Australian Education Act 2013
Commonwealth Recurrent School Funding
Victorian Ecumenical System of Schools Ltd
Needs Based Funding Arrangement 2018
The Victorian Ecumenical System of Schools Ltd (the System) receives Commonwealth recurrent school funding on behalf of its member schools as the approved system authority for those schools.
In accordance with section 78(5) of the Australian Education Act 2013, the System may redistribute this funding using its own needs-based funding arrangement. This needs-based arrangement must be fair, transparent and equitable, and provide students with the same need the same level of funding support from the Commonwealth.
The System has made a commitment to its members that they will be no worse off, in funding terms, than they would be if they were not systemic schools. To this end, the System supports and follows the funding methodology used by the Commonwealth, which provides base funding per student to schools using schools’ individual SES scores in recognition of each school community’s own capacity to contribute to school income.
Loadings for additional needs to support student achievement, including for students with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with low socioeconomic status and those with low English proficiency, and schools disadvantaged by location or size, are applied using the same methodology as the Commonwealth’s funding model.
In the 2014 – 2017 funding quadrennium, the System was funded using a weighted average SES score. Base funding was redistributed to all members according to their individual SES scores and loadings were applied according to need, using the Commonwealth’s funding model. The use of a weighted average SES score resulted in the System receiving some additional funding above the sum of individual schools’ entitlements. A portion of this funding was retained by the System and used for administration purposes, and the remainder was distributed to members using student numbers weighted by schools’ individual SES scores.
Under the Quality Schools reforms, a weighted average SES score is no longer applied to systemic funding from 2018. However, due to its use in the previous quadrennium, the System will continue to receive slightly more funding in the years 2018 – 2022 than the sum of members’ individual entitlements. The full amount of this funding will be paid to members using the SES weighted student number method previously used.
The Australian Government has provided System Weighted Average Assistance in 2018 to assist with the transition from the use of a weighted average SES score. The funding offered by this package will be used for administrative purposes in 2018 and 2019. From 2020, funding of the System’s administrative functions will be determined in due course, after the Australian Government’s response to the recommendations of the National Schools Resourcing Board and the subsequent impact on member funding are determined.