Programme 1.2 Non-government schools national support

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This programme contributes to productivity and participation in Australia by providing funding for non-government schools and systems under the Australian Education Act 2013. The Government provides the majority of public funding for non-government schools. This funding is supplemented by state and territory governments and funding from other sources, including fees and other contributions from school communities.

Recurrent funding

Recurrent funding under the Australian Education Act 2013 is paid through state and territory governments to non-government schools and systems for the provision of school education. The purposes for which this funding may be used include, but are not limited to, teacher salaries and other expenses relating to school staff, developing curriculum materials, general operating expenses of schools, maintaining school land and buildings, and purchasing capital equipment. Non-government special schools, special assistance schools, majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schools, and sole provider schools may also use this funding to purchase land and buildings.

Approximately $8.84 billion in recurrent funding was paid in three instalments to non-government schools through state and territory governments in 2014 under the Australian Education Act 2013.

Indigenous Boarding Initiative

The Indigenous Boarding Initiative1 provided interim funding in 2014 to non-government boarding schools with significant numbers of Indigenous boarding students from remote areas while the Review of Australia’s Welfare System, including ABSTUDY, is being completed. This funding assisted eligible schools to meet the additional costs associated with boarding and educating these students.

In 2014, approximately $6.2 million was provided to 21 eligible schools in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria under the prescribed circumstances provisions of the Australian Education Act 2013.


1Referred to as Remote Indigenous Students Attending Non‑Government Boarding Schools — Additional Funding in the 2014–15 Budget.

Capital Grants Programme

The Government provides funding to assist non-government school communities to improve capital infrastructure at schools, particularly for the most educationally-disadvantaged students. Capital grants are supplementary to funding provided by school communities and non-government school authorities who have the primary responsibility for providing, upgrading and maintaining school facilities.

In 2014, the Government provided $134.5 million for 254 projects at 221 non-government schools under the Australian Education Act 2013.

Special Circumstances Funding - Short Term Emergency Assistance funding

Under the Australian Education Act 2013, the Government can provide funding through the Short Term Emergency Assistance programme in accordance with the provisions of Special Circumstances Funding under the Act to assist non-government schools in the event of an unexpected circumstance causing severe and temporary financial difficulty.

In 2014, no special circumstances funding was paid to non-government schools under the Australian Education Act 2013.

Non-government Representative Bodies - Student First Support Fund

Associations of Independent Schools and Catholic Education Commissions in each state and territory have been approved as non-government representative bodies under the Australian Education Act 2013. These bodies receive funding to provide additional support to the schools they represent through the Students First Support Fund to help non-government schools implement national reforms.

In 2014, a total of $41.2 million was paid to non-government representative bodies under the Australian Education Act 2013.

Performance Information

Table 2: Programme 1.2 Non-government Schools National Support performance information
Deliverables Estimate Actual
Recurrent grants – non-government
Funded full-time equivalent student enrolment projections a 1,297,000 1,281,000
Capital grants – non-government
Number of schools assisted with capital support b 245 221

a Funded full-time equivalent student enrolment projections do not include unfunded students such as full fee paying overseas students.

b Capital grants is a calendar year programme. The number of schools assisted from year to year varies depending on the size of projects supported.

Key Performance Indicators Estimate Actual
Enrolment projections – non-government a
All full-time student enrolments in Australian schools:
• Primary students 674,000 670,000
• Secondary students 619,000 617,000
Indigenous students b 30,000 30,000

a All full-time student enrolments in Australian schools include unfunded students such as full fee paying overseas students. The aggregate of all primary and secondary student enrolments will not match funded enrolments.

b Indigenous student enrolments are a subset of primary and secondary student enrolments.

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