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8 General government transactions included in the calculation of data presented in this release relate to those transactions which have been classified to 'GPC 24 - Education'. There are some issues, however, relating to the structure and application of the GPC that should be considered 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 In addition, 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. These differences need to be taken into account when comparing the statistics between states and over time.
10 Users interested in the definition of the various GPC groupings used in this release should consult Government Finance Statistics, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5514.0.55.001), released in electronic form on the ABS Website via the Statistical Concepts Library on 10 October 2003.
PRIVATE EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION
11 Expenditure on education by the private sector (as recorded in the National Accounts) consists of household final consumption expenditure on education services and gross fixed capital formation mainly by private educational institutions.
12 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, but are treated in the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) 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 transport services in ASNA. 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 so are included in household final consumption expenditure on education.
13 Private gross fixed capital formation in the field of education is estimated in ASNA from statistics of the value of work done on new building and major additions to buildings of private educational institutions.
14 It is important to note that estimates of government expenditure on education and of private expenditure on education cannot simply be aggregated to derive an estimate of total expenditure on education because this will result in some double-counting. ASNA private sector data are on an industry basis whereas GFS GPC data are on a government purpose classification basis. While transactions or transfers between levels of government are eliminated during the GFS consolidation process, such transfers of grants etc. to private schools and private non-profit educational organisations will not have been eliminated from the private sector estimates sourced from the ASNA.
15 GFS data are revised on an annual basis. For this reason differences can occur between equivalent aggregates published in earlier years.
16 Users may refer to the following publications which contain related information:
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