National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013
Funding Australia’s schools
8.6 Overview of My School financial information
As indicated below there are key differences between My School finance data and National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) (Finance) and other finance data reported in Parts 8.1–8.5 of this report. The income-based finance data from My School should not be compared to the expenditure-based finance data quoted in previous subsections.
My School financial reporting
In 2010, Education Ministers approved the publication of school financial information on a school by school basis on the My School website. This section of the report provides high-level profiles of recurrent funding information for the 2012 calendar year based on school financial details published on the My School website in March 2014.
My School financial reporting is designed to provide parents, teachers and governments with a clear picture of the resources provided to schools to support the education of their students.
The key financial measure reported on My School is school Net Recurrent Income and Net Recurrent Income per Student (NRIPS). Government and non-government schools and systems that allocate some of their gross income to capital purposes have these amounts shown and deducted from their gross income. Gross income that is allocated to capital expenses in the reporting year is included in the school’s capital expenditure report.
The methodology and other associated material related to My School finance data classification may be obtained from the My School website.
My School finance data were developed to show the income available to a school, over a calendar year (not financial year), to deliver education services to students. My School income data include private funding that supports a school but exclude user cost of capital (a notional opportunity cost), payroll tax and the cost of transporting students to and from school.
In addition, it should be noted that private funding, as reported on My School for the government sector, is excluded from the NSSC (Finance) collection whereas payroll tax, student transport and user cost of capital are included in NSSC expenditure information. Also, the NSSC finance data are reported on a financial year basis. Therefore recurrent income information contained within this section and recurrent expenditure in the preceding sections are not directly comparable.
For government and systemic schools, where a system’ or managing organisation (such as a district, region or state office) other than the school itself, incurs expenditure and manages finances for the school, each school’s income is composed of all such funds used for and on behalf of the school plus any cash income received at the school level, as if each school were accounted for as a stand-alone entity. This approach is consistent with the principles of Australian Accounting Standard AASB 1004 – Contributions.
It also is important to note that the definitions and counting rules for schools and enrolments used for the My School website differ, in some respects, to those of the SCSEEC National Schools Statistics Collection (Non-Finance) 1
used for the reporting of school and student data elsewhere in this report.
This section provides summarised national recurrent income information by source and NRIPS information by school size and school sector derived from My School information.
For 2012, the Australian Government funding comprised 16 per cent of the total gross recurrent income for government schools with the majority 79 per cent being funded by the state governments.
For non-government schools the Australian Government contributed 55 per cent of Catholic sector gross recurrent income and 31 per cent of independent sector gross recurrent income. Income from fees, charges and parent contributions contributed to 52 per cent of independent sector recurrent income and 23 per cent of Catholic sector recurrent income.
Table 8.11 below shows the movements in recurrent income between 2011 and 2012 by funding source.
Table 8.11 Movements in recurrent income between 2011 and 2012
These data are depicted graphically in Figure 8.7 below.
Figure 8.7: Total recurrent Income between 2011 and 2012, by funding source (billions)
Net Recurrent Income per Student (NRIPS)
As the number of students varies across years, showing income per student allows for a more informative comparison, particularly between sectors. Table 8.12 below depicts income per student.
Table 8.12 Movements in income per student between 2011 and 2012
In 2012, the net recurrent income per student (NRIPS) was $12,793. This is an increase of 3.62% over 2011.
Between 2011 and 2012, there was 2.68% increase for the government sector (to $12,370), a 5.14% increase for the Catholic sector (to $11,647), and a 5.37% increase for the independent sector (to $15,996).
In both 2011 and 2012, NRIPS is highest for the independent sector, followed by the government sector, and then the Catholic sector. However, growth in the Catholic sector rate has significantly outpaced the other sectors to the point that Catholic sector NRIPS is just below that of the government sector in 2012.
Figure 8.8 shows that the NRIPS gap between the government and Catholic sectors is narrowing, however the gap between the independent sector and the other two sectors remains fairly constant.
Figure 8.8: Trend in NRIPS between 2011 and 2012, by Sector ($/Per Student)
Net recurrent income per student and school size
My School financial information indicates that generally, the larger the size of the school, the lower is its NRIPS. This is to be expected, due to economies of scale in larger schools where fixed and less variable funding components are spread over a larger student base, reducing NRIPS. There are also demonstrated relationships between remoteness and smaller school size, meaning that smaller schools are more likely to be in non-metropolitan areas and have access to needs-based funding support.
School size exerts a determining influence on a school’s recurrent income. Generally, the lower a school’s enrolment, the higher is its NRIPS.
The national average school NRIPS in 2012 was $12,793 compared to $12,345 in 2011, an increase of 3.62 per cent, and the average school full-time equivalent (FTE) funded enrolment was 356, based on 2012 FTE funded enrolments reported on My School.
As school size progressively increases above the average school size, the NRIPS progressively decreases due to the impact of key factors such as economies of scale and location. As school size decreases below the average school size, per student income rises markedly due to factors such as diseconomies of small scale and remote and very remote locations.
Net recurrent income per student and school type
Table 8.13 Average net recurrent income per student by school type, 2012
Figure 8.9 Distribution of school net recurrent income per student for school sectors by school type, 2012
Table 8.13 above provides details of the average number and NRIPS of schools by type and also reveals the layered nature of NRIPS according to school type, with primary schools having the lowest levels of NRIPS, followed by secondary, then combined and finally special schools.
Figure 8.9 highlights the relatively high costs of operating special schools and government combined schools. However, it should be noted that, within the government sector, combined schools are mainly established only in remote or sparsely populated areas and that their high cost of operation is related to their size and location.
The National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) (Non-Finance) is published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia and is the source of school number and student enrolment data reported elsewhere in this report, including in the Additional Statistics, and in previous editions of the National Report on Schooling in Australia. Data included in this section on a per school or per student basis cannot be directly compared to data reported elsewhere in this or previous reports. Further information on the NSSC (Non-Finance) is included in Part 10: Glossary
CPI changes used in this and subsequent tables represent changes from December quarter to December quarter, as per ABS cat. No. 6401.0, series ID A2325847F
Deductions from Recurrent to Capital Services.
NRIPS (Net Recurrent Income Per Student) = Total Gross Income per student minus Deductions per student
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