Audit finds six Islamic schools misusing funds
Nov 17, 2015 | News
Six Islamic schools may lose their Government funding following an audit which has found them to be operating for profit.
On Friday, the private schools were formally issued with notifications of non-compliance with the financial management and governance requirements of the Australian Education Act.
The notices follow a six-month investigation by the federal education department.
Education minister Simon Birmingham revealed the schools, all affiliated with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), were the Islamic College of Brisbane, the Islamic College of Melbourne, the Islamic College of South Australia, the Islamic School of Canberra, Langford Islamic College in WA and Malek Fahd Islamic School in NSW.
The action follows fallouts between AFIC administrators and principals, a legal dispute between the NSW education department and Sydney’s Malek Fahd Islamic School and concerns over financial management and the delivery of the curriculum.
Senator Birmingham said legislation requires all school authorities to operate as not-for-profit entities, be a ‘fit and proper person’ and ensure that funding provided is used only for school education.
“School governance should be of the highest standard and funding should be used for the benefits of students,” he said.
"All schools must have effective management and accountability arrangements in place to support the best possible education outcomes for their students.
“My focus is always that we, as the taxpayer, get maximum bang for our buck to improve education outcomes for Australian children."
The six schools have 28 days to respond to the notices, with penalties for non-compliance including the possible removal of Commonwealth funding.