Using the Aboriginal background equity loading

The Aboriginal background equity loading is a funding allocation to meet the learning needs and to support the cultural knowledge and identity of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student.

The SBAR resource hub provides key advice on how to spend SBAR funding with purpose, and provides examples of effective practice for schools. Effective use of funding and resources offers more information about using your equity loadings in school planning.

These funds are to be used to support school strategic directions to improve Aboriginal student achievement with a view to addressing the targets and priorities that the department and Commonwealth Government seek to address.

Accountability for the expenditure of these funds occurs through the Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) and the annual report. Schools are expected to expend these equity funds in the calendar year in which they are received to meet the specific learning needs of Aboriginal students.

Engagement and consultation

Effective use of the Aboriginal background equity loading is best achieved when principals engage and consult with Aboriginal parents and carers, Elders, local or regional Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups (AECGs) and community members, to determine the best way to support the learning and cultural identity needs of Aboriginal students.

The allocation may include an Aboriginal education officer (AEO) or Aboriginal school learning support officer (ASLSO) entitlement appearing on published Anticipated Enrolment and Entitlement reports. Staff entitlements included in the Aboriginal Background loading is funded from the loading and is not in addition to the loading.

Reflective questions on school funding

  • The SBAR resource hub provides key advice on how to spend SBAR funding with purpose, and provides examples of effective practice for schools. The Aboriginal background webpage states that ‘Engaging Aboriginal people in partnership and decision making is a critical element of successful practice’. How would this best be achieved for the effective use of Aboriginal background equity loading funds?
  • How are Aboriginal background equity loading funds used for the explicit improvement measures of Aboriginal students in the school plan?
  • What improvement measures and school processes have been used to evaluate whether strategies are on track to achieve their intended purpose?
  • Have we included system-negotiated targets as improvement measures for this funding?
  • Can improvement measures effectively enable the reporting of the impact on educational outcomes of the initiatives and activities?
  • What evidence-based strategies which would provide the most impact for improving the learning outcomes of Aboriginal students?
  • Have we planned to expend the funds in the current calendar year?
  • Does the Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) show how the funds are strategically linked to improving learning and/or wellbeing for Aboriginal students?
  • Are the funds linked to effective initiatives that can be evaluated using appropriate improvement measures and success criteria?
  • Have we engaged Aboriginal people in co-decision making and consulted with the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc. (NSW AECG Inc.)?

Learn more

Find out more about School Excellence in Action.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Aboriginal education
  • Educational finance
  • Finance
  • Inclusive practice
  • Planning, budgeting and forecasting
  • School Excellence Framework
  • Teaching

Business Unit:

  • School Performance – South
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