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McLeish - DET caught out using decades old data to allocate funding

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Thursday 6 August 2020

DET caught out using decades old data to allocate funding

A report tabled by the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) highlights flaws in Department of Education and Training (DET) management of the Student Resource Package, the main source of funding for schools.

The report reveals DET’s oversight, lack of transparency and use of outdated information when distributing Student Resource Package (SRP) funding to Victorian government schools.

The applied allocation method used to distribute the lion’s share of funding, $4.5 billion of the approximate $6 billion, is based on the actual costs of staffing a selection of 42 schools in 2002.

Strangely a rural locality loading is based on the obsolete Melbourne (03) telephone district boundary from the 1990’s and the rural school size adjustment relies on 1996 & 2001 ABS data.

In 2018, DET distributed $6.46 billion of SRP funds through 52 separate lines of funding.

DET was unable to provide some data, this along with poor documentation and record keeping meant VAGO could not determine whether funding was allocated fairly and consistently for 29 funding lines totalling $348.5 million or 5 per cent of SRP funding. DET lacks essential documentation explaining where funding has gone and under what line it was distributed.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Education, Cindy McLeish:

“The Andrews Labor Government has failed Victorian schools and our students, having dropped the ball on basic funding criteria.

“It’s time the Andrews Labor Government forgot about internal party politics and paid attention to running and funding Victorian schools properly.

“It’s extraordinary that the Andrews Labor Government is using 18-year-old data to determine school funding.”