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Local Schools, Local Decisions – at a glance

Local Schools, Local Decisions gave NSW public schools more authority and flexibility to decide how best to meet their students’ needs.

Local Schools, Local Decisions was an education reform that placed students at the centre of school decision making. It gave principals and their school communities a greater say over how they allocate and use their available resources to best meet the needs of their students.

This meant giving schools greater flexibility to make decisions about how to use the money we spend on public education. Schools manage more than 70% of the state’s public school education budget – an increase from 10% in 2013.

Schools have access to a range of resources to support their students, including those available through the 7 needs-based loadings allocated through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM). Principals can combine and use their school’s total resources flexibly to respond to the additional learning needs of all students in the school, whatever the cause.

For more information visit The reform.

  • October 2017 – all NSW public schools received their 2018 Planned School Budget Allocation Report. This report provides schools with details of the total budget allocations at a point in time.
  • Term 4 2017 – schools will finalise their 2015-2017 planning cycle and through rigorous evaluation develop the 2017-2020 school plan.

The NSW Government launched the Local Schools, Local Decisions education reform in March 2012. This is the most significant and far reaching reform in school education in NSW in a century.

It’s about making sure that students are placed at the centre of all decision making. It gives schools more local authority to make decisions that best meet the needs of all students, while maintaining a strong and equitable public education system.

Local Schools, Local Decisions works across 5 key areas to build a more dynamic public education system:

  • managing resources
  • staff in our schools
  • working locally
  • reducing red tape
  • making decisions.

Resource Allocation Model (RAM)

Since 2014, NSW public schools have been funded through the needs-based Resource Allocation Model (RAM) that ensures a fair, efficient and transparent allocation of the state public education budget.

Benefits of RAM include:

  • more resources provided to schools on a needs basis
  • more resources allocated to schools with the greatest need
  • principals able to strategically allocate resources to support the needs of every student
  • schools have more opportunities to meet their local needs by working together and combining resources within communities of schools and across networks of schools.

From 2018, all principals will also have greater flexibility to vary the staffing mix in their school and employ additional staff to meet their students’ needs.

School plans

Schools develop a comprehensive three-year school plan connected to a budget and student outcomes, in consultation with the school community. The school plan reflects a school’s priorities for improvement in line with the School Excellence Framework. The school plan is published on the school’s website by the end of Term 1, at the commencement of the planning cycle, and updates are published annually.

The school planning and reporting approach aligns one plan, one budget and one report giving NSW public schools greater authority to meet the needs of their communities, and to improve teaching quality and student outcomes.

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