New funding model for NSW public schools

24 July 2012

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has announced that the New South Wales Government has developed a new resourcing model for public schools.

"The new Resource Allocation Model (RAM) is at the very heart of the Local Schools, Local Decisions reform," Mr Piccoli said.

"The RAM takes into account the fact that students and school communities are not all the same; they have different needs and will need different levels of support. This is about a more equitable allocation of the resources we have to spend on our public schools.

"In NSW we are increasing the funding that goes directly to public schools. This will mean more than 70% of the total public school education budget going directly to schools, up from the current 10%.

"Contrary to claims made by Labor and the Greens, the State Budget delivered record state funding for education.

"The RAM provides the certainty of funding for schools to employ teachers in order to adhere to the class sizes policy. Funding will ensure no principal need worry about the cost of a teacher, leaving principals to choose teachers based on teacher quality and skills required to best meet the needs of their students.

"It will also reduce red tape. Instead of hundreds of small funding buckets to be managed and reported on, schools' resource allocation will be divided into two components. The first will see money quarantined for staffing purposes only. These resources cannot be used for anything else. The remaining component will fund all other operational requirements of the school and any discretionary needs, which may include employing additional staff.

"The design has drawn on the best thinking and research around school resourcing and, although different, is entirely consistent with principles outlined in the Gonski Report. They both use the same evidence about what factors have the greatest impact on student learning, and therefore where resources need to be targeted.

"The Gonski Report recommended loadings for socio-economic status, Aboriginality, English Language Proficiency and students with disability, as well as loadings for school size and location. The RAM will provide a loading for each of these factors to ensure equity for our students.

"Under the new model schools will see more of the total public school education budget and they will have more authority over how to spend it.

"Schools are best placed to make the right decisions about how to use their resources to get the best outcomes for their students – so we need to give schools a greater say over those resources.

"It is the critical financial enabler of everything we are trying to achieve under Local Schools, Local Decisions; build an even better public school culture; one that promotes creativity and innovation, where the staff in our schools are willing, and supported, to try out new things.

"It's a big change and a long overdue recognition of the capability and professional judgement of the leaders in our schools and of the importance of local decision-making in ensuring NSW continues to have a great public school system."

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