Local Schools Community Fund

For: 

The Australian Government is providing $30.2 million in 2019–20 for the Local Schools Community Fund (the Fund), with up to $200,000 available for each federal electorate. The Fund will benefit students and assist schools to meet their priorities through the contribution of funding for small scale projects and their associated costs.

The Fund is open to all schools—government, Catholic and independent.

Schools can apply for funding for one project between $1,000 and $20,000. Where a school is composed of multiple campuses, the school or campus may submit an application for each campus to fund a project between $1,000 and $20,000.

Funding requested can be for the total cost of the project, or part of the cost where the school contributes an amount.

If your local MP is not participating in the Fund, your school will not receive funding. Funding for schools in your electorate will be allocated to other electorates.

Eligible funding activities

Examples of projects a school may wish to apply for include, but are not limited to:

  • master-planning
  • small scale extensions / refurbishments
  • installation of computer or ICT facilities / equipment / software
  • playground and sporting equipment
  • shade structures
  • landscaping
  • procurement of musical facilities, furniture, computer equipment (e.g. digital whiteboards), library resources
  • air-conditioning
  • measures to target student wellbeing
  • counselling or youth mental health support
  • excursions for students from remote areas
  • additional English as a second language support for refugee students
  • specific facilities for students with a disability in a school.

Additional eligibility criteria apply and can be found in the Local Schools Community Fund Guidelines.  

Funding is not available from the Australian Government to meet ongoing costs incurred by schools and approved authorities from approved projects under this Fund.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for funding, a school must be in receipt of Commonwealth recurrent funding for 2019 under the Australian Education Act 2013.

Application

Schools will be required to address the following assessment criteria in their application:

  • who will benefit from the project
  • the expected benefits of the project to the school community
  • how the project provides value for public money
  • whether the project would proceed without this funding.

Schools will also be asked to:

  • provide assurance the project will be completed by 31 December 2020
  • declare on the application form that they have notified their approved authority before submitting an application
  • identify what consultation has occurred with their local school community to identify the project.

How to apply

Schools can submit an application form through SchoolsHUB.

Applications are now open and close at 5:00 pm AEST, 30 September 2019.

Individuals applying on behalf of a school, who are not already registered in SchoolsHUB, need to:

  1. Register a user account 
  2. Link their profile to their school record and apply for the Application Officer role, then
  3. Complete and submit their application.

More information on how to register and link to a school is available in the:

Application assessment

Each Member of the House of Representatives is responsible for forming a Local Advisory Committee which will assess applications in their electorate against the Fund criteria and make recommendations to the Minister for Education.

Each electorate has total funding of up to $200,000 that can be allocated to successful applications. There is no minimum or maximum number of projects which can be funded in each electorate.

The Minister for Education will decide which applications to approve based on each Local Advisory Committee's recommendations.

The Minister for Education's decisions are final.

Successful applications

Schools approved for funding for a project will receive notification in early December 2019, with funds paid to the approved authority of a school from the start of the 2020 calendar year.

Approved projects can commence once notification has been received from the department and are to be completed by 31 December 2020.

Key documents

Contact

For more information, email localschoolscommunityfund@education.gov.au or call 1800 677 027 and select option 7.

Frequently asked Questions

Eligibility

Is my school eligible for Commonwealth recurrent funding?

Most government and non-government schools are registered with the Commonwealth and are eligible for Commonwealth recurrent funding. Schools not eligible for recurrent funding generally include:

  • closed schools or schools with no enrolments 
  • new schools which are not registered with the Commonwealth as at 30 September 2019 (when applications close)
  • schools that cater exclusively for overseas students which are not eligible for Commonwealth funding
  • organisations that provide education to schools students but are not a school, such as school holiday centres or environmental education centres 
  • pre-primary education centres for children below the prescribed state or territory school starting age, such as preschools (NSW, ACT, SA, NT) or kindergartens (VIC, TAS, WA)
  • a small number of other schools which do not meet the requirements of the Australian Education Act 2013.

If your school name does not appear as an option when linking your profile to your school on SchoolsHUB, please contact the department. Your school may not be eligible for Commonwealth recurrent funding.

Is my campus eligible?

A campus of a school is eligible for funding for their own project, if:

  • the school is eligible for Commonwealth recurrent funding (see question above), and
  • the campus is registered with the Commonwealth as at 30 September 2019 (when applications close).

When registering for SchoolsHUB, you must link your profile to the school. If after doing this, an application does not appear for your campus, please contact the department. Your campus may not be registered with the Commonwealth.

Are preschools eligible to apply for funding?

No, preschools (also known as nursery schools, playschools, Early Learning Centres or kindergartens) for children below the prescribed state/territory school starting age are not eligible. 

What if my school did not receive a letter from our local MP?

If your school has not received a letter from your local MP by mid to late August, you should contact your local MP to ask whether they are participating in the Fund. 

If your local MP is not participating in the Fund, your school will not receive funding. Funding for schools in your electorate will be allocated to other electorates.

Can I apply for a project that has already started or is scheduled to start?

No. Funding is not available for projects which have already commenced.

What can be included in a project?

Applications for a project may include one or more project components, where the components of the project are related.

For example, a school could submit an application for:

  • Landscaping works including shade sails, playground equipment and painting of building walls.
  • Library refurbishment including associated furniture, books or ICT equipment. 
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How to apply

What consultation is needed before submitting an application?

Schools should notify their approved authority before submitting an application. 

Schools should also identify their project in consultation with their local school community, which includes established bodies at the school level such as School Boards, Parents and Citizens or Parents and Friends Associations.

Who is the approved authority for my school?

Each school has an approved authority, which is approved under the Australian Education Act 2013:

  • for a government school, the approved authority is the state or territory government. 
  • for a Catholic or independent school, the approved authority is a body corporate that is approved by the Minister to operate a school. 

Approved authorities for Catholic and independent schools will be able to view applications submitted by their schools on SchoolsHUB.

Who can submit an application?

The authorised person to submit an application must be the school principal or someone applying on behalf of the school with the principal's knowledge.

I have registered for the Applications Officer role on SchoolsHUB but cannot see the application form

Once you have requested for the Applications Officer role, you will need to wait for approval from:

  • The department (government schools), or
  • Your approved authority (non-government schools).

This can take up to a few days to process. Once your access has been approved, you will be able to access the application by logging into SchoolsHUB and selecting the 'Applications' option on the left hand navigation pane.

Can I edit an application after it has been submitted?

It is not possible for a school to edit an application after the application period closes at 5:00pm AEST, on 30 September 2019. 

However, before the application period closes, schools are able to edit a submitted application through SchoolsHUB.

Do I need to provide a project quote?

No, providing a quote is optional. However, schools are encouraged to provide documentation which supports the estimated cost, particularly for capital projects.

Providing a quote may assist in the assessment of applications.

Do I need to include GST?

The application must include a 'funding sought' amount which is GST exclusive. Whilst the funding amount sought will be GST exclusive, funding can be used to meet the cost of GST in delivery of projects. For example, if a quote for purchase and delivery of a share sail is $10,000 inclusive of GST, the application should be for $10,000.

Payment of funds to approved authorities for schools will not include a GST component.

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Application assessment

Who will be on the Local Advisory Committee?

MPs in each electorate are responsible for forming a Local Advisory Committee (committee), who will assess applications from schools within their electorate. The committee will consist of at least four members including the MP and representatives from government, Catholic and independent school sectors.

Does submitting an application guarantee that my school will receive funding?

No, submitting an application does not guarantee you will be approved for funding.

While all applications will be considered on eligibility and merit, approval will depend on the number of eligible quality applications received, the relative merits of applications and the amount of available funding.

Local Advisory Committees will make recommendations to the Minister for Education, who will make the final decision on which projects receive funding.

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Application Approval

When will schools know if their application has been successful?

The Minister for Education will notify each MP in writing of the outcome of project applications within their electorate in early December 2019. 

The department will then notify approved authorities and schools of the outcome of all project applications in early December 2019.

When can schools commence an approved project?

Schools can commence approved projects once formal notification of project approval has been received from the department.

How will the funds be paid?

Funds will be paid by the Commonwealth to state and territory governments, who will pay the funds to the approved authority of a school.

When will the funds be paid?

The Commonwealth will make payments for approved projects in January 2020. The approved authority for a school will be paid these funds soon after, depending on their state or territories' payment schedule.

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