A Message from Mrs Cohen

5 May 2017

You will be aware that ahead of the 2017/18 Federal Budget next week, the Prime Minister and Minister for Education earlier this week announced significant proposed changes to school funding arrangements to be implemented over the next 10 years. These have been summarised below.

Commonwealth funding for schools will increase from $17.5 billion in 2017 to $30.6 billion in 2027.

The total Commonwealth funding pool for schools will be increased by 3.56% annually for the next three years; after that indexation of the total funding pool will be indexed annually.

Australian Government recurrent funding for Queensland independent schools is projected to increase from $909 million in 2017 to $1.145 billion in 2021, an increase of 26%. However, how the funding changes impact on individual schools is still being worked through.  

A small number (24) of independent schools across Australia will have negative growth in their Australian Government funding in 2018 as a result of the changes. Details of these schools have not yet been released, however, we do know that Glennie is not one of them.

There will be significant changes to the funding arrangements for non-government school systems where the current weighted SES arrangements for systemic funding will be removed. Each school within a system will be funded according to its individual school loaded SRS. At this stage’ nobody knows how individual schools will be affected, though there are many in the media who are predicting doom and gloom.

The Commonwealth will also transition the calculation of loadings for students with disability to be based on the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD).

States/Territories will be required to maintain their real per student funding levels for both government and non-government schools as a condition of Commonwealth funding.

All of the changed arrangements will be subject to passage of amendments to the Australia Education Act with the Government intending to introduce the amendments into Parliament this month. This will probably be determined by the Senate cross-bench.

The Government also announced that David Gonski has been commissioned to undertake another review (already being referred to as Gonski 2.0). This review will focus on proposed policy reforms rather than funding. Mr Gonski will report by December 2017 with the outcomes to inform Agreements to be signed with States and Territories and the non-government sectors in early 2018.

Finally, the Government also announced today that the Students First Support Fund will continue.

Currently there is an annual allocation of $40 million (known as the Students First Support Fund) to the non-government sectors through this fund. This will be reduced to $25 million per annum. There will also be revised priorities and accountability arrangements with respect to the future Students First Support Fund.

Mrs Kim Cohen

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