#919 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 6 Jul 2014.
The recent decision by the High Court to rule that federal funding of the National School Chaplaincy Program was unconstitutional has been seen by some as a fatal blow to school chaplaincy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In addition to overwhelming support for chaplaincy from principals, teachers, parents and students, two university studies, in 2009 and 2012, demonstrate the value of school chaplaincy.
The most recent study found that 96 per cent of respondents supported the work of school chaplains and agreed that the chaplains’ work as members of a student support services team was valued. And 82 per cent indicated that the social and emotional support provided by school chaplains to students had a considerable positive impact.
The National School Chaplaincy Program meets significant needs among students that are not being met through other means. Federal funding is money well spent, and I am confident that the government will find a sustainable solution.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.