Australian Government Capital Grants Program
Expressions of interest from schools wishing to participate in the next round of projects commencing in 2023 are now open.
The Australian Government Capital Grants Program provides approximately $15 million each year to assist non-government schools to upgrade and improve facilities. While school authorities and communities are primarily responsible for establishing, maintaining and upgrading non-government school facilities, this program provides supplementary funds for capital development where there is a need for assistance.
The objectives of the program are to:
- provide and improve school capital infrastructure, particularly for the most educationally disadvantaged students
- ensure attention to refurbishment and upgrading of capital infrastructure for existing students, while making provision for needs arising from new demographic and enrolment needs
- pursue the Commonwealth’s other priorities and objectives for schooling:
- supporting quality teaching
- supporting parental and community engagement
- supporting safety for the school community
- supporting the curriculum
Grants for capital expenditure can be used for:
- investigating the need for schools, buildings, parts of buildings, other facilities or equipment
- purchasing land, with or without buildings (or parts of buildings)
- planning for the erection, alteration, extension, demolition or refurbishment of a building or other facility
- developing or preparing land for building or other purposes
- erecting, altering, extending, demolishing or refurbishing a building or other facility
- installing or upgrading water, electricity or any other services
- providing furniture and equipment, including information technology (as part of a broader capital project unless special circumstances exist)
- providing library materials or obtaining services and goods for cataloguing a library (as part of a broader capital project unless special circumstances exist)
- other projects as prescribed by the regulation.
To be eligible to apply, a non-government school must:
- be a participant, or prospective participant, in the VISBGA
- demonstrate a financial need for the grant
- demonstrate that the project will contribute to the objectives of the program
- demonstrate that the school has an appropriate maintenance plan in place and can meet the ongoing running costs of its facilities
- demonstrate that adequate insurance is held over its school buildings
- be proposing a project that is consistent with sound educational planning, within both the school and the environment within which it is operating, especially in relation to the cost, size and use of the facilities to be funded
- be proposing a project that will not adversely affect the condition of a place in relation to the Commonwealth, state, territory or local government heritage legislation
- demonstrate that it is financially viable and
- own the land or have a lease for the land and/or buildings that has a period to run commensurate with the period in which the capital grant may be required to be repaid if the school no longer provides school education.
Program Guidelines and annual schedules of approved projects are available on the Australian Government Capital Grants webpage.
Capital funding under the Australian Government Capital Grants Program is available on an annual basis. The entire process, from the initial call for expressions of interest to funding becoming available for successful schools, takes approximately 18 months.
The process is the same each year and follows the broad timeline below:
The Victorian Independent Schools Block Grant Authority (VISBGA) is now calling for expressions of interest from schools wishing to participate in the next round of the Australian Government Capital Grants Program, the 2023 Schedule, for projects commencing in the 2023 calendar year.
Schools wishing to apply for funding must be able to demonstrate a financial and educational need for assistance. The VISBGA Board performs a detailed financial assessment in order to establish the extent to which the school and its community may be able to contribute towards the total cost of the project, which includes an assessment of the school’s capacity to borrow.
Schools wishing to participate should complete an Expression of Interest (form available below) and submit to the VISBGA by Friday 15 October 2021.
Schools expressing an interest in the Program may be contacted by VISBGA for further discussion, and a meeting with VISBGA representatives may be arranged if required.
Capital funding briefings were held for schools in early September via Zoom. If your school was unable to participate, or you would like to revisit the information, recordings of both sessions are available on isConnect. The presentations cover eligibility requirements and program timelines and provide an overview of the application and assessment process.