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Site bottom-line for funding

Alpha State School, shown here during the floods, is the only Very Remote school in the region.
Alpha State School, shown here during the floods, is the only Very Remote school in the region.

HIGH schools in the Central Highlands region and west received comparable financial assistance from State and Federal government in 2009, according to the controversial My School 2.0 website.

Despite some cohorts ranging from kindergarten to Year 12, figures showed students enrolled in P-10 schools often had less spent on them than students enrolled at primary institutions with P-7 cohorts.

It is that disparity of funding which prompted State Education Minister Cameron Dick to caution parents against drawing conclusions based solely on the financial bottom-line of a school.

Mr Dick said the data released on the My School website was complex and incorporated a number of contributing factors, and cautioned parents to look at the school as a whole rather than rely on the site’s figures and statistics.

“School communities are made up of many things and parents need to consider all of those aspects before they make a decision about the best school for their child,” he said.

“Funding is affected by location, schools programs, age and size of facilities, staffing and overall enrolment.”

Compiled by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, My School 2.0 includes NAPLAN results and financial statements from the schools for the first time.

Four location categories were used, of which three apply to schools in the region – Very Remote, Remote and Provincial.

Metropolitan, the fourth category, typically refers to schools in larger cities.

Location categories were determined according to the Schools Geographic Location Classification Scheme by the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs.

Alpha State School was the only institution classified in the Very Remote category in the region and has a total enrolment of 62 students ranging from Prep to Year 10.

School finances for 2009 show the total net recurrent income recorded was $1,210,126, with an average of $18,062 allocated to each child.

The smallest Remote school, Springsure State School, with 114 students, recorded its 2009 total net recurrent income as $1,839,719, almost $630,000 more funding than Alpha.

Springsure students averaged an expenditure of $15,331.

Conversely, the largest Remote school, the Middlemount Community School, which has a total enrolment of 345 across Prep to Year 12, recorded $4,385,383.

Each student had a net recurrent income of $11,757.

Emerald Christian College, the smallest Provincial school in the region with 181 students from Kindergarten to Year 10, reported a $1,158,962 total income, equating to $6699 per student.

Emerald State High School topped the Provincial list as being the largest with 622 students from Years 8 to 12.

The school recorded a total net recurrent income of $7,497,004 for 2009, averaging $11,806 per student.

Per student income figures divide the relevant income figure by the school student numbers provided by the school during July/August last year. Total net recurrent income is the amount of income received by a school from both levels of government, fees, charges, parent contributions and other private sources.


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