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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Children and Schooling Programme

This program supports activities to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educational outcomes, opening the door to more options of pathways to success. This includes improving family and parenting support; early childhood development, care and education; school education; youth engagement and transition; and tertiary education. The program has a critical focus on increased school attendance and improved educational outcomes that lead to employment.

The Children and Schooling Program complements a range of state, territory and Australian Government programs that aim to improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The program provides targeted complementary support, enabling innovation and providing opportunities to leverage further grant funding.

What this program will fund

This program will support activity that will achieve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education outcomes, such as (but not limited to):

  • Increasing participation and positive learning outcomes in early childhood development, care and education leading to improved school readiness.
  • Increasing school attendance and improving educational outcomes, including literacy and numeracy.
  • Increasing Year 12 attainment and pathways to further training and education.
  • Increasing course completions in tertiary studies.
  • Increasing the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities to engage with schools and other education providers.
  • The Australian Government grant funding will be used to:
  • Primarily focus on ‘outside the school gate’ activities (actions which support the capacity building of parents, care-givers and communities) to complement mainstream grant funding.
  • Engage parents and community to help drive the demand for quality education and training, including early childhood education and care.
  • Support youth engagement and school retention and/or transition activities for compulsory school-aged childhood education and care.
  • Prioritise support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children/families and young people who may not currently engage with learning opportunities or mainstream education.
  • Target grant funding to those most disadvantaged, specifically in rural and remote localities.
  • Leverage greater grant funding in the provision of education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Demonstrate national leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.
  • While innovative measures drawing on multiple grant funding sources or building on this list are welcome, this program will not pay for elements of measures:
  • Funded through recurrent school grant funding or grant funding to early learning services or higher education providers, such as teachers and curriculum resources.
  • Funded through ABSTUDY or Family Tax Benefit, including travel and living allowances at boarding schools or universities.
  • Already delivered in the community by the state/territory or local government.
  • The Children and Schooling Program does not cover the following activities also managed by the National Indigenous Australians Agency, as they have separate guidelines or administrative arrangements.
  • Indigenous Student Success Program (supporting university students) – under part 2-2A f the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the Indigenous Student Assistance Grants Guidelines 2017.
  • Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ATAS) Superannuation (a reserve fulfilling superannuation obligations for some former ATAS employees).

The Australian Government will work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, so that individuals, families and communities can build their future their own way. This program will help children to attend school and get a good education that will help lead to a good job, leading to a better future for themselves, their family and community.

Information on funding requirements under the Children and Schooling Program is outlined in the Indigenous Advancement Strategy Guidelines.

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