What is a new school?

Fact sheet

When an approved authority requests funding for a school for which has not been authorised previously, the Australian Government must first assess whether the school is a new school or the continuation of a previous school. This will determine whether the school is placed on a transitional funding profile or commences on the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). In most cases, the answer to this question will be obvious. In some cases, approved authorities will have to submit additional evidence about the school.

Factors considered when making a decision

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment, will consider the following factors when deciding whether a school is a new school:

  • location: is the school in a new location or on the site of a pre-existing school?
  • student population: are the same students attending from one year to the next?
  • prior government funding: has the school previously attracted funding for this student cohort?
  • other changes: have there been changes to the school’s staff, management or governance?

For a school to be considered new, these factors must substantially differ from any previous or existing school. The table on the following page provides an overview on how the department may assess each factor when considering a new school.

An approved authority seeking funding for a school for which it has not been authorised previously should submit an application through SchoolsHUB, along with any additional evidence on the abovementioned criteria, to demonstrate it is a new school.

The application process

Before it can apply for Commonwealth funding for a school, an approved authority must:

  • fulfil the approved authority criteria under the Australian Education Act 2013
  • complete the school registration process in the relevant state or territory
  • open the school and commence teaching
  • register for an account on SchoolsHUB.

If you need assistance or further information, please contact the School Approvals and Payments Helpdesk on 1800 677 027 (Option 3), or via email at schools@dese.gov.au.

The table below is intended as a guide only and shows how the department might assess particular cases. These examples are not intended to be exhaustive or impose particular rules or requirements.

Each case will be assessed on its merits and there could be circumstances where some criteria would not apply in a particular case.

  Is the location the same as a previous school? Is the student population largely the same as a previous school? Is the accreditation profile (e.g., primary/secondary) the same as a previous school? Has the authority previously received Commonwealth funding for the cohort of students? Does the school have largely the same cohort of staff as a previous school? Conclusion
School A yes yes yes yes yes NOT a new school
School B yes yes no no no Probably not a new school
School C yes no yes yes yes Probably not a new school
School D no yes no yes no Might be a new school
School E yes no no no no Might be a new school
School F no no yes yes yes Maybe a new school
School G no no no no no Probably a new school