Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary School Students (Reference 56)
Vocational Education and Training (VET) delivered to secondary school students is a key component of the Victorian Government's strategy to support high quality vocational pathways, increase student retention, and improve Year 12 or equivalent completion rates by providing options for all students.
VET studies can contribute towards the completion of senior secondary certificates, either the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).
The core learning allocation in the Student Resource Package (SRP) provided to schools for each student is the primary source of funding for VET programs. Government schools are also provided with targeted VET funding to support the higher cost of provision in this area.
The 2018–19 Budget provided more funding to increase the quality and availability of VET programs in government schools. This funding includes:
- $9.1m (over 4 years) in additional targeted VET funding to meet the continued growth in demand for VET programs
- $14.6m (over 4 years) for government schools that purchase VET programs on the Skills First course list from the TAFE network. The amount paid by government would be equal to the gap between current total funding (core SRP for VET and targeted VET funding) and the Skills First subsidy and maximum exemption rate. A 10% rural loading will be applied where relevant. TAFE Supplement funds will be paid against a separate budget line in the Term 3 quarterly cash grant through the SRP once actual eligible VET enrolments are known.
Components of VET funding
There are three components of VET funding. The two existing and universally available components of VET funding are the core student learning component of the SRP, and Targeted VET Funding. The third component (TAFE Supplement) is available for 4 years from 2019 for government schools that purchase VET programs on the Skills First course list from the TAFE network, where there is a gap between current VET funding and the Skills First rate.
SRP — core student learning component
To estimate the program delivery component of core SRP that would help cover the provision of VET programs, costs are separated into three categories: (1) classroom teaching, (2) non-classroom costs, and (3) Computerised Administrative System Environment in Schools (CASES21) recorded expenditure. The costs, as a percentage of all costs at Years 11 and 12, are estimated as follows:
- classroom teaching: 57%
- non-classroom costs: 26%
- CASES expenditure items: 17%
Total of all cost items: 100%
It is assumed that:
- 100% of the classroom teaching duties should be included in the calculation of the core SRP available for program delivery, as they all relate to the direct delivery of courses
- of the non-classroom costs, only a portion is related directly to course delivery. It was estimated that 50% of these costs were applicable to course delivery, and
- it is suggested that approximately 30% of CASES expenditure items are directly related to program delivery and should be included in the calculation of the SRP core delivery.
The combination of these elements is used to provide an estimate of the notional proportion of core SRP available for program delivery:
- Classroom teaching (CT) — 100% of 57% = 57% of SRP
- Non-classroom costs (NCC) — 50% of 26% = 13% of SRP
- CASES expenditure items (CAS) — 30% of 17% = 5% of SRP
Therefore, the SRP available for program (including VET) delivery = 57% + 13% + 5% = 75% of core SRP.
The following example applies the proportion calculated above to Indicative 2021 core SRP to identify the amount of SRP that might be available to support funding for each VET certificate as follows:
- Indicative gross SRP (years 11 and 12) — $9,328 × 91.5% = $8,535
Note 1: Only 91.5% of the gross SRP is used as 8.5% will be billed back by the Department from schools for superannuation costs.
- Indicative Net SRP — $9,328 × 91.5% = $8,535
- Proportion of SRP for program delivery — $8,535 × 75% = $6,401
Note 2: Average number of subject enrolments assumes an annual student program of 900 hours with a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) VET certificate enrolment of 180 hours. That is, 900/180 = 5
- Allocation per subject enrolment — $6,401 / 5 = $1,280
Core SRP per full-time equivalent VET certificate enrolment = $1,280
If VET is one of 6 subjects undertaken by a student then the notional available SRP would fall to $1,067 per FTE certificate of enrolment.
If a student is enrolled in more than one VET qualification (which is often the case with a VCAL program) then it is expected that the school should be able to release a proportionally higher amount of core SRP to purchase those certificates.
Targeted VET funding
Targeted VET funding is based on an eight band model and is allocated pro-rata for enrolments up to 180 hours per VET certificate per year. Targeted VET funding also includes a rural weighting for students enrolled in schools with a location index of 0.2 and above.
To attract targeted VET funding, schools must enter accurate details of all VET enrolments on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) by the annual funding deadline which for 2021 is 3 May.
Students between 15 to 20 years of age at the annual funding deadline who are enrolled in eligible VET certificates will be eligible for targeted VET funding.
Certificate II and Certificate III level qualifications (excluding school-based apprenticeships and traineeships) undertaken as part of a senior secondary certificate (VCE or VCAL) are eligible for targeted VET funding.
Certificate IV qualifications may be funded, provided the school has first gained approval from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to offer the higher level qualification to VCE or VCAL students.
Targeted VET funding is NOT available for enrolments in:
- Certificate I qualifications
- Certificates in General Education for Adults and generalist programs such as Certificate II in EAL (Employment) and Certificate II in EAL (Access)
- Diploma level qualifications. Schools wishing to provide Diplomas may fund this delivery from the core SRP allocation
- School-based apprenticeships and traineeships, or Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships.
A student who is enrolled in a school, either full-time or part-time and also enrolled independently of their school in a VET program at a TAFE or Registered Training Organisation (RTO), is not eligible to have their VET studies subsidised through targeted VET funding.
Criteria for determining targeted VET funding
A Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrolment in an eligible VET course is defined as a minimum of 180 hours of training per year. This will attract the full per certificate amount. Enrolments of less than 180 hours of training in a year will attract pro-rata funding.
** Schools should refer to Band 5a and the Rates table below for additional information regarding CUA30915 Certificate III in Music Industry, for which a FTE enrolment is a minimum of 360 hours.
Allocation to support VET is comprised of:
Eligible FTE certificate enrolments X Funding Level (for students aged from 15 years to 20 years inclusive at annual VET enrolment deadline on VASS)
FTE X Location Index X Rural Rate (Where Location Index ≥0.2)
Indicative band rates applicable were used to determine indicative band rates for funding allocations in Terms 1 and 2 of 2021. Rates may be updated for Terms 3 and 4 as per confirmed enrolments on VASS.
|VET Band Funding Level and Weighting Level (WL)||Targeted Funding (Indicative)||SRP (VET is 1 of 5 subjects)||Funds provided for VET Programs (without Rural Rate or TAFE Supplement)|
|Band Level 1 (WL 3.347)||$1,178.66||$1,280.00||$2,458.66|
|Band Level 2 (WL 2.988)||$1,052.23||$1,280.00||$2,332.23|
|Band Level 3 (WL 2.721)||$958.21||$1,280.00||$2,238.21|
|Band Level 4 (WL 2.569)||$904.68||$1,280.00||$2,184.68|
|Band Level 5 (WL 2.318)||$816.29||$1,280.00||$2,096.29|
|Band Level 5a ** (WL 4.637)||$1,632.93||$1,280.00||$2,912.93|
|Band Level 6 (WL 1.374)||$483.86||$1,280.00||$1,763.86|
|Band Level 7 (WL 1.123)||$395.47||$1,280.00||$1,675.47|
|Band Level 8 (WL 1.000)||$352.15||$1,280.00||$1,632.15|
|Additional Rural Rate (if eligible)***||$598.31|
** As a consequence of a major change in the CUA Creative Arts and Culture Training Package, the CUS30109 Certificate III in Music and CUS30209 Certificate III in Technical Production have been merged into the one qualification, CUA30915 Certificate III in Music Industry. Previously, it was common practice for students to enrol in two separate qualifications (Music – Performance and Technical Production) and be funded up to 180 hours for both. These enrolments will now be in a single Certificate III in Music Industry, with many students undertaking a scored Unit 3 & 4 in both streams in a single enrolment year. Band 5a has been introduced to enable funding for the two streams within the one qualification, up to a maximum of 360 hours.
*** 2020 Location indexes have been used for the 2021 additional rural funding element.
Targeted VET funding operates within a capped budget. This means that band rates may be adjusted up or down depending on both changes in total eligible enrolments from all schools and the spread of these enrolments across band levels.
For example, even if the total number of enrolments did not change between 2020 and 2021, if there was an increase in the proportion of enrolments towards the higher funded bands, the confirmed band rates for 2021 may be adjusted down, once enrolments are confirmed.
Conversely, if the total number of enrolments did not change between 2020 and 2021, if there was a significant increase in the proportion of enrolments towards the lower funded bands, the confirmed band rates for 2021 may be adjusted up, once enrolments are confirmed. The impact of changes in enrolment patterns is spread proportionally across all band funding levels.
This reinforces the importance for schools to CORRECTLY enter enrolments on VASS by the due date. Entries must include: certificate title, units of competency, and hours.
There is no capacity within a capped budget to provide funding to schools that have not entered VET enrolments on VASS at all or have entered them with incorrect information.
From 2019 an additional supplement (over 4 years) is available to government schools that purchase VET courses on the Skills First list from the TAFE network.
The amount of funding provided will be equal to the gap between current total funding (core SRP for VET + targeted VET funding) and the Skills First subsidy and maximum exemption rate. A 10% rural loading will be applied where relevant.
TAFE Supplement funds will be paid against a separate budget line in the Term 3 quarterly cash grants through the Student Resource Package once actual eligible VET enrolments are known.
The confirmed amount of the TAFE supplement against eligible VET qualifications will be available when actual eligible 2021 VET enrolments with the TAFE network are known. Where the current total funding (core SRP for VET $1280 + targeted VET funding) is higher than the Skills First subsidy rate, no supplement will be provided.
School-based apprenticeships and traineeships
A student enrolled in a VET qualification through a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBAT) is funded under Skills First and is not eligible for targeted VET funding. However, for assessment purposes, students undertaking VET as part of an SBAT are still able to gain credit towards completion of their senior secondary certificate. Further information on SBATs is available at: .
The Government has also committed $49.8m over four years for the Head Start initiative which is rolling out to over 100 secondary schools across Victoria from 2019. Head Start provides an innovative approach that encourages students to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship with high quality Certificate III qualifications in priority industries as part of their senior secondary studies. Like all SBATs, are funded through Skills First.
School VET fees and charges
Schools must include in its parent payments policy details about any costs or charges arising from participation in a VET program, or otherwise communicate such costs or charges with parents/carers.
Use of targeted VET funding
Targeted VET funding allocated to support VET provision can be used for a range of purposes.
This may include:
- a contribution towards the purchase of delivery
- a contribution towards teacher professional development and training
- costs associated with registering as an RTO
- program planning
- purchase of curriculum materials, and
- costs associated with the transition to new training packages.
Contractual arrangements between schools and VET providers
Schools entering into arrangements with RTOs must use the appropriate Department template and have a valid, signed Contract or Agreement.
The available standard contracts and agreements are: Standard VET purchasing contract, Standard VET auspicing contract, School to school VET purchasing agreement, and School to school VET access agreement.
The templates have been designed for the specific use of government schools purchasing services from RTOs and are not recommended for use by other parties. Use of the templates by other parties is subject to the Department’s copyright licensing arrangements (detailed at the base of the website’s landing page).
Timing of payments to schools
Government schools are provided with targeted funding for every eligible VET certificate enrolment (including a new line item payment for TAFE Supplement if eligible) provided that they have entered the certificates, units and hours for each VET enrolment on VASS no later than annual VET funding deadline. Payments are made in the quarterly cash grant through the Student Resource Package, as per the schedule details below.
|1||25% of indicative funding||2020 enrolments applying 2021 Indicative Band Levels|
|2||25% of indicative funding||2020 enrolments applying 2021 Indicative Band Levels|
|2/3||Term 1 and 2 adjustment to school budgets||2021 confirmed enrolments applying 2021 Confirmed Band Levels|
|3||25% of confirmed funding||2021 confirmed enrolments applying 2021 Confirmed Band Levels|
|4||25% of confirmed funding||2021 confirmed enrolments applying 2021 Confirmed Band Levels|
Note: TAFE Supplement funds will be paid against a separate budget line in the Term 3 quarterly cash grants through the Student Resource Package once actual eligible VET enrolments are known.
Professional Development for newly appointed VASS users
In the early part of each year, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) conducts professional development training specifically designed for VASS administrators who are new to their position or who have never used VASS, and new schools offering a VCE, VET or VCAL program for the first time.
Any queries related to VASS Operations should be directed to the VCAA’s VASS Support team:
Reviewed 14 April 2021