7. Funding and Operating Agreement
Prior to 2014, both Australian Government and Victorian Government funding was governed by a Funding Agreement between the relevant level of government and the school. The Funding Agreements covered the conditions under which recurrent funding was provided to the school for a defined period.
From 2014, schools are no longer required to sign a funding agreement with the Australian Government. Instead, Australian Government funding and the associated accountability requirements are outlined in the Australian Education Act 2013 and the associated Australian Education Regulations. As the Act does not specify an end-date, schools that receive Australian Government funding will be bound by all of the relevant conditions until such time as legislation is amended.
The current funding agreement between the Victorian Government and individual schools will expire at the end of October 2016, and it is likely that schools will be required to sign another agreement for 2016 and beyond.
Government funding is contingent upon the school meeting specified accountability requirements. For comprehensive information relating to government funding, compliance and accountability, refer to Independent Schools Victoria’s Compliance Framework.
It is important for the Board to understand the implications of funding legislation, agreements and associated accountability requirements. School rules, regulations and guidelines must be consistent with these requirements. Board Members need to be aware of the school’s rights and obligations with regard to funding arrangements. Government funding represents a significant component of overall school revenue. Understanding and meeting funding agreement criteria are therefore important risk management issues for Board Members.
For further information on government funding arrangements, please contact Independent Schools Victoria.