School funding FAQs
Student Resource Package
Q: How is a school’s budget calculated?
A: The main source of funding for our government schools is distributed through the student resource package (SRP). Most of the money included in the package is core student funding, which is worked out based on enrolment numbers, stages of learning and the school’s location.
The SRP also includes equity funding, which provides additional money for schools with students who face extra barriers to education. This helps ensure that we are providing appropriate funding to support students and schools that need it most.
Q: What does indicative funding mean?
A: Schools receive their indicative funding allocation in September annually, which is an estimate of how much funding each school will receive in the following year. This amount can change between the release of the indicative SRP and the following school year, based on changes to enrolments.
Q: Why do school budgets change?
A: School budgets vary each year for a range of reasons, but primarily because school funding is calculated based on enrolment numbers, which means that as school enrolments change, so does the school’s funding.
Q: Are these budgets final?
A: For most schools this is the final budget cycle based on enrolment movements, however schools that are audited for enrolment purposes may have some changes that impact their final position. This process is normally undertaken in May/June annually and reconstructed budgets for audited schools only are republished in June.
Q: Why do some schools have different equity funding allocations to 2018?
A: Equity funding is calculated annually based on student demographic data collected during the August census. As student demographics change each year, schools will receive different amounts of equity funding.
From 2019, equity funding will be calculated based on a three year weighted average of student demographic data. This will reduce equity funding variations and additionally a $90,000 floor on negative funding changes to social disadvantage allocations from one year to the next has been introduced. The total amount of equity funding going to Victorian government schools remains the same.
Q: What’s the minimum amount a school can receive?
A: A minimum equity provision of $5,000 will be provided in 2019 to ensure all schools continue to benefit from the equity reforms.
Q: What happens if a school loses equity funding in 2019?
A: Fluctuations in school funding due to enrolment and demographic change are part of the normal school budget process. The introduction of a three year weighted average will reduce large fluctuations by capping negative funding changes at $90k year on year. Schools are required to have planning strategies in place to manage budgets, utilisation of the SRP Planner is recommended.