On 20 September 2018 the Australian Government announced its response to and acceptance of all the recommendations of the National School Resourcing Board's Review of the socio-economic status score. This included a new method for calculating school funding, making the education system fairer and more equitable.
Commonwealth funding for non-government schools will be linked to a direct income measure from 2020 using improved data collection and analysis of parental income that will ensure non-government school funding is targeted at the students who need it most.
In the interim, the Government will provide approximately $170.8 million in additional funding for 2019 for non-government schools. This support builds on similar provisions in 2018, allowing schools to plan with confidence for the 2019 school year while work is underway to test and refine the direct income measure and settle the new arrangements.
What support is being offered in 2019?
The interim support measures are:
- low growth for 2019 measure
- system weighted average for 2019 measure
- 2016 Census data update for 2019 measure
What will the updated Census data provide?
Commonwealth funding is based on the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) which provides a base amount per student and additional funding through loadings for disadvantage. For most non‑government schools, the base amount is discounted by the anticipated capacity of a school community to financially contribute towards the school's operating costs. The anticipated capacity of a school community to contribute is based on the socio-economic status (SES) score of the school. Currently, the SES scores for capacity to contribute are area-based and informed by the 2011 Census of Population and Housing (Census) data.
In its final report, the Board recommended that SES scores are updated with 2016 Census data in 2019, while further work is undertaken to refine a direct measure. In keeping with this recommendation the measure to provide financial assistance equivalent to updating for 2016 Census data for 2019 was developed.
Under the 2016 Census data update for 2019 measure, the Government will provide funding to non‑government schools equivalent to the benefit of updating SES scores with 2016 Census data. This measure will provide approximately $79.3 million for non-government schools in 2019.
Funding under this measure will automatically be calculated and paid to schools and systems that would financially benefit from the use of 2016 Census data, with the first instalment of these payments expected in the first quarter of 2019. Schools that would have experienced a reduction in funding based on this update will not see a change in their funding.
The value of this measure is calculated based on the benefit of using the updated 2016 Census data for the SRS calculation as well as its impact on the transition path of the school or system.
Does the 2016 Census data update affect regular recurrent school funding?
No. Funding for this measure will be paid through the Australian Education Regulations 2013 and does not affect recurrent funding entitlements as calculated through the Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act).
Do schools need to apply for this funding?
No. Schools and approved authorities do not need to apply to receive the additional funding for any of the 2019 interim support measures. The department will automatically calculate the additional funding amounts for eligible non-government schools.
For more information about interim support as schools transition to the direct income measure, see the below fact sheets: