Global school budgets

Global school budgets were implemented in Northern Territory Government schools in 2015 to reduce red tape and provide schools with increased autonomy.

Benefits of global school budgets

As a result of the introduction of global school budgets, schools have benefited from: 

  • increased flexibility and autonomy in decision making
  • a clearer financial framework for use in planning
  • greater certainty and visibility of the overall resources available to the school including staffing.

Schools can now make local decisions about their workforce to deliver the best learning outcomes for their students. No longer are schools staffed through a staffing allocation model administered by head office.

The distribution of funding to schools is based on the needs of students and student numbers as determined through the effective enrolment methodology.

Student needs-based funding model

The new student needs-based funding model was introduced to provide a simple, fair and transparent distribution of funds on a per student basis.

Based on research by Australia’s leading authority of needs-based school resourcing, Professor Stephen Lamb of Victoria University, the student needs-based funding model takes into account the diverse and complex needs of the Northern Territory. 

The model uses individual student data from the Age/Grade Census to build a cost profile of students enrolled in each school.

This calculation takes into account individual needs factors for each student to “weight” their enrolment, including:

  • stage of schooling (year level)
  • Indigenous status
  • socio-economic status, as calculated from Parental Education and Occupation
  • remoteness of the school.

Weighting is applied in recognition of additional costs that particular student cohorts attract. 

Global School Budgets Fact Sheet PDF (812.1 KB)

Schools excluded from student needs-based model

In 2016, the student needs-based funding model will not be used to allocate funds to distance education schools, special schools, and students in targeted programs such as intensive English units and high support annexes. 

These programs will continue to be funded based on historical costs.

School resourcing model

School Resourcing Model PDF (906.0 KB)


For further information email: schoolautonomy.decs@nt.gov.au

Last updated: 08 May 2018

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URL: https://education.nt.gov.au/statistics-research-and-strategies/increasing-school-autonomy/global-school-budgets
7 July 2022, 8:09 am