News and Views

Getting school budgets right

NT Acting Education Minister Dale Wakefield announced an independent review into the Territory Government’s school funding model.

“As we re-invest in our schools we want to ensure we have a funding model that is equitable and transparent, and distributes funding to schools based on the needs of students,” Ms Wakefield said.

“We are investing an additional $124 million into education over the next four years.

“In 2017, an additional $20 million is being directed through the school funding model to where it is needed most. More funding will go to schools with pre-school students, secondary students, students in homelands, and schools with high concentrations of Indigenous students.

“The review will assess the current school funding model and make evidenced and practical recommendations on how it may be enhanced.”

The review will consider the way school budgets are calculated, including the use of effective student enrolment data and weightings in the funding model to address student needs.

The review will also look at what is paid for and managed by schools and what is paid for and managed centrally by the department.

Ms Wakefield said a request for quotation has been advertised with a successful respondent expected to be selected by early March 2017.

“It is hoped recommendations to improve the global school budget funding model will be considered for implementation from 2018.

“Importantly, the views of principals and external stakeholders will be taken into account in assessing whether the global school budget funding model is meeting the needs of Territory students,” Ms Wakefield said.

“Schools will continue to decide on how best to spend their money to meet the needs of students, but it is anticipated that the additional $20 million a year boost to 151 government schools will see more classroom teachers, specialists and support staff in our schools.”

The review is scheduled to begin in April with recommendations due to the Department of Education at the end of July 2017.

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