The following overarching guidance is provided for CGP and SCAS applicant schools:
- The Similarity of Australian and State Government Legislation and Guidelines
- Minimum Viable Project
- Total Project Cost
- Maximum Financial Contribution
- The Management Capacity of the School
QIS BGA administers both Australian and State Government capital assistance for independent schools in Queensland. QIS BGA will apply the similar intent of both sets of program guidelines, i.e., that all funds are allocated on the determination of educational and financial need. In the same vein, both guidelines support that all eligible applicants may not necessarily receive capital assistance for proposed projects.
There are instances where either Commonwealth or State guidelines will dictate how capital assistance will be allocated. An example of difference is the requirement that the purchase of land is only possible under CGP.
It is the responsibility of the BGA to determine the minimum viable project which will satisfy the identified educational need for a proposed project. If the proposed project is in excess of that which has been established as the minimum viable project, QIS BGA will be unable to recommend any funds towards the excess floor area of spaces.
Establishing the minimum viable project involves a detailed examination of the application data provided for the following indicators:
- number of learning spaces
- room occupancy rates – primary, secondary and combined
- floors areas for the functional areas within the design of the building
The identification of the minimum viable project may result in the total cost of the proposed project being less than the amount request via the application process. Project costs from the following areas will be examined when determining the eligible total project cost:
- construction costs, as driven by the floor area of the established minimum viable project
- site development
- fire services
- special service requirements
- furniture and equipment allowances
- professional and local authority fees
- any other costs relevant to the project, and
- a locality allowance, where applicable.
When determining the financial need of a school, in relation to the established minimum viable project, QIS BGA will establish the maximum amount a school can contribute towards the proposed project from its own resources. The two primary sources of funds available to schools for capital purposes are usually loans raised and fees charged. In establishing the maximum contribution able to be made, QIS BGA will consider such issues as:
- The school’s debt position
- The school’s income
- The school’s costs of operation.
QIS BGA is obliged to consider a school’s total income and any capacity it may have to contribute further to the cost of a capital project.
QIS BGA must be convinced of the future solvency of a school before making a recommendation to the Minister/s for a capital grant. It is recognised that what may be regarded as an appropriate, finance based benchmark will vary from school to school, so a range of criteria have been developed that enable broad finance based indicators to be established. The Finance Capital Advisory Committee has the responsibility of advising the QIS BGA Board of Directors on matters such as:
- Debt per student
- Expenditure per student
- The cost per student of “other” teaching and administration expenses
- Teacher salaries (per teacher average)
- Student/teacher ratio
- The fee structure as a source of income
- The appropriate surplus in recurrent income which is available to service debt – annual debt servicing as a percentage of income
- Future cash flow projections.