The Canberra public school system is a leader in the provision of high quality and accessible education for all students.
This is something we are extremely proud of and something we are determined to build on and strengthen through inspirational teaching and leadership, connecting with families and the community, business innovation and improvement, and quality learning.
A Framework for the Future | SRA Program - Needs Based Funding | Transition | Student Resource Allocation Guiding Principles | Socio-Economic Status (SES) – Needs-Based Loading | English as an Additional Language or Dialect Needs-Based Loading | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students | Students with Disability | Schools Operational Allocation (SOA) | The Role of the School Board | School Parent and Citizen Associations (P&Cs) | More Information
A Framework for the Future
The Student Resource Allocation (SRA) Program provides for:
- learning environments that best meet student needs through innovative work practices, delegation, decision making, staff development and performance management, and special classroom assistance;
- updated and improved policy settings to guide school and system decision making
- increasing school level control over how resources are used based on what works best in their school and within system wide parameters;
- a fairer allocation of funding to schools based on student need;
- improved data about student and school performance; and
- improved administrative and school management systems such as the Schools Administration System (replacing MAZE).
SRA Program - Needs-Based Funding
The ACT Education Directorate is developing and implementing a needs-based school funding model that is consistent with the Australian Government’s 2011 review led by David Gonski - Review of Funding for Schooling Final Report - and in line with the Territory’s commitments under the National Education Reform Agreement.
The principles of student needs-based funding are to:
- drive broader school reform, value for money and accountability;
- ensure transparency and clarity of funding across schools and for school communities; and
- ensure that resources are directed to where they are most needed.
A contemporary funding model specifically for Canberra public schools is being progressively developed and commenced in 2016.
The funding model is structured around:
- Core Funding
- Per Student funding - based on school enrolment;
- Base Funding - per school and based on sector and size; and
- Stages of Schooling - investing in the early years for a good start to school and supporting wellbeing and the breadth of curriculum options in senior schools.
- Loadings that recognise the need for additional resources to enhance the school experience for:
- Students with Disability;
- Students with English as an Additional Language or Dialect;
- Students from Low Socio-Economic backgrounds; and
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
- School Operational Allocation and other allocations.
The SRA Program is being introduced over a number of years to ensure schools have adequate time to make a smooth transition to the new arrangements. As with previous years, all Canberra public schools were advised of their SRA Program projected budget allocation for 2017 in late term 3 2016.
Student Resource Allocation Guiding Principles
The Guiding Principles of the SRA direct the SRA Program's policy development and implementation.
The seven guiding principles anchor the Canberra public schools reform directions and provide a summary of the key objectives of the SRA Program, including the SRA school funding model.
Diagram 1: Student Resource Allocation Guiding Principles
- Educational Considerations - Educational considerations, based on the best evidence available, will drive the data sets, weightings, and parameters used in the design and implementation of new arrangements.
- Fairness - Fairness will result when schools with similar mix of learning needs receive similar funding.
- Transparency - Transparency will ensure funding is visible and directed to support the needs of students and schools.
- Accountability - Accountability for the resources schools receive, including articulation of the responsibilities of schools to support, and report on, student learning.
- School Level Decision Making - School level decision making will be enabled through clear understanding of what resources will be provided to schools and when it will be provided.
- Transitional Fairness - Transitional fairness will drive progressive implementation over several years so schools, where necessary, can adjust as the ACT moves from the old system to the new model.
- Sustainable and Flexible - Sustainable and flexible design allows for new policy priorities and changing school and student populations over time.
Socio-Economic Status (SES) - Needs-Based Loading
We know that a student’s achievement can be affected – but is not determined by – their socio-economic background. The aim of the Socio-Economic Status (SES) needs-based loading is to reduce the impact of socio-economic status on student achievement in school. Additional resources are provided to certain schools according to the needs of their students with the aim of improving outcomes for all students. Through this students will be provided with a quality education enabling all students to fully participate economically and socially in society.
English as an Additional Language or Dialect Needs-Based Loading
The English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) policy and needs-based loading is aimed at supporting students to develop language proficiency to allow them to participate effectively in the school curriculum and participate successfully in a culturally diverse society.
The EAL/D student needs-based loading has been developed through evidence-based research, data analysis and consultation, looking at the changing demographics of Canberra EAL/D students and factors that may influence their English language acquisition. Research has also been undertaken to see how other Australian jurisdictions support the needs of EAL/D students.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students
The Review of Funding for Schooling lead by Mr David Gonski identified the need to review the supports in place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Through the SRA Program, the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student policy and loading review has commenced.
Through consultation, data analysis and evaluation, we will be looking at policies, programs and resources which specifically support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The review seeks to determine how different approaches can best support students to achieve. The programs currently available come in a number of forms; including grants, programs and staffing points and are supported by the approaches undertaken across individual schools and clusters.
Recognising that it is important to ensure there is robust policy direction, consultation, collaboration, and evaluation before any changes are implemented, the review will be undertaken in a phased approach with input from schools, students and community.
Students with Disability
The Education Directorate is currently undertaking an evaluation of support for students with disability in Canberra public schools. This evaluation will focus on the effectiveness of existing policies, structures, and processes that support students across the system. A program of research and consultation is being undertaken to inform future directions.
The Directorate is consulting with families, school staff, peak bodies, leading practitioners and students to ensure a wide variety of views are considered. All input is currently being considered by our research partner, the Centre for International Research on Education Systems, at Victoria University. Outcomes of the consultation program will inform the future direction of support for students with disability in Canberra public schools.
A Discussion Paper has been developed to provide background on the current policies, programs and supports in place for students with disability in Canberra public schools: Discussion Paper (399 kb)
Schools Operational Allocation (SOA)
The Schools Operational Allocation (SOA) was formerly known as School Based Management (SBM).
The SOA provides funding to administer school operational costs (excluding the staffing expenditure) such as utilities, cleaning and minor maintenance.
The new SOA is part of the SRA Program and follows the same guiding principles; educational consideration, fairness, transparency, sustainability and flexibility, accountability, school level decision making and transitional fairness.
An SOA Working Group was established in term 1 2016. The role of the Working Group was to consider key strategic issues, policy formulation and the development of guidelines associated with the development and implementation of the SOA funding model. The Working Group consisted of a number of Principals, Business Managers and relevant Central Office Directors.
The key themes arising from the SOA consultation related to Central Office support, guidelines and communication. Organisational support and guidelines are being updated to reflect the SOA consultation outcomes.
The Role of the School Board
The Board is responsible for the school's strategic direction. The principal remains the expert in the operational matters, which support the strategic direction. The SRA Program will not change the important role the Board has in schools.
School Parent and Citizen Associations (P&Cs)
School P&Cs play a vital role in the functioning of many of our schools. The P&C is the main forum for parental/carer discussion on educational matters and student well-being. In many schools, funds raised by the P&C are used to purchase items for use in the school.
The money raised by school P&Cs is not being considered in the SRA Funding Model.
If you have any questions or require additional information on the SRA Program please contact your school's principal.