Student resource scheme: what is this and why does it matter?

New Farm State School Student Resource Scheme

The P&C is required to endorse some decisions made by our School and its Executive. The Student Resource Scheme, or SRS, is one of these decisions.

We’ve created a guide to what SRS is, and how we consider and vote on the scheme:

What is it?

A Student Resource Scheme (SRS) is a structure to charge a fee for curriculum resources, personal computing devices and other educational program resourcing.  The purpose is to provide parents/guardians with a convenient and cost-effective alternative to individually sourcing those resources.

Why do we need it?

State funding for schools does not extend to individual student resources such as textbooks, equipment for personal use or items used and consumed by the student in the classroom.  Parents are responsible for supplying the resources to support student learning.

Why is the P&C discussing a school SRS?

Every year the P&C makes a decision to endorse the SRS inclusions and fees.  This decision cannot be delegated to the P&C Executive and must be considered by a full meeting.

How will the P&C vote?

Regardless of the type of meeting, decisions are made by voting on motions.  The result is determined by a majority of the votes of the members present at the meeting.  Only people who are listed as current members in the P&C’s membership register are entitled to vote.  Voting by proxy is not permitted under the Constitution.

Any decisions relating to the SRS are recorded clearly in meeting minutes, including approval of the fee and any vote outcomes.

What does the P&C consider?

The P&C will endorse the SRS if it is transparent in its method of calculation, defensible, and reasonable.

Consideration will be given to: –

  • Whether participation fees are based upon recovering the cost of resources as listed.
  • For resources hired through a SRS, whether the cost for each hire period represents a portion of the purchase price based on expected life of the item and the length of time each student will be issued with the item.
  • Costs may be based on average costs for a specified cohort (e.g. subject, year level, whole school, participants in an ‘other educational program’), rather than calculated individually for each student, however the fee must provide a cost benefit for every parent.
  • The fee must be based on the costs for the cohort to which it applies, i.e. only students involved in sporting excellence can be charged fees related to sporting excellence.
  • Where a school offers more than one SRS, fee calculation and parent information will be specific to each SRS, although the school may issue a single invoice for a student participating in more than one SRS.
  • Where included items will be retained at the school and used/consumed in class (e.g. workbooks, art supplies, sand paper), ensure that the cost to parents only includes the consumable materials or resources that will be used/consumed by the student during the SRS year.
  • If resources retained in the classroom are exhausted before the end of the year, the school must ensure that classes remain effectively resourced, and parents must not be charged any additional, unforeseen, fees.
  • As per the User charging procedure, a SRS fee:
    • must not educationally disadvantage a student, deter them from enrolling at a particular school, choosing a particular subject or affect their ability to be assessed,
    • must not be used to raise funds for a purpose other than delivering the specified resources, and
    • should not be charged if the cost of the goods or services provided can be absorbed without charging a fee.
  • The cost of administering a SRS at a school can also be recovered through SRS fees. SRS administration fees must be modest, defensible, and proportionate to the time required for staff to administer the SRS.

Transparency includes reporting SRS revenue and expenditure for the previous calendar year to the P&C Association annually at or before the meeting to discuss the SRS for the following year.

  • Whether the SRS revenue has been reported against SRS expenses for both budgets and actuals. It must be transparent how much revenue has been received and what the funds have been used for.

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