Schools required to report income | The Australian

01 Sep

Given what I said the last two times I have talked about the Education Revolution — see One and a half cheers for Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and More for Kevin and Julia to chew on… — you may be surprised to learn that I think Schools required to report income may be a good idea.

ALL schools will have to publish their income from fees, fundraising and investments as part ofthe federal Government’s insistence on greater accountability and transparency in the schools system.

Education Minister Julia Gillard will tell a forum of independent schools today that the Government will require schools to report income streams as well as student performance and demographics. Ms Gillard says funding of non-government and government schools will be conditional on publicly reporting their performance to identify substandard schools and share best practice.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that everything we require of public schools, we will require of non-government schools and everything we require of non-government schools we will require of public schools,” a copy of Ms Gillard’s speech says…

Ms Gillard says the Government’s framework for reporting will include the income streams into schools “so we can properly analyse what difference extra resources make”.

What do you think?


5 responses to “Schools required to report income | The Australian

  1. marcellous

    September 1, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Doesn’t the government already know that? I thought that some kind of information like this had to be published in NSW already.

    Given the imprecision with which other inputs and outcomes can be measured, I’m not sure if this information will prove the barbecue stopper or problem solver Ms Gillard professes to think it will.

    So long as the Rudd government perpetuates the Howard government’s grandfathering of funding formulae for wealthy schools, it also strikes me as a bit of a stunt.

  2. Neil

    September 1, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I may be wrong, but I suspect that at the moment — at least in NSW — a rather summary version of the school’s finances is the go, with the rider that interested people can view complete financial reports. The SBHS reports are good examples — and interesting reading in their way, especially financially. Those reports follow the guidelines.

    I agree on the imprecision of other inputs and outcomes, as I said in those earlier entries.

  3. marcellous

    September 1, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I’ve had a look at the SBHS financial figures. They are almost totally meaningless as they evidently do not include any funds which are controlled by the department rather than the school. This includes the salaries of full time staff, as well as the school’s capital assets or any costs associated with them.

    It is hard enough to get meaningful figures out of listed companies, let alone schools. And given the incommensurate nature of other inputs and outputs, it is possibly a waste of money to try.

    That is, if you are worrying about education. It could be a good thing for auditors.

  4. Neil

    September 1, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    As I said, that’s the NSW guidelines for you — the exclusions are as you say, and that is mentioned; but that is all the Dept asks for in school report to the public. Of course the Department knows what funds it provides the school, cost of staff, etc…

    I took it that Julia was talking about a means of ensuring that additional Commonwealth funding went to genuinely disadvantaged schools.

    It is a shame, on the other hand, that we are still stuck with the previous government’s very odd formula for assessing funding.

  5. Neil

    September 3, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Jim Belshaw has now addressed this.

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