Funding of Catholic Schools in Australia


In Australia, there are three education sectors - Government school., Catholic schools and Independent schools. Catholic and Independent schools make up the Non-Government school sector.

The Australian and State/Territory Governments share responsibility for the public funding of schooling in Australia as per the Better Schools Funding model legislated in the Australian Education Act 2013 and agreed to in federal/ state government bi-lateral agreements.

The Better School Funding model applies from 2014. The additional state and federal government dollars required to fund the new model in South Australia will be rolled out over six years, although only the first four years have been committed in budget forward estimates.

Funding for students in the Catholic sector comes from three different sources:

  1. The Australian (Federal) Government
  2. The South Australian Government
  3. Parents, parishes and school communities.

Government funding is provided in two forms: recurrent and capital funding.


Recurrent Funding

This is agreed funding received annually for the term of the relevant federal/ state funding agreement to fund the everyday expenses of schooling such as staffing, teaching resources, maintenance and so on.


Capital Funding

Catholic school in SA receive no targeted capital funding from the SA state Government to support new development in growth areas or to distribute to existing SA Catholic school requiring expansion/ capital improvement.  The Federal Government provides annual block grant funding to South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools (SACCS) for capital development in the SA Catholic Education sector.  This amount ranges from 5-6 million dollars per year.

SACCS oversees an annual capital grants application process for schools to apply for access to some of this block grant funding. Applications are prioritised annually taking school and sector needs into account.

Parents provide the majority of funding for capital development projects in SA Catholic Schools via building fund/ levies, school fees and donations and an annual per family levy to Diocesan Capital Funds.

For further information regarding Funding of South Australian Catholic Schools please visit:




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