5518.0.55.001 - Government Finance Statistics, Education, Australia - Electronic Delivery, 2002-03  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/04/2004   
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1 This Special Data Service (SDS) entitled Government Finance Statistics, Education, Australia (cat. no. 5518.0.55.001) contains education statistics for the general government sector for the period 1998-99 to 2002-03. They are presented on an accrual accounting basis and are taken from the system of Government Finance Statistics (GFS), which is designed to provide statistical information on public sector entities classified in a uniform and systematic way.

2 GFS enables policy makers and other users to analyse the financial operations and the financial position of the public sector at either the level of a specific government, sector or a particular set of transactions. The system is based on international standards set out in the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) and the accrual version of the International Monetary Fund's Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM2001).

3 GFS education statistics include information on operating expenses, net acquisition of non-financial assets and sales of goods and services relating to education.

4 Summary information relating to private expenditure on education for the period 1998-99 to 2002-03 is also included, and has been sourced from component data of the Australian National Accounts (See Australian System of National Accounts, 2002-03 (cat. no. 5204.0)).


5 General government education operating expenses include some monies intended to facilitate education but which are not spent on educational services and facilities. Examples of such expenses are payments termed current monetary transfers to households and living allowances paid to students which are used to finance expenditure on food, clothing, transport, rent, etc.

6 As well as operating expenses, net acquisition of non-financial assets, and Commonwealth grants for education purposes, this SDS includes statistics on revenue obtained from sales of goods and services i.e. student fees and charges made by governments and educational institutions in exchange for the provision of educational services.


7 The main GFS classifications used are:

  • Economic Type Framework for GFS (ETF)

    This is the main classification of stocks and flows. Stocks refer to the holdings of assets and liabilities at a point in time, ideally valued at current market prices. Flows are economic events and other occurrences, recorded in the period in which they occur, that cause changes in the value of stocks through the creation, transformation, exchange, transfer or extinction of value. Thus, the stock of assets and liabilities recorded at the beginning of a period changes as a result of flows during the period, moving to new levels at the end of the period.

    The Economic Type Framework resembles a set of financial statements, with sections for an operating statement, a cash flow statement and a balance sheet. In addition, there are sections to cater for the reconciliation of accounting net operating result measures with cash flows from operating activities and to capture items like assets acquired under finance leases, intra-unit transfers, and revaluations and other changes in the volume of assets.
  • Government Purpose Classification (GPC)

    This classification is used to group operating expenses and expenditure by purpose (education, health, etc.) with similar functions to facilitate the study of the broad function of public sector spending and the effectiveness of this spending in meeting government policy objectives.

8 General government transactions in this SDS relate to those transactions which have been classified to GPC 24 - Education. However, there are some issues relating to the structure and application of the GPC that are relevant when interpreting the data. Nurse education carried out in hospitals is included in GPC 25 - Health; because of the difficulty in separately identifying these expenditures in the accounts of hospitals.

9 Data are also provided by purpose for Commonwealth, state and local governments and the multi-jurisdictional sector. It should be noted that differences in institutional structure and accounting practices make it difficult to implement the GPC in a way which leads to fully comparable statistics between the states. For example, in some states expenditure on the education of disabled children (which should be classified to special education) is included under primary and secondary education because data are not separately available. Therefore, these differences need to be taken into account when comparing the statistics between states as well as over time.


10 Expenditure on education by the private sector consists of household final consumption expenditure on education services and gross fixed capital formation mainly by private non-profit organisations.

11 Household final consumption expenditure on education services is estimated as fees paid by persons to government schools (including technical and agricultural colleges), fees (other than boarding fees) and gifts to universities, independent schools, business colleges, etc. plus current expenditure of non-profit educational institutions, net of fees and other current receipts. Current expenditure excludes interest and consumption of fixed capital and is financed by fees paid by households and current grants from general government. Expenditure on such items as school books, uniforms, etc. and expenditure by parents’ associations on school equipment are not included, being treated in the Australian National Accounts as household final consumption expenditure on other goods and services (such as clothing, books, etc.). Fares paid by students travelling to and from educational institutions are not counted as part of household final consumption expenditure on education, but are included in the Australian System of National Accounts as part of household final consumption expenditure - transport services. Payments to tertiary institutions made under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme, introduced in 1988-89, are classified as charges for the provision of services by the tertiary institution and are therefore included in household final consumption expenditure on education.

12 Private gross fixed capital formation in the field of education is estimated from statistics of the value of work done on new building and major additions to buildings of private educational institutions.


13 GFS data are revised progressively as new or improved data become available. For this reason differences can occur between equivalent aggregates published at different times.


14 Users may refer to the following publications which contain related information:
  • Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0) - available in electronic form on the ABS Website via the Statistical Concepts Library
  • Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) - issued annually
  • Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5514.0.55.001) - available in electronic form on the ABS Website via the Statistical Concepts Library
  • Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) - issued annually
  • Education and Training Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 4320.0) - issued biennially
  • Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0) - issued annually