2019/20 Drought Relief - funding for non-government schools


The Australian Government is providing $10 million in Special Circumstances Funding to schools affected by ongoing drought conditions.

On 7 November 2019, the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, announced that the Morrison Government will provide $10 million additional funding through the Special Circumstances Fund to support non-government schools facing financial hardship as a result of ongoing drought conditions. This program complements a range of initiatives in the package announced by the Government for drought-hit farmers, small businesses and rural towns.

Many rural towns are doing it tough as a result of the drought and many schools have introduced fee relief and/or curtailed their operations to cope with this drastic situation.

Establishing a $10 million drought relief funding program will provide a supplementary financial source for schools that are directly impacted by the ongoing drought or are delivering education to a high proportion of students from drought-affected communities.

This is in line with the Commonwealth’s Drought Communities Programme, which provides eligible councils with up to $1 million for local community infrastructure and other drought relief projects for communities impacted by drought. Eligible Councils as identified by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, can be viewed at: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/drought-communities-programme.

For a downloadable version of this information, please read the Factsheet - 2019 Drought Relief Funding - Funding for non-government schools.


Applications must be submitted by an approved authority for a school (or schools) affected by the drought, and signed by a representative of that approved authority.

Applications will open on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 and close on Monday, 16 December 2019. Approved authorities will be notified of the outcome of their application in mid-February and funding for approved applications will be delivered to schools in early 2020.

Please read the Instructions for completing the application and then complete the Application Form to apply for the funding round.  

Affected schools/approved authorities are encouraged to work with their relevant Non-government Representative Body in preparing and finalising the application.

Completed applications can be emailed to: Schools-DroughtRelief@education.gov.au
or posted to:
Special Circumstances Funding Program Manager
School Assurance Branch (Loc C50MA9)
Department of Education 
GPO Box 9880

For more information

For further information on drought relief for schools or for assistance in preparing an application, please email Schools-DroughtRelief@education.gov.au or call the Special Circumstances hotline on 1800 677 027 (option 6).