Beleaguered school’s closure could be avoided

by Brett Henebery18 Dec 2015

In May this year the Federal Education Department initiated a formal review of six Islamic school authorities following ongoing concerns about their financial management and governance arrangements

Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, yesterday said his department wrote to the school to notify it that its funding would be suspended from next month.

The decision followed a notice of non-compliance with the Education Act issued to the Islamic College of South Australia – and five others across Australia – in November.

However, Miriam Silva, the chairman of the board of the Islamic College of South Australia, said there was still time to avert the closure of the College.

“As Chairman of the Islamic College Board my commitment to full compliance with the Commonwealth funding requirements has not wavered and will not waver,” she said in a statement.

“I look forward to meeting the 11 January deadline to ensure that funding to the College is maintained.”

Carolyn Grantskalns, chief executive of the Association of Independent Schools of SA (AISSA) said the continued operation of the Islamic College of SA was “critical” to the parents, students and staff of the College.
 
“Commonwealth and State government funding are essential to its operation, and compliance with all government requirements is not negotiable,” Grantskalns said.
 
AISSA has called on the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) to put students first and give unfettered authority to the College’s Chairman, Miriam Silva, the acting principal, the school staff and community to comply with the Commonwealth’s and State’s requirements.
 
“They have made considerable progress in recent weeks and their plans, once implemented, will lead to further improvement and ongoing compliance,” read a statement from AISSA.
 
“All parties must act with a resolve that puts students first. This has been a difficult time for everyone at the College, particularly students, families and staff. They deserve support.”
 

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