Key Facts

  • In Australia, school income is made up of a combination of government funding, fees and charges, and private contributions. In 2022, government funding made up 96.3% of gross income for government schools, 76.4% of gross income for Catholic schools and 48.7% of gross income for Independent schools.

  • In the 2021/22 financial year:

    • Total recurrent government funding for schooling was $78.69 billion. This was made up of $53.56 billion (68.1%) from state and territory budgets and $25.12 billion (31.9%) from the Australian Government (Commonwealth) budget.

    • Overall, 74.6% ($58.74 billion) of total recurrent government funding was allocated to government schools and 25.4% ($19.95 billion) to non-government schools.

    • The bulk of state and territory funding (91.5%) was allocated to government schools, while 61.2% of Australian Government funding was allocated to non-government schools.

    • Total recurrent government funding was $22,511 per student in government schools and $14,032 per student for non-government schools.

For more information on school finance information published in the National Report on Schooling in Australia, please click here.

Notes and caveats

Government expenditure on school education as a proportion of GDP:

    • Data for 1998–1999 and after are based on a revised methodology for calculating national accounts when compared with earlier years. Refer to ABS, 5253.0 - Information Paper: Upgraded Australian National Accounts 1998, for a detailed explanation of the changes.
    • Source: Derived by Australian Government Department of Education from ABS, Cat. No. 5518.0.55.001 (Table 1 and Table 19), Australia, Expenditure on Education.

Government expenditure by school sector:

    • For some non-government schools 2020-21 financial year payments from the Australian Government were brought forward to the 2019-20 financial year. 
    • The Australian Government provided increased assistance in 2020 to some non-government schools in response to COVID-19.
    • Student numbers are the average full-time equivalent (FTE) student populations for the years being reported. 
    • Australian Government specific purpose payments include recurrent, targeted and Indigenous program expenditure, until 2008/09. From 2009/10 onwards, these categories are not separately reported but funds expended on these purposes are included in the total specific purpose payment provision. 
    • From 2018-19 FTE enrolled students used to derive NSW and total Australian recurrent expenditure per student for government and all schools excludes Norfolk Island Central School (NICS) FTE enrolments. NICS is under Queensland administration from 1 January 2022.
    • Source: Government Schools Finance Statistics Group, National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) – Finance 2022, unpublished; the Australian Government Department of Education (unpublished); Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP), Report on Government Services 2024, Productivity Commission.

School income by school sector:

    • The school income and capital expenditure for government and non-government schools data below is aggregated from the My School finance collection. All data is collected for a calendar year and includes data for non-active schools where available.
    • Data is aggregated by the school attributes (school sector, geolocation and school type) for the latest available year, rather than allowing minor changes in these attributes over time to impact on the time series.
    • There are key differences between the 'School income and capital expenditure for government and non-government schools' - My School finance data (based on a calendar year) and the 'Government expenditure on government schools' - National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) finance data (based on a financial year). The income-based finance data from My School should not be compared to the expenditure-based finance data from NSSC (Finance).
    • Non-systemic Catholic schools are schools which identify as Catholic but are not administered by or funded through the Catholic diocese and are run independently. In the My School data collection, a number of Catholic non-systemic schools, mainly in NSW, are classified as independent schools. This affects finance data for those states and nationally, for the Catholic and independent sectors reported in this data set. An option has been provided to allow the viewer to choose whether to include these non-systemic Catholic schools in the independent or Catholic sector in data views.
    • The methodology and other associated material related to My School finance data classification may be obtained from the My School website.
    • The Australian Government provided increased assistance in 2020 to some non-government schools in response to COVID-19.
    • NRIPS (Net recurrent income per student) = Total gross income per student minus deductions per student.
    • Total gross income excludes income from government capital grants.
    • Income allocated to debt servicing includes principal repayments and interest on loans.
    • From 2016 to 2017, the method used to calculate NSW government school income from fees, charges and parental contributions and other private sources was changed for data quality purposes. This change affects the comparability of the 2017 and later years' data for NSW government schools with previous years' data.
    • Source: ACARA My School Finance Data Collection.