ISCA Media Statement - Selective ABC Analysis only Highlights Complexity of School Funding

Thursday, 22 November, 2018

The ABC’s recent analysis of school funding fails to understand the complexities of how schools are funded across sectors, both at Commonwealth and State level, and the unique characteristics of schools that contributes to their funding. 

ISCA does not agree with the methodology used by the ABC. It lacks balance comparing median Government school funding to individual Independent school funding and fails to understand that individual schools will receive different levels of funding for many reasons, including school and student characteristics and which State the school is in. 
The schools shown by the ABC are also clearly used to portray an image that many Independent schools are receiving more than a “typical” Government school. ISCA’s own analysis shows that these schools were already poorly funded schools within their own government sector, with 65% or more of “typical” Government schools also receiving more public funding than these schools. 
Using an average Government school funding vs average Independent school funding methodology, taking into account ICSEA scores, school location and school type, there are very few cohorts where an average Independent school receives more public funding than a government school.  
Overall 98% of Government schools are receiving, on average, more funding than their Independent school counterparts.  
Over the past five years, the Government school sector has seen higher levels of growth from the Commonwealth Government (per student) than the Independent sector. Government schools have lower public funding growth overall as their primary funder is the State Governments, where growth has been restricted due to State government funding policies. 
The report by the ABC merely highlights the complexity of school funding.