NEW data shows just how much the government funding windfall is for Ballarat schools.
The federal government injected almost $55 million into the city’s six private schools in 2016, including three Catholic secondaries, according to the latest My School figures.
Ballarat’s five state secondary schools, including Yuille Park P-8 Community College, shared in $50 million from the Victorian Government as their primary funding source.
Figures are a snapshot and all principals The Courier spoke to said it was important to consider both federal and state funding combined before comparing schools.
Funding can take into consideration, but is not limited to, family socioeconomic status, rurality, Indigenous students and migrants.
This is also based on how much the federal government has worked out to be the cost of educating a child (about $13,700 per secondary student, according to the ABC).
St Patrick’s College, which had 1376 full-time students in 2016, topped federal funding for Ballarat schools with $13.1 million that year and a combined $16.6 million federal and state funding. This was just under $11,800 combined per student.
Catholic Education Office distributes government funding between its Victorian schools. St Pats acting headmaster Stephen Hill said this in a variety of ways.
“Predominantly this funding is used to pay salaries for teaching and support staff salary but also to support projects, such as the College’s Indigenous program,” Mr Hill said. “It also supports our extensive program of assists students with disabilities as well as students identified as needing English taught as an additional language.”
Loreto College and Damascus College have also said funding is predominantly used for salaries, which are on parity with state teachers, and curriculum programs.
Damascus principal Matthew Byrne said fees helped to bridge the gap between combined funding and education costs. Damascus has a global fee, covering families for excursions and events, which Mr Byrne said could often be additional extras in the state system.
Independent schools receive about half the combined government funding per student of Catholic and state schools in Victoria, according to the latest Productivity Commission data.
Ballarat Clarendon College received $9.67 million federal funding in 2016 for 1416 students in grades prep to year 12. College’s funding per student was 59 per cent in fees, averaging $11,697 per student.
Ballarat Grammar had $10.6 million in federal funding for 1385 students, prep to year 12, with 57 per cent recurring income from fees, averaging $12,038 per student.