NSW Nationals Education Minister Sarah Mitchell is cracking down on schools that don’t spend their funding on students.
The new rules for public school principals mean they must spend all their record education funding on the students it is intended for.
“Public schools in NSW are better funded than at any point in history,” Ms Mitchell said.
“It is imperative that this money is actually spent on the current student cohort. Gonski funding is there to lift student outcomes – it’s not there to be saved for a rainy day.
“Our Government’s commitment to record funding in schools has always been student focused. Every dollar allocated must be spent on providing the support and services to the students it was intended for, within that year.”
The Carry Forward Policy, developed in consultation with school stakeholders over a 12-month period, will apply to the annual State and Federal budget allocations but does not affect funds from local school and community sources.
This year, NSW public schools will receive $10.1 billion to invest in students, but currently $1.49 billion remains unspent from previous years.
The new policy is being supported by additional training and tools to simplify school budgeting so every dollar allocated is being invested in the current cohort of students.
“We know there are some principals who need more support to effectively spend the funding they are receiving on the students it is intended for,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Our schools are required to plan and spend each year’s budget allocation within that calendar year using new tools and a simplified budgeting system.”
Schools that have ‘underspends’ and which are not meeting targets will receive instructions on how to spend their unspent funding.