In the lead up to the last State election in 2018 there were still some uncertainties around capital funding for Catholic schools. However it was announced late in 2018 that the State Government election promises included a positive pledge of $400 million over the next four years for capital works for non-government schools.
This equates to an average $100million a year with about $70million+ estimate to be received annually by Victorian Catholic schools. Previously the funding was $30million between 2015-2018.
Victorian Catholic schools will now receive the highest funded State government capital support of any other state or territory throughout Australia.
Federal Funding for Catholic schools
Federal funding has now been secured for Catholic schools throughout Australia following an ongoing campaign to ensure Catholic schools remain an affordable option for families.
The Prime Minister and Education Minister announced late 2018 the following:
A new fund to temporarily address unresolved issues from 2020 ($1.2 billion for non-government sector)
- Predominantly to keep fees low in Parish Primary schools and support small regional schools
- Nationally Catholic sector expects around $718 million which is then distributed in each State or Territory.
- Allocation by state/territory is to be decided by the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC).
There will be a new method for calculating parent capacity to pay for education which will be based on Parental Income Tax data. The tax data held by the taxation office will be matched with parent address details. No other information will be required to be provided to school. Catholic schools are transitioning to this new model with the option to select the Personal Income Tax (PIT) measure or existing SES methodology between 2020 and 2023.
Since the Education Maintenance Allowance was introduced, Health Care Cards funding has been provided to support the accessibility of low income families to attend Catholic schools.
- This may also be used to support low income families not on Health Card Cards
- The funding also supports all fees and standard levies and charges
This funding is not provided as an addition to school staffing and resources but includes additional resourcing for for HCC students.
Further information about Catholic School funding can be found at on the NCEC website.
NCCD Funding for students with diverse learning needs
CSPV invited the NCEC representative for NCCD funding and Manager of Learning Diversity at Catholic Education Melbourne, Judy Connell to speak at our final meeting for 2018. The presentation provided a broader insight to council members of the intricacies and challenges of the NCCD funding for children with diverse needs.
The legislation introduced by previous Education Minister Simon Birmingham now means that all schools and approved authorities must participate in NCCD annually (collected at census).
Interpretations of the model will become part of regular teaching practice with quality differentiated teaching an expectation – there are three adjustment levels that funding is based on:
NCCD consultants have been working with growth schools to help them understand the system and anticipated adjustments.
Categories of disability are:
- Cognitive - any child who learns differently
- Sensory - hearing or vision loss
- Social/Emotional - mental health issues/trauma/anxiety
Schools need to determine need and be flexible to changes. This includes regular consultation with families which is essential for NCCD funding assessment due to the nature of assessing need at certain times. It is also critical for parents to communicate changes with the school to enable the school to determine funding need.
Further information provided during the presentation included:
- Schools must have sufficient and adequate documented written evidence of adjustments having been provided over the minimum of 10 week period
- The information will not identify individual students
- Students with Disability (SWD) - in specialist settings are funded at a much higher rate than in mainstream schools
- Catholic schools are already providing support children with disability.
NCCD recognises all the things that teachers do and fund accordingly.
Therapy and equipment is funded by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) with extra contingency funds as the NCCD funding will not cover all necessary requirements for some schools.
If you or someone you know has further questions about the NCCD, click on the link below or speak with your school Principal.