On 17 November 2014 the Commonwealth reached an agreement with all state and territory governments whereby the new NSCP will be funded by the Commonwealth and delivered by the states and territories. The programme has been implemented for the 2015 school year.
As stated in the NSCP Project Agreement participation by schools and students will be voluntary; schools will be able to select a chaplain of any faith; chaplains will not be permitted to proselytise; and chaplains must respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs; and must meet minimum qualification requirements.
Previously the Australian Government funded the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program (NSCSWP). The NSCSWP had no allocation of funding after 31 December 2014. On 19 June 2014, the High Court of Australia found that payments made under the NSCSWP were beyond the constitutional authority of the Commonwealth. As a consequence of the High Court decision, the Government has designed the new NSCP so that funding is delivered via states and territories rather than directly to schools.
Links to the National School Chaplaincy Programme:
- The Project Agreement for the National School Chaplaincy Programme can be found on the National Partnerships - Education page on the Federal Financial Relations website.
- The former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, issued a media release regarding the NSCP on 17 November 2014