School operations

Student Resource Package – Equity Funding (Student-Based Funding)

Equity (Catch Up) (Reference 12)

Equity (Catch Up) funding will target students who enter secondary schools and are at risk of educational failure. Secondary students who did not meet the national minimum standards in the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in Year 5 (Reading) will each attract the Catch Up loading. This Catch Up loading is not affected by the school’s or student’s level of disadvantage and is based only of the academic achievement of the student.

This Catch Up loading will be allocated according to the number of enrolled students who have not met the agreed NAPLAN national minimum standard in Year 5. The annual payment will continue for the student’s entire secondary school education. The funding will allow secondary schools to invest in proven interventions, such as one-on-one numeracy support or targeting teaching coaching to assist students to catch up academically.

Identifying eligible students

Students enrolled in government secondary schools are identified via their NAPLAN results at Year 5 using their Victorian School Number (VSN). The number of students is aggregated at a school/campus level to provide a total number of students per school/campus.

An update of student movements using updated NAPLAN data is applied annually during the Confirmed SRP release.

Year level match to NAPLAN results

In most cases, a student’s Year 5 NAPLAN result will be used to determine their eligibility for Catch Up loading. The number of eligible FTE enrolments at each campus is determined by matching the current year February census enrolment records to their corresponding NAPLAN Catch Up record (as per the table below for 2024 Catch Up). The Indicative SRP uses previous year’s Catch Up FTE. The FTE update for current year occurs at the Confirmed SRP budget release.

2024 funded year
Year 7Year 8Year 9Year 10Year 11Year 12Ungraded
2022 Year 52021 Year 52022 Year 7*2019 Year 52018 Year 52017 Year 5Year 5

* As there were no NAPLAN assessments during 2020. In the absence of 2020 NAPLAN data, the number of eligible year 9 catch up students in 2023 for each campus will be determined using 2024 Year 7 NAPLAN.

Catch Up loading and students funded under the Program for Students with Disability (PSD)

The Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) is a targeted supplementary funding program for Victorian government schools. It provides resources to schools for a defined population of students with disabilities, with moderate to severe needs. In recognition of the financial support these students receive, eligible PSD funded students attending mainstream schools will be eligible for a reduced Catch Up loading of ($1,223 in 2024). Students from specialist schools will not receive the Catch Up loading. Through the Disability Inclusion reform rollout period, the Tier 3 student-level funding is gradually replacing the existing individualised disability funding provided through the Program for Students with Disabilities. Mainstream school students funded for Disability Inclusion Tier 3 and Disability Inclusion Transition Funding will also be eligible for a reduced Catch Up loading of $1,223 in 2024.

There is comprehensive review of the PSD underway to investigate how to improve the way the PSD supports students with disabilities. Following the conclusion of the PSD review, the Catch Up loading approach for PSD students will be reassessed.

Withdrawn/absent students

Students who were absent from NAPLAN are given a rating on the likelihood they achieved below the national minimum standard in NAPLAN Reading. These values are provided by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority and are based on a methodology used by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority to impute NAPLAN values for absent students. This does not include exempt PSD and EAL students.

Where a student is absent, they will be eligible for a portion of the Catch Up loading based on the rating they receive in relation to their likelihood of being below the national minimum standard at Year 5.

Students who are recorded as withdrawn because their parents have made a decision for their child not to sit Year 5 NAPLAN will not be eligible for the Catch Up loading.


Mainstream schools with the following campus types are eligible for Equity (Catch Up) funding at a campus level:

  • Secondary
  • Primary/Secondary Combined
  • Community
  • Spec Dev
  • Language.

Funding is calculated at the Confirmed budget cycle. Funding is allocated as cash and credit funding. Allocations provided in the Indicative budget cycle reflect the previous year’s Catch Up FTE.


A school’s overall Catch Up funding allocation is determined by combining the amounts from the following calculations:

  • Number of secondary graded students below Year 5 national minimum standard × Level 1 per capita rate (non-PSD funded)
  • Number of Secondary graded students below Year 5 national minimum standard × Level 2 per capita rate (PSD funded).

Rates – 2024

Catch up loading
Catch UpCredit ($)Cash ($)Total Catch Up ($)
Level 1 (non-PSD funded)1,2401,2072,447
Level 2 (PSD funded)6206031,223

Important to note:

The names and VSNs of eligible students are not available to schools.

Catch Up (Special Circumstances)

Catch Up (Special Circumstances) funding applies to students who are exempt from sitting NAPLAN and students who cannot be matched with their NAPLAN data (for example, students who sat their test interstate).

A campus will be eligible for Catch Up (Special Circumstances) funding where it has at least 10 Special Circumstances students, and these students make up at least 10% of the secondary cohort.

All exempt students at eligible campuses will receive Special Circumstance funding.

The prior year’s allocations are rolled over at Indicative SRP release and the funding line is updated when Catch Up enrolments are available at the release of Confirmed SRP.

Students without a NAPLAN score at eligible campuses are funded at a proportional FTE based on the campus they are attending.

The following is an example of the eligibility and calculation:

  • A campus has 100 secondary students, 20 of these students are currently funded for Equity (Catch Up) (= 20%).
  • The campus has 5 exempt students and 5 students who cannot be matched with NAPLAN data. The campus has 10 Special Circumstances students in total and these students represent 10% of the secondary cohort, meaning the campus satisfies the eligibility criteria.
  • The 5 exempt students will receive Catch Up (Special Circumstances) loading.
  • The campus will also receive Catch Up (Special Circumstances) loading for 1 FTE based on the 5 students who cannot be matched with NAPLAN data (20% × 5 = 1 funded FTE).
  • 6 students will be funded at half the Catch Up rate as outlined below.
Catch Up (Special Circumstances) Loading
2024 Catch Up (Special Circumstances)Credit ($)Cash ($)Total Catch Up ($)
Level 1 (non-PSD funded)620.00603.001,223.00
Level 2 (PSD funded)310.00302.00612.00
Reference 12 of the SRP Guide, providing information on equity (catch up) funding including eligibility, funding calculations and rates

Reviewed 26 March 2024

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