National Report on Schooling in Australia 2012
Funding Australia’s schools
8.2 An overview of government funding of schools in 2012
The Australian Government funding arrangements applying from 2009 were agreed by all governments under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Specified in the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Federal Financial Relations, these arrangements are outlined in Part 8.1: Funding arrangements in 2012 that detail Australian Government school funding for 2012 (2011–12 expenditure).
Federal and state and territory government recurrent expenditure on school education in Australia for 2012 was $47.1 billion. This is illustrated in Figure 8.1, broken down by government funding sources.
Figure 8.1 Recurrent government funding for school education, Australia, 2011–12 (accrual basis)
Depreciation and user cost of capital expenses relating to government schools have been attributed to states/territories based on ownership of the underlying assets. A portion of these assets will have been acquired through Australian Government capital contributions, with states and territories responsible for maintenance costs. Australian Government expenditure data in this table include only Australian Government specific purpose payments. Other Australian Government funding for schools and students is not included.
Student numbers are 2011–12 average full-time equivalent (FTE) student populations.
Totals may not add due to rounding.
Sources: SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2014, Report on Government Services 2014, Productivity Commission, Canberra. Tables 4A. 7; SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2012
See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 49, Table 55 and Table 60
Growth in recurrent funding between 2011 and 2012 is outlined as follows:
- All schools expenditure increased by 6.3 per cent. Operating expenditure rose from $44.3 billion in 2010–11 to $47.1 billion in 2011–12, an increase of $2.8 billion.
- Government school sector expenditure increased by 6.0 per cent. Operating expenditure rose from $34.5 billion in 2010–11 to $36.5 billion in 2011–12, an increase of $2.1 billion.
- Non-government school sector expenditure increased by 7.4 per cent. Operating expenditure rose from $9.8 billion in 2010–11 to $10.6 billion in 2011–12, an increase of $0.7 billion.
In 2012, the government school sector received 77.6 per cent of recurrent government funding while the non-government sector received 22.4 per cent.
Total government school education funding, on a student per capita basis, was on average $15,768 for the government sector and $8,546 for the non-government sector.
Table 8.1 below indicates the total government funding and student per capita funding from Australian and state/territory levels of government to the government and non-government sectors.
Table 8.1 Recurrent government funding for school education, Australia, 2011–12 financial year (accrual basis)
(a) Average number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students, 2011 and 2012 calendar years. See Part 10: Glossary for definition of FTE.
Components may not add to totals due to rounding.
Sources: SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2014, Report on Government Services 2014, Productivity Commission, Canberra., Tables 4A.6, 4A.8, 4A.13, 4A.16 and 4A.18; SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2012
See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 49, Table 50 and Table 51
Total government funding per student over the past five years is outlined in the graph and table, Figure 8.2. This shows government school per student recurrent funding increasing over this period at a greater rate than for the non-government school sector.
The growth in government school student per capita recurrent funding reflects award increases, government initiatives and also incorporates the changes in funding arrangements under the Federal Financial Relations Act 2009 by the Australian Government from 1 January 2009 when there was an increase in government funding per primary student, a new broadbanded specific purpose payment, which included former capital funding in the recurrent base, and national partnership funding.
Primary student government funding increased from 8.9 per cent of the Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC) to 10.0 per cent of the AGSRC, and the percentage is now in line with government secondary schools per capita funding. National partnership funding began in 2009 and expenditure on these programs started to be reflected in increased expenditures¹.
Funding movements within and between government and non-government schooling also reflect student profiles and related targeted needs funding.
Figure 8.2 Total government per capita recurrent funding, government and non-government schools, 2007–08 to 2011–12 (actual $ per FTE)
Sources: SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2014, Report on Government Services 2014, Productivity Commission, Canberra., Tables 4A.13, 4A.16; MCEECDYA/SCSEEC, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 49, Table 50 and Table 51 for government school data.
Table 8.2 reflects the Australian Government’s funding arrangements that commenced in 2009, which incorporate National Schools SPP and national partnership funding; and the Nation Building and Jobs Plan, which incorporates Building the Education Revolution. The Nation Building and Jobs Plan program includes recurrent and capital expenditure elements.
Table 8.2 Australian Government specific purpose payments for schools by government/nongovernment, recurrent/capital, Australia, 2011–12 financial year (accrual basis) ($'000)
(a) From 1 January 2009 capital expenditure for government schools is included in the National Schools SPP. For consistency, capital grants totalling $137.0m have been rolled into the National Schools SPP for nongovernment schools.
(b) The Trade Training Centres in Schools Program operates as a 'deemed' national partnership through 'Overarching Funding Agreements' with all government and non-government education authorities.
Note: National partnership payments incorporate recurrent and capital elements with the exception of Digital Education Revolution and Trade Training Centres in Schools, which are capital funding only.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR); Final Budget Outcome (FBO) 2011–12, pp. 78–9; SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2014, Report on Government Services 2014, Productivity Commission, Canberra., Table 4A.9.
See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 60
¹ Most national partnerships with primary or secondary school education focus will conclude in 2013. From January 2014, funding will be redirected through the Australian Education Act 2013.
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