The immediate problem is to ensure that the non-government system isn’t gutted and the government system isn’t inundated. The risk of that happening seems likely to grow, and to go on growing, along with unemployment, under-employment, and fear of debt. If it does the cost of a quick fix will grow too, and that will compound the big problem.
The way out has three parts.
First, the government must help schools help parents, immediately. In doing so it should remember that government schools lean on parents to make “voluntary contributions,” often quite substantial ones; they’ll need help too. The government should establish a fund to which all systems, government and non-government alike, can apply, and it should commission an urgent analysis of the likely trajectory of the problem.
Second, it should make clear that this is an interim measure only. It should announce an in-principle intention to move to full public needs-based funding for all systems and independent schools willing work within a common charter of rights and obligations. The core principles and objectives of that charter would include: no fees, the right to faith-based schooling, the obligation to reduce within-school segregation, and full transparency as to performance and compliance.
Third, it should set up the machinery to turn these principles into a well-designed proposal.