What is the Quality Schools package and what does it mean for my school?

Fact sheet

The Australian Government is delivering record and growing funding for schools

On 23 June 2017, amendments to the Australian Education Act 2013 (the Act) successfully passed through the Federal Parliament to allow the Australian Government to implement its Quality Schools package.

The Australian Government is delivering a record $315.2 billion in total school recurrent funding from 2018 to 2029. School funding will grow from a record $18.7 billion in 2018 to an estimated $32.7 billion in 2029.

Funding will grow faster than broader economic growth. The total Australian Government recurrent funding is growing at 86.6% to 2029. Funding per student is growing at an average of 4.0% each year (from a 2017 base).

At the national level, funding per student for all sectors will continue to increase.

The needs-based funding model will see the Australian Government continue to increase its share of funding for government schools. The Australian Government will continue as the majority funder of non-government schools. Over 2018 to 2029:

  • On average funding for government schools will grow by 100.2% (from a 2017 base). The total Australian Government recurrent funding for government schools is $128.6 billion.
  • On average funding for non-government schools will grow by 78.0% (from a 2017 base). The total Australian Government recurrent funding for non-government schools is $186.6 billion.

This funding growth means schools will be able to continue and expand successful programs such as specialist teachers or targeted interventions for children falling behind.

Funding will be consistent, transparent, and needs-based

For the first time, Australian Government school funding is truly needs-based. Australian Government funding is based on the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). The SRS provides a base amount per student. Additional funding is incorporated to support disadvantaged schools and facilitate achievement of priority cohorts as recommended by Mr David Gonski AC’s 2011 Review of Funding for Schooling.

Students with the same need within the same sector will attract the same support from the Australian Government, regardless of the state where they live. Students with greater needs will attract higher levels of funding from the Australian Government.

The Australian Government will contribute a consistent share of the SRS for each school. The share will increase to 80% of the SRS for non-government schools and 20% for government schools by 2029.

A majority of schools currently funded below their target share of the SRS will transition to the target by 2023.

Schools that are currently funded above their target share will transition to it by 2029 at the latest.

States and territories will be required to contribute their share

State and territory governments are also required to deliver their share of total public funding. Further information about state funding contribution requirements is available at: How are schools funded in Australia?

Funding is indexed each year

To give education authorities certainty, the Australian Government is honouring its 2016 Budget commitment to grow the SRS at 3.56% from 2018 to 2020, which is higher than real cost growth.

From 2021, the SRS will grow at whichever is the higher:

  • 3%, or
  • a rate derived of 75% Wage Price Index and 25% Consumer Price Index.

Strengthened accountability and transparency

The Australian Government established the National School Resourcing Board (the Board) to provide greater independent oversight of funding arrangements, in line with the recommendations of the 2011 Review of Funding for Schooling.

The Board is responsible for undertaking reviews of different parts of the funding model under the Act and the Australian Education Regulation 2013. Including the annual review of state and territory funding contributions under section 22A of the Act.

Reviews undertaken by the Board will help to ensure the funding model is using the best available data and methodologies, as well as making sure funding is used in line with the Act.

The Board is currently undertaking a Review of Regional Schooling Resource Standard Loadings. Future reviews will include examining approved authorities’ compliance with requirements under section 78 of the Act and the SRS indexation arrangements.

The Minister for Education consults with state and territory Education ministers, and national representative bodies for Catholic systemic schools and independent schools on the work of the Board.

The Board has completed the following reviews:

  1. a review of the socio-economic status (SES) score methodology
  2. a review of the loading for students with disability
  3. a review of needs-based funding requirements
  4. an annual review of state and territory compliance with sections 22A (state and territory contributions).

Funding is tied to reforms

The Australian Government is delivering a funding model which is simple, transparent and based on need. It ties funding to reforms that will boost education outcomes.

Working together, all Australian governments developed the National School Reform Agreement (the National Agreement) that came into effect from 1 January 2019. It is a joint commitment between the Australian Government and the states and territories to lift student outcomes across Australian schools. The aim of the National Agreement is that Australian schooling provides a high quality and equitable education for all students.

The National Agreement sets out 8 national policy initiatives in areas where national collaboration will have the greatest impact.

The National Agreement has been informed by the findings and recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, the Independent Review of Regional, Rural and Remote Education and the final report of the STEM Partnerships Forum.

Direct Measure of Income of Capacity to Contribute

The Australian Government supports the right of parents to choose the best school for their child. It provides funding for each child, regardless of the school system their parents choose. Where parents choose non-government schools, taxpayer funding is discounted by the school community’s capacity to contribute.

Prior to 2020, capacity to contribute was based on the average SES of the communities where the students of the school live. From 2020, the new Direct Measure of Income (DMI) will be used to determine capacity to contribute. The DMI is based on the income of parents and guardians of a school’s community. This is based on the findings of the National School Resourcing Board and ensures the measure is the fairest, most accurate and transparent available.

In 2020 and 2021, schools will receive the financial benefit of their 2011 Census SES score, 2016 Census SES score or their DMI score to ensure a smooth transition. The DMI score will apply to all schools by 2022. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment will advise approved authorities if a school would financially benefit from using DMI arrangements in 2020, 2021 or 2022. These arrangements will provide schools with time to plan as change is gradually introduced.

National average Australian Government recurrent funding

 

2018 per student funding

($)

2029 per student funding

($)

2018-2029 per student increases (from 2017 base) ($)

Avg. annual per student increase 2018-2029 (from 2017 base)

Avg. 2021 CW share of needs based funding

Government

$2,914

$4,690

$1,967

4.6%

19.0%

Catholic

$9,274

$13,645

$4,791

3.7%

78.6%

Independent

$7,743

$11,359

$4,029

3.7%

77.3%

Further details on the impact for each state and territory is detailed in: How much Australian Government funding is provided to schools in each state and territory?