2020 Capacity to Contribute Changes – What can we learn from the data

From 2020, a new Direct Measure of Income (DMI) of capacity to contribute (CtC) will replace the previous area-based socio-economic status (SES) score measure to determine the CtC for many non-government schools.

As part of the rollout of this change the Department of Education, Skills and Employment has released the 2020 CtC data for all applicable non-government schools, special schools or special assistance schools,  Majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schools, or non-government sole-provider schools do not have a CtC.

We have analysed this data which confirms a number of characteristics we have long understood to be applicable to Christian schools.  The data demonstrates, for example, that on every measure, 2011 SES, 2016 SES and DMI Score, the average across CSA schools is lower than the average of the Independent and Catholic sectors.  This supports our long held position that our school communities are firmly grounded in “middle Australia”, families quietly working away in outer suburbs and regional and remote areas across Australia.

The enormous range in DMI scores across the broader Independent sector clearly demonstrates the wide variety of communities served by independent schools, a point overlooked by much media coverage which focuses almost entirely on the top of the range of schools.

While there are some CSA schools adversely impacted by the switch to the DMI approach. nearly two-thirds, 64%, of member schools received additional funding as a result of the introduction of the DMI methodology.  The Government introduced the $1.2 billion Choice and Affordability Fund administered by State and Territory independent school associations to provide support for those schools suffering a reduction in funding.

Both our Report on the analysis of the data and the raw CtC data for 2020 are available for download below.