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Changes to use of SES in Funding for CaSPA Schools in 2018

Posted on 5 December 2017
Changes to use of SES in Funding for CaSPA Schools in 2018

As we are all aware the SES is one of a number of factors used by the Government to calculate funding for Catholic Schools.  There have been other significant factors also used including:

  • the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage [ICSEA]
  • Funding maintained arrangements for some schools as a result of Gonski 1.0
  • Weighting for small schools

The NCEC are one of a number of bodies involved in a review of the effectiveness of the SES [as used within the SRS model] to determine a school community's "capacity to contribute" to the school's resource benchmark. While we wait the outcome of this Government Review, it is also interesting to note the effect of the planned move by the current LNP Government to move away from a System Weighted Average for groups of Australian Catholic Schools to assessing each school's unique SES [along with other measures as mentioned above]  to calculate funding for the next 10 year period.

The Commonwealth Department of Education has recently made public the SES for all non government schools that it will be using in its funding calculation in 2018. The 2018 SES has been summarised along with the SES arrangements that were used in 2017 in the Table above. The Table compares the SES being applied in each Diocese/CEO around Australia where CaSPA schools are based. Some of the key takeaways would include:

  • The SES for all schools in large CEO systems e.g. Melbourne [Me] up until 2017 was set at a weighted average of 101 - regardless of the actual mathermatical average of these schools
  • From 2018 the SES of major City Diocese Schools that are systemically funded goes up [based on the mathematical average rather than a system weighted average]  - hence leading to funding falls
  • In some areas - especially suburban Sydney - there are a relatively large number of schools that were not part of a System Based model. These were schools owned by Religious Orders and hence not part of the Diocesan Systems for funding purposes
    • while the SES of these schools will not alter, those with higher SES are likely to see a fall in funding as they had been working in a "funding maintained" arrangement that will no longer be used from the start of 2018
  • It is clear that CaSPA schools in Regional Areas have a lower average SES. This factor would have been taken into consideration when each of the various Diocesan System Authorities calculated their needs based funding in their local system.

The key point though is the "bottom line" where we see the average of all schools' 2017 SES is 102.4 while the average for all CaSPA schools for 2018 has risen to 102.7. So along with the other changes initiated in the Gonski 2.0 Funding Model, a higher SES for Catholic Schools will contribute to the expected fall in funds for many of our schools.

Needless to say this provides yet another justification for the current Review of the SES as a means of determining a school's capacity to contribute to the financing of its operations.

Tags: Government Funding

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