How is Australian Government funding for schools distributed according to need?

Fact sheet

Australian Government recurrent funding for schools is based on the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). This funding is passed onto Approved Authorities who are responsible for the administration and operation of schools. For government schools, the approved authority is the relevant state or territory. For non-government schools, the approved authority is the body corporate approved by the Minister for the school.

The Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act) recognises that Approved Authorities are best placed to understand the individual needs of their students and schools. Approved Authorities for more than one school are able to distribute the Commonwealth funding they receive among their schools in either of two ways:

  • according to the School Resourcing Standard (under subsection 78(4) of the Act); or
  • by choosing to redistribute that funding among its individual member schools according to their own needs-based funding arrangements (under subsection 78(5) of the Act).

Approved Authorities that redistribute funding in accordance with subsection 78(5) of the Act are known as Approved System Authorities and are required to make their needs-based funding arrangements publicly available and transparent.

To find out more information about your school, its Approved Authority, and the funding it receives please visit the MySchool website.

Who are the Approved Authorities for more than one school?

Government Approved System Authorities (State and Territory Governments)

For government schools, the approved authority is the relevant state or territory government. All states and territory governments redistribute funding between members schools according to their own needs-based funding arrangement, as per subsection 78(5) of the Act.

System name Need-based funding arrangement
Department of Education Northern Territory School Resourcing Model
ACT Education Directorate Student Resource Allocation
Department of Education Tasmania Educational Adjustments funding model
Department of Education Western Australia Student-centred funding model
Department of Education New South Wales Resource Allocation Model
Department of Education Queensland State Schools Resourcing Framework
Department for Education South Australia Funding policy for schools and preschools - Resource entitlement statement (RES) supporting information
Department of Education and Training Victoria Student Resource Package

Catholic Approved System Authorities

The following Catholic Approved System Authorities redistribute funding between members schools according to their own needs-based funding arrangement, as per subsection 78(5) of the Act.

Name Needs-based funding arrangement  
Catholic Education Northern Territory Distribution of recurrent government funding to Catholic Education NT schools  
Catholic Education Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Needs-based funding arrangement for systemic Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn  
Catholic Education Tasmania Catholic Education Commission Tasmania Needs-Based Funding Arrangement  
Catholic Education Western Australia CECWA Australian Government Recurrent Funding Allocation Model
Catholic Schools NSW The needs-based funding arrangement for the NSW Catholic schools system
Queensland Catholic Education Commission Queensland Catholic Education Commission’s (QCEC) Group Funding Guidelines

In addition, each Diocese provides information on its own funding distribution:

Catholic Education South Australia South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools Funding Mechanism
Catholic Education Commission Victorian CECV Allocating government grants to Catholic schools in Victoria

Independent Approved System Authorities

Name Needs-based funding arrangement
Albury Wodonga Community College Limited (‘Indie’ School) Indie School – Needs Based Funding Approach
Anglican School Commission (Southern Queensland) Overview of Needs-Based Funding Distribution Principals Anglican Schools Queensland System
Anglican Schools Commission (Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria) Distribution of Commonwealth Recurrent Funding
Anglican Schools Corporation Distribution of government recurrent funding in Anglican Schools Corporation
Ecumenical Schools Australia Ecumenical School Needs Based Funding Agreement 2021 
Lutheran Education South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia Finance Policy – Needs-based Funding Distribution
Lutheran Church of Australia Queensland District Overview of Needs-Based Funding Distribution Arrangements
Lutheran Church of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania LEVNT Needs-Based Funding Distribution Principles
NT Christian Schools Overview of Needs-Based Funding Distribution Principles
Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation Needs-Based Funding Distribution Principals
Seventh-Day Adventist Schools North NSW Limited SDA Schools (NNSW) Ltd – Needs-Based Funding Arrangement
Seventh-Day Adventist Schools South Queensland Limited Seventh-day Adventist Schools (South Queensland) Ltd Needs-based Funding Arrangement 2020
Seventh Day Adventist Schools (South New South Wales) Limited

Commonwealth recurrent grant implementation policy

Seventh Day Adventist Schools Victoria Limited Commonwealth Recurrent School Funding
Swan Christian Education Association Needs-Based Funding Arrangement

Independent Approved Authorities for more than one school

These Approved Authorities distribute funding according to the SRS with no reallocation between member schools, as per subsection 78(4) of the Act.

Christian Community Ministries Ltd Summerland Christian Life Centre Ltd
Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT)  The Tamworth Christian Education Association Limited
Trustees of the Christian Brothers The Council of St Andrew's Cathedral School
The Presbyterian Church New South Wales Property Trust FSAC Ltd
The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW) Campbelltown Anglican Schools Council
St Philip's Christian Education Foundation Limited Winifred West Schools Limited
Christian Schools Tasmania Australian Industry Trade College Ltd
The Uniting Church In Australia Property Trust (Q) Carey Baptist College Inc
Christian Outreach Centre Wesley College Melbourne
PARED Ltd The Salvation Army (Qld) Property Trust
Mercy Education Limited Pacific Coast Christian School Limited
The Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association Australian International Academy of Education Inc
Youth Off The Streets Limited Trustees of the Marist Brothers
Christian Aboriginal Parent-Directed Schools Trustees of the Christian Brothers (Queensland)
The Trustees of the Sydney Grammar School The Council of the King's School
Australian Islamic College (Perth) Inc South Australian Anglican Schools System Incorporated
The Baptist Union of Queensland- Community Services Group Seventh Day Adventist Schools Western Australia Limited
The Trustees of Edmund Rice Education Australia Seventh-Day Adventist Schools (Tasmania) Limited
Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children Seventh-Day Adventist Schools (Greater Sydney) Limited
Al Faisal College Limited Seventh-Day Adventist Schools South Australia Limited
Illawarra Association for Christian Parent Controlled Education Seventh-Day Adventist Schools Northern Territory Limited

Note: The Department is currently working with Approved System Authorities to develop a shared understanding around needs-based funding arrangements under section 78(5) and the applicable legislative requirements. This is based on recommendations from the National School Resourcing Board’s Review of Needs Based Funding Requirements.

For further information about Approved System Authorities’ Needs Based Funding arrangements contact the relevant authority.

How is Australian Government funding for schools distributed according to need?

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Australian Government recurrent funding for schools is based on the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). This funding is passed onto Approved Authorities who are responsible for the administration and operation of schools.

Approved Authority Fact Sheet_downloadable version.pdf