Grants to non-government schools

The NSW Department of Education could strengthen its management of the $1.2 billion provided to non-government schools annually. This would provide greater accountability for the use of public funds, according to a report released today by the Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford.

The NSW Government provides funding to support the educational outcomes of 418,000 children in non-government schools. The bulk of these funds (85 per cent) are provided as a per-student grant. The Department has adequate processes to allocate this funding, but needs to better clarify what its per-student grants are intended to achieve, and monitor more closely how schools are using these funds.

The Department does receive certifications from schools on enrolment data used to calculate funding. Schools also certify that funds are being used as intended.

'Clarifying funding conditions and strengthening processes to provide greater assurance that information reported by schools is accurate, will increase confidence that funds are being used as intended', said the Auditor-General.

The report makes four recommendations to the Department of Education and two recommendations to the NSW Education Standards Authority. These aim to improve transparency and accountability for the use of grants given to non-government schools.

Further information

Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General, on 0403 073 664 and email