Recent Auditors Report on Government Funding of Schools

There has been quite a bit written and discussed in the media recently about the cost to parents of educating students in Government schools. This arose because the Auditor General recently handed down a report on an audit that “assessed whether the Department of Education and Training (DET) and government schools are managing parent costs economically, efficiently and in accordance with legislations and policies”. Having read the full report, I would like to share some of Auditor Generals conclusions.

• Funding of Secondary Colleges in Victoria were 11.4% below the national average.

• DET does not know the true cost of free instruction in the standard curriculum.

• DET does not know whether school funding is sufficient for the provision of free instruction.

• DET cannot assure itself, schools or parents that funding is sufficient to provide free instruction.

• The funding allocation was insufficient to cover actual operating and maintenance cost for school infrastructure costs. On average the audited schools spent 82% more than they received on these activities.

• Schools generate almost as much income themselves $626 million (42%) as they receive in cash payments from DET $771 million. This is largely from parents and to a small extent other sources.

• Schools with more disadvantaged families derive less income from parent payments. Less disadvantaged schools received an average parent payment of $610 or 6.7% of their total revenue, while more disadvantaged schools received an average parent contribution of $315 or 2.6% of the total revenue.

Having read the whole report, I make the following observations: –

 

Gleneagles SC parent payment policy is substantially compliant with DET policy. There were a couple of technical matters to address e.g. our policy is required to state that we will not employ debt collectors – we never have and never would, so we had concluded it was redundant to include this in our policy.

Secondly, Governments from both political parties talk about free education. As the report shows they simply do not know if they provide the funding to deliver on the promise they so freely make. As an experienced Principal I can state that our budgets have certainly been getting much tighter over the last few years.

School programs and facilities would be substantially diminished if not for locally raised funds.

This puts pressure on schools and parents, particularly those parents with limited means.
I am pleased that the current Victorian Government seems to acknowledge that our government schools are inadequately funded. I look forward to this concern being reflected in increased funding for government schools in the May State budget. Gleneagles SC will continue to strive to deliver the quality programs parents expect and students deserve. Would that it was a little easier for all concerned!

Sue Peddlesden, Principal

 

 

 

 

 

There has been quite a bit written and discussed in the media recently about the cost to parents of educating students in Government schools. This arose because the Auditor General recently handed down a report on an audit that “assessed whether the Department of Education and Training (DET) and government schools are managing parent costs economically, efficiently and in accordance with legislations and policies”. Having read the full report, I would like to share some of Auditor Generals conclusions.

• Funding of Secondary Colleges in Victoria were 11.4% below the national average.

• DET does not know the true cost of free instruction in the standard curriculum.

• DET does not know whether school funding is sufficient for the provision of free instruction.

• DET cannot assure itself, schools or parents that funding is sufficient to provide free instruction.

• The funding allocation was insufficient to cover actual operating and maintenance cost for school infrastructure costs. On average the audited schools spent 82% more than they received on these activities.

• Schools generate almost as much income themselves $626 million (42%) as they receive in cash payments from DET $771 million. This is largely from parents and to a small extent other sources.

• Schools with more disadvantaged families derive less income from parent payments. Less disadvantaged schools received an average parent payment of $610 or 6.7% of their total revenue, while more disadvantaged schools received an average parent contribution of $315 or 2.6% of the total revenue.

Having read the whole report, I make the following observations:

 Gleneagles SC parent payment policy is substantially compliant with DET policy. There were a couple of technical matters to address e.g. our policy is required to state that we will not employ debt collectors – we never have and never would, so we had concluded it was redundant to include this in our policy.

 Secondly, Governments from both political parties talk about free education. As the report shows they simply do not know if they provide the funding to deliver on the promise they so freely make. As an experienced Principal I can state that our budgets have certainly been getting much tighter over the last few years.

 School programs and facilities would be substantially diminished if not for locally raised funds.

 This puts pressure on schools and parents, particularly those parents with limited means.
I am pleased that the current Victorian Government seems to acknowledge that our government schools are inadequately funded. I look forward to this concern being reflected in increased funding for government schools in the May State budget. Gleneagles SC will continue to strive to deliver the quality programs parents expect and students deserve. Would that it was a little easier for all concerned!

 

Sue Peddlesden, Principal

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