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Fair Education Program

Our Fair Education Program supports schools in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

Fair Education develops the capacity of school leaders in high needs schools in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, to better engage families and communities in student learning. 

The program is a catalyst for significant change within the participating schools and in their education system. It’s based on the belief that any meaningful transformation in education must be led by the teaching profession. 

Since 2015, the partnership between Schools Plus and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) has provided learning opportunities through the Fair Education Program in NSW.  With 34 projects involving 104 primary and secondary schools across NSW in low socio-economic regions, the Fair Education Program has significantly developed the confidence and capacity of school leaders and teachers to engage meaningfully with their families and wider communities to improve learning for students.  In 2018, with funding support from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and The Bryan Foundation, the Fair Education Program expanded to 34 schools in Queensland. In Victoria, Fair Education commenced in 2019 with the support of RE Ross Trust to four schools and in 2020 in partnership with the Foundation of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies and the Ian Potter Foundation a further five schools will be part of the Fair Education community of practice.

The there are no Fair Education Program rounds currently open. Please subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with our opportunities.

Program Information

How would my school benefit from the program?

As a result of the Fair Education Program, the leadership of your school will be better able to design and deliver evidence-based projects through:   

  1. Provision of coaching for the project leadership team each term for the life of the project. Our coaching focuses on building the leadership’s capacity to successfully plan and deliver long-term, strategic projects that aim to improve family and community engagement in student learning. 
  2. Three-year project funding for individual schools or school clusters, chosen via a competitive application process, to deliver an innovative project focused on leading family and community engagement to improve student learning outcomes. 

There are no rounds currently open.

Is my school eligible?

The program is available to eligible primary and secondary schools, government and non-government, special education needs schools, and/or clusters of schools. Applications from rural and remote schools are strongly encouraged.  

Participation in the program is ideally suited to schools that have identified significant room for improving student outcomes and prioritised improved family/community engagement as a key strategy to address this.  To be eligible to apply, schools must meet the following criteria: 

  • A school located in NSW.  
  • A school with an ICSEA value below 1000 (2019 data). To check your school’s ICSEA value, visit your school’s profile on the My School website.
  • For school clusters, all schools must have an ICSEA value below 1000.
  • You have discussed your participation in the Fair Education Program with your state’s Director Public Schools /School Council/Board or equivalent in your sector. 

There are no rounds currently open.

What level of funding is available?

Over three years, individual schools will be eligible for up to $70,000 while clusters will be eligible for up to $250,000.

There are no rounds currently open.

What type of projects will be supported?

We want to hear about the project identified as the highest priority for your school, that will improve student learning outcomes by increasing family and community engagement.  

Since launching in 2016, we have supported a diverse range of projects across metro, regional and rural schools including: 

  • transition-to-school programs for pre-kindy and/or Year 6 students; partnering with rural schools to adapt and implement previously successful transition programs within challenging rural and remote contexts
  • transforming teaching and learning practices by introducing innovative, evidence-based strategies
  • introducing technology-based solutions to establish and strengthen engagement with parents and the wider community across eight high schools and their 30+ primary feeder schools
  • building a new secondary school that is future-focused, reflective of current teaching reforms and research, and viewed as a community learning hub. 

Although diverse in their strategies and approaches, each Fair Education project is linked by the common purpose of transforming school practice and culture, in genuine partnership with families and the wider school community, to provide stronger student learning experiences and improved learning outcomes. 

There are no rounds currently open.

How do I apply?

Applications for the Fair Education Program for NSW schools have now closed. There are no rounds open for QLD or VIC this year.

  1. Read the Program Guidelines BEFORE starting the application. These guidelines provide helpful information, such as selection criteria, key program dates and an outline of the commitment required by schools, which will allow you to make an informed decision about your participation and support you in developing a competitive application for further consideration.  
    Use the URL provided below or in the Guidelines to register and login as a user on Smarty Grants platform.
  2. Discuss with your key project stakeholders prior to commencing with the application.
  3. If you are unsure whether your project concept aligns strongly with the purpose and guiding principles of the Fair Education Program, contact a member of the Schools Plus team on (02) 8318 1412 to discuss further.
  4. Submit your application prior to the deadline.  


Report: Fair Education

Want to know more about the Fair Education program? This report details the first five years of the Fair Education program, including the programs evolution, goals and successes. 

Find out more