Sect’s small schools given $2m in federal grants

Jewel Topsfield; 7/4/10

A tiny school campus in Bendigo run by the controversial Exclusive Brethren religious sect is receiving $1.2 million in federal funding to upgrade its library, despite having just 11 primary students last year. Documents also show that the Exclusive Brethren-run Glenvale School’s Swan Hill campus – which has just 16 primary students – received $800,000 for a hall under the schools building program. Critics claim this allocation of funds provides a stark example of the poor targeting of taxpayer money under the so-called Building the Education Revolution program, which has been dogged by allegations of rorting and mismanagement. The Australian Education Union called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to justify funding a school run by the Exclusive Brethren – which Mr Rudd while in opposition branded an ”extremist cult” that broke up families.