What is the Schooling Resource Standard and how does it work?

Download What is the Schooling Resource Standard and how does it work? fact sheet

The Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) is an estimate of how much total public funding a school needs to meet the educational needs of its students, as recommended by the 2011 Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling.

The SRS is made up of a base amount for every primary and secondary student, along with six loadings to provide extra funding for disadvantaged students and schools, as shown in the diagram.

The base amount was calculated by analysing funding levels in schools (known as 'reference schools') where at least 80 per cent of students had achieved above the national minimum standard in NAPLAN for reading and numeracy for three years in a row.

The base amount is set at $10,953 for primary students and $13,764 for secondary students in 2018.

It is estimated that the base amount will account for 76.0 per cent of Commonwealth recurrent school funding expenditure in 2018.

For most non-government schools, the base amount is discounted by the anticipated capacity of their school community to financially contribute towards the school's operating costs.

This is called the 'capacity to contribute' assessment and it is based on the socio-economic status (SES) score of the school.

There is no 'capacity to contribute' discount applied to the loadings.

'Capacity to contribute' does not apply to government schools and non-government special schools and special assistance schools, non-government majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schools, and non-government sole-provider schools.

The higher the school's SES score, the more the base amount is discounted, up to a cap of 80 per cent of the base amount.

A school's SES score is calculated using student residential addresses and a socio-economic index based on the latest available Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The current SES scores were calculated in 2013 using student residential addresses collected by the department in 2012 and data from the 2011 ABS census. They have been applied to Government recurrent funding arrangements for schools since the current funding arrangements were introduced on 1 January 2014. Data from the 2016 ABS census will be available in October 2017.

Loadings provide extra funding for disadvantage

'Loadings' were developed by looking at how much additional funding on top of the base amount was required to help students facing different types of disadvantage.

Student with disability loading

This loading provides extra funding on top of the base amount for each student with a disability.

The loading for students with disability is currently provided for students that are eligible for support in their school's state or territory. Each state has a different definition of disability, which means a student with the same disability can currently be funded in one state but not another.

Further, the current loading is a flat rate for all students with disability regardless of the impact of their disability. Yet we know that the level of support needed for each student with disability to participate fully in school can vary considerably.

From 2018, the loading will be based on the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for school students with a disability (NCCD), which collects information on students with disability by the level of additional support they are provided to access and participate in learning. Under the NCCD, teachers and schools use their professional evidence-based judgement to capture information on the level of additional support a student is provided in the classroom.

Students with disability who are counted in the top three levels of the NCCD (extensive, substantial and supplementary levels) will attract a loading. The amount of the loading will reflect the level of support they need to participate fully in school, with higher funding for those who need higher levels of support.

The collection has a fourth level of support defined as 'support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice'. These students are supported within the classroom as part of standard teaching practice which is responsive to the needs of all students and delivered without the need for additional funding.

It is estimated that the student with disability loading will account for 8.7 per cent of Commonwealth recurrent school funding expenditure in 2018.

Funding for the students with disability loading will grow, on average, by 5.9 per cent per year over the next decade. This is faster than the annual average growth rate in per student funding, which is 4.1 per cent over the same period.

Low English proficiency loading

This loading provides extra funding on top of the base amount for a student that comes from a language background other than English and at least one of the student's parents completed school education only to Year 9 (or equivalent) or below. This may include recently settled migrants and refugees. The loading is 10 per cent of the base amount.

It is estimated that the Low English proficiency loading will account for 0.2 per cent of Commonwealth recurrent school funding expenditure in 2018.

Funding for the low English proficiency loading will grow, on average, by 6.2 per cent per year over the next decade, faster than the annual average growth rate in per student funding.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) loading

This loading provides extra funding on top of the base amount for each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) student. The amount of extra funding for each student depends on the proportion of ATSI students in the school. If there is a single ATSI student in the school, the loading is 20 per cent of the base amount. If 100 per cent of the students in the school are ATSI students, the loading is 120 per cent of the base amount.

It is estimated that the ATSI loading will account for 1.7 per cent of Commonwealth recurrent school funding expenditure in 2018.

Funding for the ATSI loading will grow, on average, by 6.7 per cent per year over the next decade, faster than the annual average growth rate in per student funding.

Socio-educational disadvantage loading

This loading provides extra funding on top of the base amount for each student from a socio-educationally disadvantaged background.

The loading amount is based on the percentage of students in the lowest two quartiles of socio-educational advantage (SEA) developed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. The SEA measures the occupational and educational status of students' parents by looking at factors like occupation, completed school education and highest level of post-school education.

The greater the percentage of a school's students in each of the bottom two quartiles of the SEA, the higher the loading, up to a maximum of 50 per cent for Quartile 1 and 37.5 per cent for Quartile 2.

It is estimated that the socio-educational disadvantage loading (previously known as the low socioeconomic status loading) will account for 9.3 per cent of Commonwealth recurrent school funding expenditure in 2018.

Funding for the loading for socio-educational disadvantage will grow, on average, by 6.2 per cent per year over the next decade, faster than the annual average growth rate in per student funding.

NB. The calculation of the socio-educational disadvantage loading is unrelated to the methodology used to determine a non-government school's SES score for the 'capacity to contribute'assessment referenced on the first page of this factsheet.

School location loading

This loading provides extra funding for schools in regional and remote locations in recognition that it generally costs more to educate students going to school in regional and remote areas than it does for students in city-based schools.

The loading is based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data on the remoteness or accessibility of every location in Australia. The loading is applied as a percentage to the base amount and the school's size loading.

It is estimated that the location loading will account for 2.4 per cent of Commonwealth recurrent school funding expenditure in 2018.

Funding for the loading for remote and regional schools will grow, on average, by 6.4 per cent per year over the next decade, faster than the annual average growth rate in per student funding.

School size loading

This loading provides extra funding for medium, small and very small schools in recognition that they cannot achieve the same efficiencies of scale as a large school. This is the only loading that is calculated as a set dollar amount (rather than proportion of the base amount) depending on the size of a school.

Primary schools with up to 300 students attract a size loading. Primary schools with between 15 and 200 students attract the maximum school loading of $172,728 in 2018. Secondary schools with up to 700 students attract a size loading. Secondary schools with between 100 and 500 students attract the maximum school loading of $276,365 in 2018.

It is estimated that the size loading will account for 1.6 per cent of Commonwealth recurrent school funding expenditure in 2018.

Funding for the size loading will grow, on average, by 3.3 per cent per year over the next decade.

Commonwealth share of the SRS

Under the new arrangements, the Commonwealth will contribute a consistent share of the SRS for each school. The Commonwealth's share will increase:

  • from an average of 17.0 per cent of the SRS for government schools in 2017 to 20 per cent in 2027, reflecting the Commonwealth's role as the minority public funder of this sector
  • from an average of 76.8 per cent of the SRS for non-government schools in 2017 to 80 per cent in 2027, reflecting the Commonwealth's role as the primary public funder of this sector.

All schools in each sector will attract a consistent share of the SRS from the Commonwealth within a decade. The schools that are the furthest behind will receive the fastest increase in funding.

State and territory governments will also be required to deliver their share of a total public funding level of at least 95 per cent of the SRS for all schools by 2023, unless otherwise agreed with the Commonwealth, as a condition of receiving Commonwealth funding.

Example of calculating a school's SRS

The following is an example of the SRS calculation in 2018 for a hypothetical combined non-government school in a regional location with 500 primary students and 500 secondary students.

The school has a socio-economic status (SES) score of 93.

  • 50 students have a disability.
  • 20 students have low English language proficiency.
  • 150 students identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • 600 students have socio-educational disadvantage.

SRS Component

Calculation

Amount*

Base funding

500 primary students x base amount of $10,953 = $5,476,500.

500 secondary students x base amount of $13,764 = $6,882,000.

$5,476,500 + $6,882,000 = $12,358,500

$12,358,500

Capacity to contribute discount (note this does not apply to government schools)

An SES score of 93 equates to a 10 per cent capacity to contribute discount rate per student.

$12,358,500 (total base funding) x 10% (discount) = $1,235,850 discount

-$1,235,850

Student with disability loading

20 primary school students with disability who attract a supplementary level of support x$4,600 = $92,000.

15 secondary school students with disability who attract a supplementary level of support x $4,542 = $68,130.

10 primary school students with disability who attract a substantial level of support x $15,991 = $159,910.

5 secondary school students with disability who attract an extensive level of support x $34,135 = $170,675.

$92,000 + $68,130 + $159,910 + $170,675 = $490,715

$490,715

Low English proficiency loading

20 students (or 2 per cent of students) are identified as having Low English Proficiency, which provides a 10 per cent loading per student.

$12,358,500 (total base funding) x 2% (base funding for 20 students) x 10% (loading) = $24,717

$24,717

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) loading

15 per cent of students (150 students) identify as ATSI, which provides a 35 per cent loading per student.

$12,358,500 (total base funding) x 15% (base funding for 150 students) x 35% (loading) = $648,821

$648,821

Socio-educational disadvantage loading

35 per cent of students (350 students) are in the first SEA quartile, which provides a 31.3 per cent loading per student.

$12,358,500 (total base funding) x 35% (base funding for 350 students) x 31.3% (loading) = $1,353,874

25 per cent of students (250 students) are in the second SEA quartile, which provides a 17.5 per cent loading per student.

$12,358,500 (total base funding) x 25% (base funding for 250 students) x 17.5% (loading) = $540,684

$1,353,874 + $540,684 = $1,894,558

$1,894,558

School location loading

The school is in a regional location and has an ARIA score of 5, which provides a 24.4 per cent loading per student.

$12,358,500 (total base funding) x 24.4% = $3,015,474

$3,015,474

School size loading

The school is considered to be a large school and therefore no size loading applies.

$0

Total SRS for 2018

 

$17,196,935

* All amounts have been rounded to the nearest 1.