Using funding for literacy and numeracy
Accountability for the effective use of needs-based funding extends beyond financial expenditure and includes evaluating the impacts on student learning.
The School Excellence Framework, Statement of Excellence, Leading - School Resources, states:
'In schools that excel, resources are strategically used to achieve improved student outcomes and high quality service delivery.'
It is vitally important that accountability for the effective use of needs-based funding extends beyond financial expenditure to include evaluation of the impacts on student learning.
Resourcing and planning support
The Guide for resourcing your SIP takes school leaders through the entire process of resourcing the Strategic Improvement Plan, from receiving your annual budget allocation to reporting on improved student outcomes.
The School Budget Allocation Report (SBAR) essentials, on the SBAR resource hub, provides key advice on ensuring the purposeful use of spending funding and examples of effective practice for schools. It states that the:
- funding is a critical resource that directly impacts on student learning
- funding is provided to meet student learning and wellbeing needs and improve student outcomes.
- funding supports the delivery of the strategic directions and targets identified in your school’s Strategic Improvement Plan.
How funding is used to support the literacy and numeracy development of students within your school depends upon a number of factors.
- What are the literacy and numeracy needs of students within your school?
- What additional skills are required by staff to support students' literacy and numeracy development?
- What funding is already allocated to specific students to support their learning needs?
- What staffing allocations does your school receive that can support literacy and numeracy development?
Considering these questions will enable you to effectively link funding to the initiatives and strategies in your school’s Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP).
Base school allocation funding
This incorporates the Quality Teaching, Successful Students (QTSS) staffing resource, and provides further support to improve the quality of teaching and enhance professional practice in schools.
Operational funding per capita
This provides principals with flexibility in their local decision making to meet the unique needs of students in their school.
This provides additional resources to schools to support identified needs.
- 'Professional learning' addresses the professional learning needs of all staff (teaching, SAS and other non-teaching staff) to implement the school’s strategic directions.
- 'Beginning teacher' provides regular release time for the beginning teacher as well as an experienced teacher to provide mentoring support that enhances their professional growth and teaching quality.
- 'Literacy and numeracy' addresses the literacy and numeracy learning needs of students across K-6. The ‘Literacy and Numeracy Intervention’ staffing allocation is also available across K-6 schools to support these needs.
- 'Early action for success' (EAfS) enables the employment of an EAfS instructional leader in identified schools to improve students' performance through targeted support for primary schools.
Equity loadings allow for a range of initiatives that support the target student group. Some schools may choose to combine their equity funding with other funding sources to better support the learning needs of students, such as:
- Socio-economic background
- Aboriginal background
- English language proficiency
- Low level adjustment for disability.
Targeted funding focuses on the learning needs of individual students who meet the specific criteria for each funding type.
- Refugee student support for students from refugee backgrounds who have been enrolled in an Australian school for less than 3 years.
- New arrivals program provides intensive English tuition for eligible, newly arrived students at the beginning and emerging phases of English language proficiency.
- Integration funding support is available for eligible students in mainstream classes with a confirmed disability who require moderate to high levels of adjustment.
Principals have the responsibility for determining the most appropriate ways of using the total annual school funding to meet the identified learning and support needs of all students, and those who meet the specific criteria related to each equity loading or targeted funding area.
Reflective questions on school funding
- What funding is required to support evidence-based strategies that would provide the most impact for improving the literacy and numeracy outcomes of students in our school at the whole school, specific group and individual level?
- Have we accounted for each of these funding allocations in our Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP)?
- Have all funded initiatives, including those not linked to a specific strategic direction, been accounted for in ‘Other funded activities’ and evaluated for publication in our annual report?
Find out more about School Excellence in Action.