On 20 September 2018, the Australian Government announced the establishment of a Choice and Affordability Fund (the Fund) to support the non-government school sector. The Fund began in 2020 with an estimated $1.2 billion to be provided to the non-government sector to 2029.
How does the Fund work?
Funding is provided for the non-government school sector under the Australian Education Act 2013. Catholic and independent non-government representative bodies (NGRBs) in each state and territory administer funding in line with agreed priorities for the Fund. The administrative arrangements for the fund are set out under the Australian Education Regulation 2013 with supporting Guidelines.
What is the Fund to be used for?
The Fund prioritises assistance for non-government schools transitioning to the new direct measure of income funding arrangements, including regional, rural and remote schools. It also prioritises funding for schools affected by drought, bushfires and other natural disasters, particularly where this affects a school’s short-term financial viability.
Other priorities include providing choice to parents of an affordable school that will best suit their child, enhancing student wellbeing and support initiatives, and lifting outcomes in underperforming schools.
NGRBs can use the Fund flexibly over the 10 years to maximise its impact on these priorities.
Reporting and transparency
All NGRBs must have an agreement with the department which sets out their intended use for the Fund, which are available on the Choice and Affordability Fund Agreements page.
As a condition of ongoing funding, NGRBs must report annually on their progress in achieving the priority objectives and intended outcomes identified in their agreements.
How can schools access assistance from the Fund?
Schools wishing to gain support under the Fund should contact their NGRB.