School security grants – the schools say thank you

August 7, 2012 by  
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The Australian Council of Jewish Schools has expressed its, and the Jewish community’s, enormous gratitude to the Federal Labor Government for its continued support and recognition of the needs of Jewish schools (amongst others) for significant security measures following the announcement by the Minister for Home Security, Jason Clare, at a meeting at Melbourne’s Mt Scopus of further grants to Jewish schools and preschools under the Secure Schools funding program.

The program, which was introduced by the Labor Government in 2008, following its election commitment in 2007, has been effective in allowing Jewish schools to meet the continuing and demanding requirements for security and enormously beneficial to the community.

The latest announcement of grants to schools and preschools has ensured that all Jewish educational institutions have received further assistance in building their security infrastructure.

The Government’s commitment to the security needs of all schools, and the safety of students, has seen total grants of $35 million, of which $21.7 million (some 62%) has been to Jewish institutions.  This recognises the particular needs of the Jewish community for security, but has also ameliorated the needs of others in the community with significant external security issues.

The latest round of grants has compensated each Jewish school for some of its additional expenditure on security, with all schools obtaining grants.  The schools and preschools, after a rigorous security audit process, received a total of $5.38 million (schools), and preschools obtained a further $4.35 million.  The latest announcements completed the schools funding round with grants to both Moriah College and Emanuel School.

While the schools, in the past year, have spent over an additional $4 million on security guards, this infrastructure funding will ameliorate the necessity to spend huge amounts on ensuring our children can learn in a safe environment, protected, to the extent possible, from external threat that has been evident overseas.

The Jewish schools commend and thank the Federal Government for these much needed resources and in particular Minister Clare and his predecessor.  We would particularly like to thank Michael Danby MP, member for Melbourne Ports, whose signal efforts ensured these funds were available, and whose efforts also extended the funds to preschools.

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