What is the capacity to contribute review process?

Fact sheet

A capacity to contribute (CTC) score is a measure of a non-government school’s capacity to contribute to the ongoing costs of running the school. A school’s CTC percentage affects the amount of base recurrent funding the school attracts from the Australian Government under the Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act).

The Direct Measure of Income (DMI) is based on the median income of parents or guardians of students at a non-government school. More information about how the DMI is calculated can be found in the DMI fact sheet.

To support a smooth transition to the new DMI, in 2020 and 2021 schools will have their funding based on either their 2011 Census SES score, their 2016 Census SES score or their DMI score - whichever is best for them financially.

The new direct measure will apply to most non-government schools by 2022.

Reviews of CTC scores

Under subsection 53(2) of the Act, an approved authority may apply to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the department) for a review of a CTC score if it believes the score does not accurately reflect the school community’s circumstances.

The Guidelines for Approved Authorities – Capacity to Contribute (CTC) Review Process (the Guidelines) have been designed to assist approved authorities in determining whether exceptional circumstances exists for a school to seek a review. The Guidelines were developed in consultation with the non-government school sector and informed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Technical Framework for the Capacity to Contribute Review Process (the Framework). The Framework provides valuable complementary information.

Some possible exceptional circumstances where a review request would be considered include, but are not limited to:

  1. a change in circumstance not reflected in data or methodology, which could include recent significant changes in enrolments or local economic impacts affecting a school community.
  2. unique circumstances of the school community or school itself which impact the financial capacity of the school community to contribute. This could include high proportions of students from large families (e.g. those with greater numbers of dependants).

The Guidelines provide additional detail and required information for the department to consider a review request.

What will the review process look like?

Approved authorities will provide the department with a business case outlining reasons and evidence for a review.

The department will assess each business case together with additional evidence sourced by the department from external datasets to determine whether the existing CTC score is accurate or if a new score can be calculated.

If further information is required, the department will work with the approved authority to undertake a survey of parents and guardians of students at the school. As survey information will be used to calculate a new CTC score for the school, a high participation target of 100% will be sought.

Administrative reviews

In addition to reviews requested under subsection 53(2) of the Act, for 2020 and 2021, the department will facilitate an administrative review of a DMI score where it is 3 funded points, or more, greater than the school’s SES score. These reviews aim to provide authorities with certainty and enable planning. They will be subject to the same assessment process as reviews of funded scores.

Independent oversight of CTC reviews

To ensure the transparency of reviews, an independent External Assessor will oversee each review decision to ensure the department’s assessment processes are appropriate and thorough.


To request the review of a CTC score, an approved authority should consider the Guidelines and complete the review application form and submit it, together with relevant supporting documentation:

via email, to: CTCReviews@dese.gov.au
or via post to:
CTC Review Team
Department of Education, Skills and Employment
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601

Further information

Further information on the DMI process, the DMI methodology and the CTC review process is available on the Quality Schools page.

What is the capacity to contribute review process?