What is the capacity to contribute review process?

Download fact sheet: What is the capacity to contribute review process?

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

From 2020, a new Direct Measure of Income (DMI) of CTC will replace the previous area-based socio-economic status (SES) score measure to determine the CTC for most non-government schools[1]. The DMI is based on the median income of parents or guardians of students at a non-government school.

Guidelines are being developed to assist approved authorities that may wish to request a review of a school’s CTC score. The review process will be consistent with previous arrangements.

The department has worked with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on the new measure of CTC, including the development of a Data Quality Framework and a Review Framework.

How can an approved authority seek a review of its school’s CTC score?

An approved authority may seek a review of a school’s CTC score if it believes the score does not accurately reflect the community’s financial circumstances.

Guidelines will be developed in consultation with stakeholders to assist approved authorities determine whether or not to request a review of a school’s CTC score. These Guidelines will outline possible exceptional circumstances where a review request would be considered, such as, but not limited to:

  1. a change in circumstance not reflected in data or methodology, which may not have been reflected in the DMI scores. This 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).

It is important to note that not all approved authorities will be funded on their CTC score until 2022. To support a smooth transition to the new DMI, in 2020 and 2021, schools will have their funding based on their 2011 Census SES score, their 2016 Census SES score or their DMI score – whichever is best for them financially. This phased transition provides the opportunity for both approved authorities and the department to consider and refine the review process.

What will the review process look like?

The review process is being developed with the aim of reducing the administrative burden for schools and approved authorities. Work is underway in consultation with the ABS on a technical framework for the review process. This framework will inform the development of Guidelines for approved authorities to assist them in determining whether to proceed with a review request.

Consistent with previous review processes, approved authorities will be asked to 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, such as ABS Census data. If further information is considered necessary, the department will work with the approved authority to undertake a survey of parents and guardians of students at the school.

An independent advisory panel will provide oversight of review decisions.

The department will also consult with key stakeholders on the proposed CTC review process and potential considerations for approved authorities in reviewing a school’s CTC score.

Further information

Please check the Capacity to contribute page regularly for information about the review process.


[1] CTC does not apply to government schools, non-government special schools or special assistance schools, non-government Majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schools, or non-government sole-provider schools.