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Islamic School of Canberra loses federal funds

Following an internal review by the DET, the Islamic School of Canberra will lose its Commonwealth Funding effective 16 December. The decision, announced by Minister Simon Birmingham on Friday 27 October, upheld the original decision to revoke the authority’s approval under the Australian Education Act 2013.

In a media statement Birmingham said: "The department has accommodated repeated requests for deadline extensions but the School’s authority has failed to address its non-compliance issues to meet the basic requirements of the Education Act.  The decision means from 16 December 2017, the authority will no longer receive Australian Government funding.

"The school can continue to operate as long as it remains registered by the ACT Government and is financially viable.

"The department first commenced a formal review into the financial management and governance arrangements of the Islamic School of Canberra in May 2015, alongside five other schools affiliated with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).

"All school authorities must meet the requirements of the Education Act to receive funding from the Australian Government.

School governance should be of the highest standard and funding should be exclusively used for the education and welfare of students," the Minister said.

The federal government's concern was the school's link with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

The Islamic School of Canberra rented from AFIC and borrowed several million dollars from the organisation to help see it through a previous funding cut. The relationship between the school and AFIC has been the subject of reviews and audits for several years.

The Islamic Practice and Dawah Circle, a not-for-profit behind mosques and multicultural religious centres throughout Australia, has applied to become the Weston school's new authority and has committed to funding it until federal money is reinstated.

The group has paid AFIC for the school's lease and has submitted an application to run the school to the ACT Education Directorate.


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