Operational funding

The base school allocation comprises staffing and operational funding.

Operational funding reflects the school type and includes:

  • school operational funding (SOF)
  • utilities
  • per capita allocation
  • location
  • urgent minor maintenance
  • teaching principals relief
  • initiative funding
  • site specific

School operational funding (SOF)

Effective from 2017 all NSW public schools saw a change in the methodology for calculating and delivery of the global funding allocation to schools.

The previous global funding model introduced in 1993 involved multiple line items and comprised four cost drivers including student, staff, school specific and site specific which were segmented by school type. The stepped nature of the model resulted in changes in enrolments causing disproportionate changes in funding.

From 2017, existing complex global funding line items were replaced with the new school operational funding allocation. It streamlined the current global funding into a new per capita/school type allocation model that better reflects the current needs of students and smoothed out the stepped effects which created funding uncertainty for many schools. Not incorporated into the SOF model were various individual line items of operational funding including, utilities, urgent minor maintenance, teaching principals relief and site specific. The school operation funding is allocated according to nine cost drivers and seven school types.

Cost drivers

  • Base cost
  • Total primary enrolment
  • Total secondary enrolment
  • Total senior enrolment
  • Total primary teacher
  • Total secondary teacher
  • Immediate SASS
  • Non Immediate SASS primary
  • Non Immediate SASS secondary

School types

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Central
  • School for Specific Purposes
  • Environmental Education Centre
  • Intensive English Centre
  • Community Care School (ETU)

Per capita allocation

The per capita allocation to schools, which commenced in 2016, includes additional funding in 2019.

The per capita allocation gives principals more flexibility in their local decision making to meet the unique needs of students in their school.

Some specialised settings receive a higher weighting per capita due to the intensive nature of teaching support required.

Schools have flexibility with this operational resource and may choose to use this allocation to:

  • enhance teaching resources
  • maintain a class if there has been a small reduction in full-time equivalent (FTE) staff
  • allocate additional resources to support specific programs
  • employ a range of personnel to support student learning needs.

The decisions on allocation of this funding will be based on initiatives within the school plan.

Site specific

Site specific allocations include a list of items that relate to particular settings. They include:

  • Agriculture Grant
  • Community Centre
  • External telephone lines
  • Hygiene Grant
  • Itinerants
  • Learning Difficulties Support Centres
  • Learning and Support, Assistant Principal
  • Specialist Support Class Provisions Cash Grant
  • Nappy bins
  • Pool chemicals
  • School security banking
  • Split site

Professional learning allocation

In 2019 professional learning funding maintains the current methodology for professional learning for teaching and non-teaching school staff in NSW public schools.

School location and type is factored into the allocation methodology for the total amount of available professional learning funds. This methodology supports school staff in regional settings to have more equitable access to professional learning opportunities.

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