National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013

Funding Australia’s schools

8.3 Funding for government schools


Within Australia’s federal system, responsibility for school education rests predominantly with state and territory governments. They are the major funders of government schools and in 2012–13 contributed 87.8 per cent ($32.4 b) of total recurrent funding, with the Australian Government contributing the remaining 12.2 per cent ($4.5 b).

Figure 8.3 Total government recurrent expenditure per student, government schools, Australia, 2012–13 (%)

Figure 8.3 Total government recurrent expenditure per student, government schools, Australia, 2012–13 (%)


Source: SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2015, Report on Government Services 2015, Productivity Commission, Canberra., Table 4A.7

Australian Government funding for government schools


In 2009 the Australian Government committed to new funding arrangements for government schools (outlined in Part 8.1: Funding arrangements in 2013). These incorporated:

The National Schools Specific Purpose Payment under the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) is based on primary and secondary enrolments and a per capita base amount. This is indexed annually according to increases in the Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC) and growth in enrolments.
• The Intergovernmental Agreement 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, 2008–09 to 2012–13

Figure 8.4 Australian, state and territory government recurrent expenditure (actual $'000), government schools, 2008–09 to 2012–13


Sources: SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2015, Report on Government Services 2015, Productivity Commission, Canberra., Table 4A.8; MCEECDYA/SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) (Finance), 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 49


Figure 8.4 shows government school recurrent expenditure has increased from $30.9 billion to $36.9 billion from 2008–09 to 2012–13, an increase of 19.4 per cent or an annual average increase of 4.6 per cent.

In 2011 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 2008–09 to 2012–13 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), 2008–09 to 2012–13

Figure 8.5 Australian, state and territory government recurrent expenditure per student, government schools (actual $ per FTE student), 2008–09 to 2012–13


Sources: SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2015, Report on Government Services 2015, Productivity Commission, Canberra., Table 4A.13; MCEECDYA/SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) (Finance), 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

See also Part 9: 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 $13,544 to $15,703 from 2008–09 to 2012–13, an increase of 15.9 per cent or an annual average increase of 3.8 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 2012–13 this expenditure reached $14,520 for primary students and $17,608 for secondary students.


Table 8.3 Recurrent per capita expenditure on government schools, by level of education, Australia, 2008–09 to 2012–13 financial years (accrual basis) (actual $)

Table 8.3 Recurrent per capita expenditure on government schools, by level of education, Australia, 2008–09 to 2012–13 financial years (accrual basis) (actual $)


Note: Figures include state/territory and Australian Government contributions.

Sources: SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2013; National Report on Schooling in Australia (previous years); SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2015, Report on Government Services 2015, Productivity Commission, Canberra. Table 4A.13

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 51


Table 8.3 shows consistent growth over five years with a slight drop of 0.4 per cent in total per capita funding over 2011-12 to 2012-13 from $15,768 to $15,703.

Recurrent per capita funding for secondary schools decreased by 0.8 per cent from 2011-12 to 2012-13, while funding for primary school remained generally consistent 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.

Government schools – in-school and out-of-school expenditure


Table 8.4 below shows funding going to in-school and out-of-school activities for the government school systems.


Table 8.4 Operating expenditure by government education systems, Australia, 2008–09 to 2012–13 financial years (accrual basis) (actual $'000)

Table 8.4 Operating expenditure by government education systems, Australia, 2008–09 to 2012–13 financial years (accrual basis) (actual $'000)


Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Sources: SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2013; National Report on Schooling in Australia (previous years); SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2015, Report on Government Services 2015, Productivity Commission, Canberra, Table 4A.10

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 49


Out-of-school expenditure for government systems includes state office, regional and local functions supporting schools. In-school expenditure includes teaching and learning and school administration, and library functions within schools.

Expenditure on out-of-school support functions represents approximately five per cent of total government funding on state and territory government schools. The major component of funding, some 95 per cent, goes to fund schools directly.


Table 8.5 Operating expenditure by government education systems, Australia, 2008–09 to 2012–13 financial years (accrual basis) (actual $'000)

Table 8.5 Operating expenditure by government education systems, Australia, 2008–09 to 2012–13 financial years (accrual basis) (actual $'000)


Notes:

Amounts include Australian Government non-capital-related Specific Purpose Payments and other grants made to states/territories. Depreciation and user cost of capital expenses included in the figures are based on assets owned by states/territories, some of which will have been acquired with Australian Government capital grants.

Totals may not add due to rounding.

Sources: SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2013; National Report on Schooling in Australia (previous years); Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP), Report on Government Services 2015, Productivity Commission, Canberra, Table 4A.10

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 49


In-school expenditure substantially reflects teacher salaries expenditure, which accounts for some 63 per cent of in-school expenditure once the user cost of capital figure has been excluded for comparative purposes. The user cost of capital reflects the opportunity cost of being able to utilise capital funding for recurrent purposes (based on eight per cent of the written down value of capital assets). In-school non-salary costs account for some 24 per cent of in-school expenditure once the user cost of capital figure has been excluded. These expenditures include school materials, maintenance, cleaning and student transport costs.

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