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Fair Education Program


Our Fair Education Program is for NSW schools only.

The Fair Education Program is an exciting initiative of Schools Plus and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. Now in its second year, the program aims to develop the capacity of school leaders in disadvantaged schools in NSW to better engage families and communities in student learning.

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

Applications are currently closed for 2017. 


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 leadership coaching to the school leadership team each term for the life of the project. Delivered by an expert coach, the coaching will focus on building the leadership’s capability to successfully plan and deliver long-term, strategic projects that aim to improve family and community engagement in student learning.
  1. Three-year project funding for individual schools or school clusters, chosen via a competitive application process, to deliver an approved project focused on improving family/community engagement in student learning.
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 5-10 schools. Applications from provincial, remote and very remote NSW 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 (based on current 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 Director Public Schools NSW/School Council/Board or equivalent in your sector.
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.

Who was successful in the first round?

The first round of the Fair Education Program received 42 applications from schools and clusters across metro, regional and rural NSW. Of these 42 applications, 16 projects were selected to form Cohort 1. In the program’s first cohort, there are 29 schools taking part throughout NSW, including 13 individual schools and three school clusters.

The participating schools are spread widely across NSW: from far north in Ballina to Bombala in the south; out west to regional areas including Bathurst, Dubbo and Griffith; and east across the Greater Sydney metropolitan area.

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 outcomes by building active and meaningful family and community engagement.

In Cohort 1, a diverse range of projects were supported 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.

How do I apply?

Applications are currently closed for 2017. 

Read the Program Guidelines here.

Support a school

Your generosity will help schools provide the opportunities students need and deserve to fulfil their potential. Explore the much-needed initiatives on our Projects page and support a school today.

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Fair Education Leadership Coaches

Now in its second year, the Fair Education program has significantly grown, presenting a unique opportunity to further enrich our coaching approach as well as to make our model more sustainable. We are therefore excited to welcome five incredibly experienced education leaders into the Fair Education coaching team.

Find out more

Free fundraising workshop

Want to learn how to raise more funds for your school?

We are hosting a free workshop on the 9 August 2018 which will cover:

*Easy step-by-step approach to fundraising for a project

*How to pitch your project to potential donors – and where to find them

*Practical tips to make your fundraising drive a success

You can find out more information here or email

Find out more