The coalition government will bring the independent schools sector into the fold for future consultation, Education Minister Christopher Pyne promises.
The Independent Education Union says despite it being a trade union, Labor frequently excluded it from consultations.
National president Dick Shearman said the independent sector was cut out from meetings between the Gillard government, public school representatives and unions about how to sell the Gonski school funding reforms to the electorate.
But the new education minister gave the union hope when he addressed its conference on Thursday.
"Under the previous government consultation was often very secretive and the coalition recognises that many stakeholders have felt they were left out," Mr Pyne said in his first public address as minister.
"Considering the non-government sector educates more than a third of all students, it seems only fair that it's treated by government as a genuine partner in education."
Mr Pyne wants his department to advise in improving consultation with the non-government sector, particularly on including representatives on a senior officials committee.
Echoing Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Mr Pyne promised a "no surprises" approach.
"Everything that will be implemented is in the policy we took to the federal election; there won't be any new things," he said.
The government will honour Labor's commitment under the new funding model for four years and will use that time to ensure the system is stable and affordable.
Before the federal election, Labor signed deals with NSW, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT, and independent and Catholic schools to implement the $16.5 billion system over six years.
Private schools say the principles behind the new system are sound but Labor "buggered up" its implementation.
"They buggered it up so fundamentally that we're in a worse position now in terms of what needs to be done in terms of a better and fairer funding system than we were before the process began," Mr Shearman said.
National Catholic Education Commission chief Ross Fox said it was good there was now "a basic framework" to support in the future flow of funding to support student needs but there would be big challenges to work through.
Geoff Newcombe, head of the NSW Association of Independent Schools, said the model Labor delivered was "complex to almost unworkable".
Mr Pyne said the coalition will seek to amend school funding legislation to remove parts that allow the Commonwealth to dictate to the states.
"We're not for taking over anyone or anything and we don't subscribe to a command and control philosophy," he said.
His policy also entails a student-centric focus, improving teacher training and encouraging public schools to become more autonomous.
The government will remove the data reporting and compliance functions from the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority and review whether national testing results should be published online.
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