The Australian Christian Lobby has urged the South Australian government to retain chaplains in up to 45 public schools after The Advertiser reported today that the number of public primary and high schools with chaplains has been cut from 347 to 302 for the next three years.

ACL South Australian director Christopher Brohier has echoed views expressed by the SA Primary Principals Association and State Opposition that the cuts were the wrong move.

“Depression and anxiety in young people are the highest we've seen in a very long time,” Mr Brohier added, “Now is not the time to remove the chaplains who bring valuable spiritual input to those challenges – and the many other crises faced by young people. Enabling students to see a chaplain to talk with or get support has been very good for student wellbeing.”

“The State Government should pick up any funding shortfall,” Mr Brohier asserted, “The support for the program by the Primary Schools Principal's Association and Labor Opposition today shows the broad community respect and value chaplains bring for our school students.”

SA Primary Principals Association president Angela Falkenberg reportedly said chaplains are invaluable support and service connection for struggling families, adding that losing them could place an “additional workload” on other school staff.