Australian School Funding and Finance (Part 1)

As someone who has a great interest in education, particularly public education. School funding and finance is one topic you cannot avoid to be involved with. How the funding is distributed also reflects how the Australian political landscape move and shifts as well. It also gives the public an insight into the priority of funding and underlying political philosophy as well. How the funding works is also a practical maze as well with different formulas and multiple sources as well.

To start with this topic first I need to go over the composition and makeup of the Australia schooling system. Australian primary and secondary schools are run by either the public or private sector. Public schools in Australia is run and operated by each State and territories, not the federal government. The private schools are divided into two categories, independent and Catholic schools. School funding also derives from different sources that being federal government and state government grant, plus private sources. Within the private sources, there is also a difference in the type of private funding sources, it is made up fee, charges, parental contribution and other private sources.

On top of the what listed already, state and territories also fund capital project outside the school’s recurrent income, this includes both public and private schools. Public school’s capital projects are pretty much exclusively funded by this. Private school’s capital projects are funded in a mix of private and public funds.

As you can see already there are a lot of complexities in how the Australian schools are funded and where those funds are coming from. Typically the public schools derive most of their funding from federal and state government and with the private schools it is as straightforward, some get most of their funding from private sources where the others actually mostly funded by the public.

I will try to go into more detail and provide more data on this topic in the follow-up blog posts.


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