National Report on Schooling in Australia 2010

Funding Australia’s schools

8.3 Funding for government schools (First Page)

Australia’s constitutional arrangements allocate primary responsibility for school education to State and Territory governments. They are the major funders of government schools and in 2009–10 contributed 89.2 per cent ($29.3b) of total recurrent funding, with the Australian Government contributing the remaining 10.8 per cent ($3.5b).
 

Figure 8.3     Total government recurrent expenditure per student, government schools, Australia, 2009–10 (%)
Figure 8.3 Total government recurrent expenditure
Source: Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Report on Government Services 2012, Productivity Commission, Canberra, Table 4A.7
Australian Government funding for government schools
In 2009 the Australian Government introduced new funding arrangements for government schools (outlined in Funding developments in 2010). These incorporated:
  • The National Schools Specific Purpose Payment under the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) is based on primary and secondary enrolments and a per capita grant. This is indexed annually according to increases in the Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC) and growth in enrolments.

  • The Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) also covers National Partnership Agreements. Each National Partnership Agreement has its own conditions and funding is based on the achievement of educational outcomes.

  • Commonwealth Own-Purpose Expenses Annual Appropriations (COPEs) include a range of specific purpose programs.

Under the IGA all State and Territory governments are given flexibility in how much of this funding is to be allocated to recurrent and capital programs.
Government school recurrent expenditure
The total recurrent expenditure by government education systems over the past five years is provided at Figure 8.4.
 
Figure 8.4     Australian, State and Territory government recurrent expenditure (actual $'000), government schools, 2005–06
                          to 2009–10
Figure 8.4 Australian, State and Territory governm

 Figure 8.4 – source data ($'000)

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

 State and Territory recurrent expenditure

23,103,929

24,550,552

26,272,069

27,415,480

29,342,509

 Australian Government recurrent expenditure

2,266,721

2,373,104

2,485,752

3,440,779

3,551,880

 Total – all government recurrent expenditure

25,370,650

26,923,656

28,757,821

30,856,259

32,894,389

Sources: Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP), Report on Government Services 2012, Productivity Commission, Canberra, Table 4A.7; MCEECDYA National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
 
See also Additional Statistics Table 49
 
Figure 8.4 shows government school recurrent expenditure has increased from $25.4 billion to $32.9 billion from 2005–06 to 2009–10, an increase of 29.7 per cent or an annual average increase of 6.7 per cent.
As can also be seen in Figure 8.4, the Australian Government has contributed an increasing proportion of government school funding. This is due to National Partnerships, the broadbanding of programs as a result of new funding arrangements that commenced in 2009 and the impact of increasing primary school per capita funding in 2009. The increased Australian Government funding is reflected as an upward movement in its trend line. This was most pronounced between 2007–08 and 2008–09, with an increase of 38.4 per cent.
In 2010 the primary and secondary student government funding is set at 10.0 per cent of the AGSRC. (Primary funding increased from 8.9 per cent to 10.0 per cent of the AGSRC in 2009 to be in line with government secondary schools per capita funding.)
It should be noted that in 2009 the relative funding shares between the Australian and State and Territory governments were also impacted by the Australian Government transferring former capital funding into its broadbanded recurrent program (National Schools Specific Purpose Payment). It should also be noted that funding arrangements, including the methodology for allocating funding, differ among States and Territories. Historically, government school systems have not reported expenditure related to income received from parents and school communities under national reporting frameworks.
Government school recurrent per capita expenditure
Per capita relativities from 2005–06 to 2009–10 are shown below in Figure 8.5.
 
Figure 8.5     Australian, State and Territory government recurrent expenditure per student, government schools
                          (actual $ per FTE student), 2005
–06 to 2009–10
 Figure 8.5 Australian, State and Territory governm
   

 Figure 8.5 – source data ($)

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

 State and Territory recurrent expenditure

10,239

10,827

11,546

12,034

12,827

 Australian Government recurrent expenditure

1,004

1,047

1,092

1,510

1,553

 Total – all government recurrent expenditure

11,243

11,874

12,639

13,544

14,380


Sources
: Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, Report on Government Services 2012, Productivity Commission, Canberra, Table 4A.8; MCEECDYA National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

 
See also Additional Statistics Table 50
 
 
The recurrent student per capita expenditure (shown in Figure 8.5 above) shows similar movements to total government school expenditure. Expenditure per student has increased from $11,243 to $14,380 from 2005–06 to 2009–10, an increase of 27.9 per cent or an annual average increase of 6.3 per cent.
 
Primary and secondary school recurrent per capita expenditure
Per capita recurrent expenditure in government schools has steadily increased over the past decade. Table 8.3 shows that in 2009–10 this expenditure reached $13,240 for primary students and $16,132 for secondary students.
 
Table 8.3 also shows a growth of 6.2 per cent in total per capita funding over 2008–09 to 2009–10, from $13,544 to $14,380.
 
Table 8.3     Recurrent per capita expenditure on government schools, by level of education, Australia, 2005–06 to 2009–10
                        financial years (accrual basis) (actual $)

Financial year

 

Primary

Secondary

Total

 

2005–06

 

 

10,280

12,729

11,243

 

2006–07

 

 

10,938

13,315

11,874

 

2007–08

 

 

11,557

14,306

12,639

 

2008–09

 

 

12,391

15,312

13,544

 

2009–10

 

 

13,240

16,132

14,380

 

Note: Figures include State/Territory and Australian Government contributions.
 
Sources: MCEECDYA, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2010; National Report on Schooling in Australia (previous years); Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP), Report on Government Services 2012, Productivity Commission, Canberra, Table 4A.8
See also Additional Statistics Table 51
 
Recurrent per capita funding for secondary schools increased by 5.4 per cent from 2008–09 to 2009–10, while funding for primary schools increased by 6.9 per cent over the same period.
Secondary schools have a higher rate of per capita expenditure than primary schools, mainly because of the complexity and range of the education services provision and the smaller student–teacher ratios in the last two years of schooling.

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