Remote and/or isolated schools receive funding through the location allocation in the base school allocation.
The location allocation recognises that some isolated schools are disadvantaged because it is more difficult to interact for professional learning. Additional funding is provided to counteract this remoteness. In 2021 the location allocation delivered funding to approximately 1,013 schools to recognise needs in relation to:
- remoteness – disadvantage due to distance from population centres and the additional cost of goods and services
- isolation – disadvantage due to distance from other schools and educational resources.
The location allocation measures remoteness using the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA+). ARIA+ is widely used across Australia and has become recognised as a nationally consistent measure of geographic remoteness.
How are remoteness and isolation calculated?
The remoteness allocation provides funding to all schools classified under the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) remoteness area classification as outer regional, remote, and very remote or migratory.
The road distances measured between populated localities are used to generate an index with values ranging from 0 (high accessibility) to 15 (high remoteness). It forms the basis for the ABS remoteness area classification and has been the standard ABS endorsed measure of remoteness since 2011.
Weighting - enrolments are multiplied by a weighting factor that increases according to the school's ABS remoteness area classification:
- outer regional Australia - 1.0
- remote Australia - 1.5
- very remote Australia and migratory - 2.0.
The isolation component of the location loading is based on two main components:
- distance - isolation is determined by the total road distance from one school to its nearest five schools (of any type).
- enrolments - isolation is multiplied by the school's enrolments divided by the sum of its enrolments and the enrolments of its nearest five schools (of any type).
There is a minimum isolation funding of $400 per school and a maximum funding of $100,000.
Schools have the flexibility to decide how these resources will be best used to address school needs associated with remoteness and/or isolation.