School operations

Student Resource Package – Core Student Learning Allocation Funding (Student-Based Funding)

Rural School Size Adjustment Factor (Reference 4)

This funding line recognises that small rural schools require additional resources to provide a high-quality education that is equal to that of schools in urban areas.

Funding is provided to eligible primary schools, secondary schools and combined schools that are situated in non-metropolitan and non-provincial locations.

Allocations are determined at campus level using a per student rate. The per student rate is split into credit and cash and contains provisions for payroll tax, superannuation, relief teaching and professional development.


Campuses with the following campus type, enrolments and location are eligible for RSAF funding.

Campus type:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Primary/Secondary Combined
  • Community.


  • less than or equal to 200 Primary enrolments
  • less than or equal to 500 Secondary enrolments.


  • Outside the 'Major Cities of Australia' Remoteness Area category, as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with reference to the 2016 Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA).
  • Outside provincial locations with more than 20,000 population, as defined by the ABS Urban Centres and Localities (UCL). Using ABS 2016, campuses in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton-Mooroopna, Warrnambool, Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Traralgon are ineligible.

Funding is calculated at the Indicative, Confirmed and Revised budget cycles. Funding is allocated through credit and cash funding.


Allocation = Primary enrolments × Primary per student rate + Secondary enrolments × Secondary per student rate


  • The rates for each enrolment level are provided in the Rurality Rates spreadsheet (XLSX)External Link .
  • Enrolments are rounded down to the nearest whole number to identify the relevant per student rate. The actual campus enrolments are applied to the per student rate to determine the allocation.

Other relevant information

It is intended that location measures will be updated with the release of new ABS data every 5 years. The last ABS data survey was completed in August 2021. The result of this will be applied in the future releases post-2024. Funding for school year 2024 is based on ARIA 2016.

ARIA+ is a continuous index, which the ABS uses to define the Remoteness Area categories, including: Major Cities of Australia, Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia and Very Remote Australia. These categories of remoteness are based on a measure of relative access to services. Further information can be found at Defining Remoteness AreasExternal Link .

More information about UCL definitions and sourcesExternal Link can be found on the ABS website.

To determine a campus’s Remoteness Area category and UCL boundary, use the ABS map toolExternal Link .

To determine a school’s geographic parameters, refer to Steps to determine a school’s geographic parametersExternal Link .

Peri-urban funding from 2024

The implementation of the location changes in 2021 affected schools in peri-urban areas. Substantial urban growth has meant that some schools that were once identified as rural, are now part of major city areas as identified through the ARIA.

Schools located between the Urban Centres and Localities (UCL) boundary and the ABS metropolitan Melbourne boundary according to Remoteness Areas are eligible to receive 50% of the RSAF allocation from 2022.

Current schools in receipt of rural transition and eligible for peri-urban funding will transition to peri-urban funding in 2024. If the peri-urban allocation is less than the scaled transition in 2024, the higher allocation will prevail.

Schools in receipt of rural transition and have been designated as peri-urban have been contacted individually.

Additionally, schools that may be eligible for transition should refer to: Transition Funding (Rural) (Reference 126)

Reference 4 of the SRP Guide, providing information on rural school size adjustment factor funding including eligibility, funding calculations and rates

Reviewed 31 December 2023

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