for the authority.
Malek Fahd Islamic School Limited requested an internal review of the decision made to revoke funding for the school.
The Internal Reviewer, who was independent of the original decision, considered the new information provided by the authority and based on all the available evidence the authority remains non-compliant with the requirements of the Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act).
Therefore, the Internal Reviewer has affirmed the original decision and Federal funding for Malek Fahd Islamic School Limited will cease from 8 April 2016.
I am committed to ensuring that all school authorities meet the requirements of the Education Act to ensure that our taxpayer dollars and any private investment by parents is being spent to benefit Australian students.
School governance should be of the highest standard and funding should be exclusively used for the education and welfare of students.
Australians rightly expect that every taxpayer dollar committed to school education is genuinely expended on school education.