Local Schools Community Fund

For: 

The Australian Government is providing $30.2 million in 2019–20 for the Local Schools Community Fund (the Fund).

The Fund was an application-based process open to all eligible schools – government, Catholic and independent – designed to benefit students and their school community by contributing to small scale projects and their associated costs at the local school level.

The application period for the Fund was open from 25 July 2019 to 30 September 2019.

Approved projects

On 16 December 2019, all schools who applied under the Fund were notified as to the outcome of their application.

Local Schools Community Fund 2019-20 approved projects

Project closure reports

Schools with approved projects are required to submit a project closure report through an online form available on SchoolsHUB.

Any approved representative of a school can complete the project closure report on the school’s behalf. Users will be required to log into their existing SchoolsHUB account, or register a new account to access the project closure report. Individuals not already registered, can do so by following the SchoolsHUB access for a new user guide which is available on the Using SchoolsHUB page. New users will need to apply, on SchoolsHUB, for the Applications Officer role for their school. 

The contents of the project closure report can be found in the sample form below – this is just a guide, please complete the official form online. 

With regard to the current COVID-19 situation, the department will be as flexible as possible to the needs of schools while also considering requirements under the Fund Guidelines. If a school is being impacted by current events and require additional assistance then they should contact the department.

Key documents

Contact

For more information, email localschoolscommunityfund@dese.gov.au

Frequently asked questions

How to apply

Applications closed at 5:00 pm AEST, 30 September 2019.

There are currently no plans for future rounds.

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Application assessment

Federal Members of Parliament (MPs) in each electorate were responsible for forming a Local Advisory Committee (Committee) to assess applications from schools within their electorate. The Committee was required to consist of at least four members including the MP and representatives from government, Catholic and independent school sectors.

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Approved projects

The Minister for Education considered MP and Committee recommendations and approved projects and associated funding.

When can schools commence an approved project?

Schools can commence approved projects once formal notification of project approval has been received from the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Formal notification emails were sent to applicants and school principals on 16 December 2019.

How and when will the funds be paid?

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

The Commonwealth made payments for approved projects in January 2020 and February 2020.

All successful schools should have already received funds. Schools are advised to contact their approved authority if this has not occurred.

Who is my approved authority?

All Australian schools receiving Commonwealth recurrent funding will have an approved authority. An approved authority is a body corporate or body politic that operates one or more schools. This may be:

  • the state or territory level Department of Education for a government school
  • the system head office for a systemic non-government school
  • the business operating an independent non-government school, or group of independent schools.

How can I vary my school’s approved project?

In exceptional circumstances, a school may seek a variation to their approved project. In this instance, schools should contact the department prior to spending approved funds on anything which is not in line with their approved project details.

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Schools impacted by bushfires

What if my school can't complete the approved project by the 31 December 2020 deadline due to bushfires, but can complete it after?

If your school cannot complete their project by the due deadline because of the impact of bushfires, but can spend or provide evidence you have committed funds to be spent before 1 January 2021, no further action is required.

If your school cannot complete their project by the due deadline because of the impact of bushfires and cannot spend or commit approved project funds by 1 January 2021, you should contact the department in writing as soon as this becomes apparent.

What if I can’t complete my approved project at all due to bushfires?

In exceptional circumstances, such as bushfires, a school may seek a variation to their approved project. In this instance, schools should contact the department by email providing reasons for, and details of the variation sought. Variations will only be an option in circumstances where it is impractical or not reasonable for the original project to proceed.

If my school has been affected by bushfires, can I redirect funds from the Local Schools Community Fund to other priorities at the school?

In exceptional circumstances, such as bushfires, a school may seek a variation to their approved project. In this instance, schools should contact the department by email providing reasons for, and details of the variation sought. Variations will only be an option in circumstances where it is impractical or not reasonable for the original project to proceed.

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Schools impacted by COVID-19

What if my school can't complete the approved project by the 31 December 2020 deadline due to COVID-19, but can complete it after?

If your school cannot complete their project by the due deadline because of the impact COVID-19, but can spend or provide evidence you have committed funds to be spent before 1 January 2021, no further action is required.

If your school cannot complete their project by the due deadline because of the impact of COVID-19 and cannot spend or commit approved project funds by 1 January 2021, you should contact the department in writing as soon as this becomes apparent.

What if I can’t complete my approved project at all due to COVID-19?

In exceptional circumstances, such as COVID-19, a school may seek a variation to their approved project. In this instance, schools should contact the department by email providing reasons for, and details of the variation sought. Variations will only be an option in circumstances where it is impractical or not reasonable for the original project to proceed.

If my school has been affected by COVID-19, can I redirect funds from the Local Schools Community Fund to other priorities at the school?

In exceptional circumstances, such as COVID-19, a school may seek a variation to their approved project. In this instance, schools should contact the department by email providing reasons for, and details of the variation sought. Variations will only be an option in circumstances where it is impractical or not reasonable for the original project to proceed.

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