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.

The 2021 Indicative Student Resource Package (SRP) includes students that were assessed in the 2019 NAPLAN tests. An update of student movements using updated NAPLAN data will be applied to the 2021 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 the catch up loading. However, there are cases where this is not possible as VSNs were only included in the NAPLAN dataset from 2011 onwards. As a transitional arrangement, students will be matched to their earliest NAPLAN test which could be linked through their VSN.

The following table shows the mapping that will occur in cases where a student’s NAPLAN results are unavailable through their VSN:

Secondary Year Level

2019 NAPLAN Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12
First match Year 5 NAPLAN Year 5 NAPLAN Year 5 NAPLAN Year 5 NAPLAN Year 5 NAPLAN Year 5 NAPLAN
Second match (if no first match) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

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 ($1,144 in 2021). Students from specialist schools will not receive catch up loading.

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 campus level:

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

Funding is calculated at the Confirmed budget cycle, campuses are provided with cash and credit funding. Allocations provided in the Indicative budget cycle reflect student data as at March 2021.


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

  • Number of secondary graded students below Y5 national minimum standard x Level 1 per capita rate (non-PSD funded)
  • Number of Secondary graded students below Y5 national minimum standard x Level 2 per capita rate (PSD funded).

Rates — 2021

Catch up loading

Catch Up Credit ($) Cash ($) Total Catch Up ($)
Level 1 (non-PSD funded) 1,145 1,142 2,287
Level 2 (PSD funded) 573 571 1,144

Important Items to note:

  • The allocations provided in the 2020 SRP are based on 2018 NAPLAN data from 2011 to 2017.
  • The eligible student names and or VSNs 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 (e.g. 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.

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% x 5 = 1 funded FTE).
  • 6 students will be funded at half the current Catch Up rate as outlined below.

Catch Up (Special Circumstances) Loading

Catch Up (Special Circumstances) Credit ($) Cash ($) Total Catch Up ($)
Level 1 (non-PSD funded) 573 571 1,144
Level 2 (PSD funded) 287 285 572
Reference 12 of the SRP Guide, providing information on equity (catch up) funding including eligibility, funding calculations and rates

Reviewed 05 August 2021

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