Australian Education Act 2013

The Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act) outlines how schools receive Commonwealth funding and how to spend the funding appropriately.

The Act

The Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act) is the main legislation for Commonwealth funding to government and non-government schools.

The Act commenced on 1 January 2014.

The Act sets out:

  • The rights and responsibilities of organisations in order for them to receive Australian Government funding for school education
  • Broad expectations for compliance, to ensure funding accountability to the Commonwealth and school communities

Organisations covered by the Act include:

  • Approved authorities for schools
  • Block grant authorities
  • Non-government representative bodies
Australian Education Act illustration

Act amendments

The Act was last amended on 23 June 2017 to give effect to the Quality Schools package.

The amendments support a funding model that is:

  • Transparent
  • Consistent
  • Needs-based

It also encourages a collaborative approach to school reforms, based on clear objectives and targets for performance. These changes commenced on 1 January 2018.

The Australian Education Regulation 2013 (the Regulation) provides more detail to support the operation of the Act. It was also amended as part of the implementation of the Quality Schools package and now includes sections on:

  • Financial accountability
  • Other conditions that are required in order to receive funding under the Act
Amendments illustration

Approved funding authorities

School funding is received and administered by approved authorities depending on the type of school.

  • State or Government Schools - the relevant state or territory government
  • Non-government schools - the body corporate approved by the Minister for that school

Resources for approved authorities

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Block Grant authorities

Capital grants for non-government schools are administered by two block grant authorities in each state:

  • Catholic schools
  • Independent schools

There are joint block grant authorities for Catholic and independent schools in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Block grant authorities must comply with:

  • the Act and Regulations
  • Capital grants program guidelines
Block Grant Authorities

Non-government representative bodies

Non-government representative bodies are body corporates approved to receive funding under the Act. They must:

  • Support the implementation of school education reform priorities in non-government schools
  • Comply with the Act and Regulations
  • Follow the 2020 Non-Government Reform Support Fund Guidelines
Career Transition Assistance_Pilots

National School Resourcing Board

Independent Oversight of Funding Arrangements

The National School Resourcing Board oversees school funding to:

  • Make sure the funding model uses the best available data and methodologies
  • Ensure funding used in line with legislation
Block Grant Authorities