Position statement: Capital Works Funding

19 August 2022

Capital works at Independent schools are mostly funded by the school communities.

Key points

It is a myth that government funding is used for extravagant building programs. In fact, ninety per cent of funding for capital works in Independent schools comes from the school community, not from government.

The ten per cent of capital funding for school facilities that is provided by governments is primarily directed to Independent schools with the greatest need. The relatively small number of Independent schools that receive capital funding from government are typically low-fee, outer-suburban or regional schools. Furthermore, these schools generally need to contribute additional funds to get the job completed.

Independent schools raise funds for capital projects from parents and donors through fees, fundraising and voluntary contributions. Independent schools also finance capital works by using their reserves or by borrowing, which is repaid over time by the school community.

The facts

  • Independent school communities provide over a billion dollars a year to fund capital projects.
  • The Australian Government’s Capital Grants Program delivers less than 200 million a year for the entire non-government school sector (some 2,900 schools).
  • In comparison, the NSW state government invests around 1.5 billion dollars per year in capital to support more than two thousand government schools.

Related information

Australian Government Capital Grants Program

ISA website – Capital Funding