To assist schools and regions to enhance education support to eligible students in out-of-home care (OOHC), which is linked to goals identified through the student's education support planning process and based upon an assessment of the student's needs in relation to:
- participation—access, attendance and engagement in education
- wellbeing—social, emotional, psychological and physical
- academic achievement—including extension and learning support
- other priorities.
Assistance provided through the Educational Support Funding Program (ESFP) should be to supplement, when required, the services and programs already provided by schools to support the academic, social and emotional needs of all students, including, but not limited to, learning and disability support, and access to guidance officers, school-based youth health nurses, chaplains, youth support coordinators and student welfare workers.
Duration of program
State schools, secondary schools and special schools that have eligible student enrolments and have submitted education support plans to their regional office.
Allocation of funds
Each region should develop a regional action plan based on:
- the particular needs of eligible students in OOHC enrolled in their schools, identified through requests based on the education support plan process
- all school based support services and other programs currently available
- gaps in education support services
- funds provided by Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women under Child Related Costs—Education Support
- funds available to the region.
Current regional methodologies
- Schools can access targeted ESFP funds for eligible students in OOHC.
- Submissions are made by schools to the metropolitan regional office accompanied by the student's education support plan. Funding requests are based on their individual educational needs and participation in educational activities as identified in their Education Support Plans (ESPs).
- Funds are allocated in 2 major funding rounds—at the beginning of Semester 2 (25 weeks, includes 5 weeks of the next calendar year) and Semester 1 (15 weeks).
- Submissions are considered according to individual needs by the Regional Working Party for Students in OOHC—a group consisting of representatives from the Department of Education (DoE) and Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.
- Funding allocations are very specific and each school receives notification outlining funding details for each student, what the funds have been approved for and the conditions of the allocation.
- Emergent/contingency funding is available outside this time for short-term or unexpected needs or for students new to metropolitan region schools or newly placed in care.
- ESFP may be used to implement regional or school based strategies aimed at closing the educational gap between students in OOHC and other students.
South East region
- Schools can access targeted ESFP funds for eligible students in OOHC.
- Submissions are made by schools to the south east regional office with evidence that each student has a current Education Support Plan (ESP) and an eligible Child Protection Order.
- Funding requests are based on students’ individual goals as outlined in their ESP.
- Funds are allocated in 2 funding rounds each financial year, Semester 2 (25 weeks) and Semester 1 (15 weeks). At the beginning of each semester, regional office will advise schools that the funding round has opened.
- Applications received are considered by the regional ESFP panel, which comprises of primary and secondary principals, regional representatives, Senior Guidance Officers and a Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW) representative.
- Once all applications have been considered and funding is approved by the panel, an outcome email is sent out to principals and nominated school ESFP contacts, which will list individual student names and the total amount of funding that has been allocated to each student. This outcome email will also list the conditions of the grant including expenditure of funds by the 30 June.
- Emergent/contingency funding is available outside of a funding round for short-term or unexpected student needs, or for students new to south east region schools or newly placed in care.
- ESFP funding may be used to implement regional or school based strategies aimed at closing the educational gap between students in OOHC and other students.
Darling Downs South West region
Program funding is available to all students who are ESP eligible. A regional assessment tool utilises school-based professional judgment of student characteristics and needs to determine a tier between 0–3, which are as follows:
- tier 0 is supported by universal and existing resources within the school and receives a nominal amount of funds
- tier 1 provides targeted support and adjustments in some areas
- tier 2 provides intensive support and adjustments in most areas
- tier 3 provides individualised support and adjustments across all areas. Tier 3 is the highest level funding.
For students above tier 0, Complex Case Support on OneSchool must be submitted to the region and the regional assessment tool must be available on OneSchool with the student’s completed ESP.
Funding is determined based on the regional figures across the four tiers and total available funding.
Moderation of a sample of students at tiers 1–3 occurs each semester to:
- provide feedback to schools about alignment to the tier
- maintain consistency and equity of funding distribution
- identify trends to inform training and capability building
- refine the methodology, if required.
North Coast region
- Schools are required to complete an individual ESP for all eligible students.
- Schools can submit request for funding twice a year.
- Funding amounts are determined based on level of need and available funds.
- A small contingency is held by the region to fund exceptional circumstances that arise across the year.
- Schools are advised by email of the approved allocations.
Central Queensland region
- Schools prepare individual education support plans for eligible students.
- Schools then submit these plans to the regional office with a request for funding.
- Funding amounts are determined based on the identified costs and subject to budget availability.
- Some funding is held by the region to manage the program outcomes.
North Queensland region
- Schools submit applications for funding twice each year. Urgent applications may be made at any time.
- Regional staff consider applications for funding and allocate accordingly.
- Schools receive an email advising the approved allocations.
- Some funds are held by the region to manage the program outcomes.
Far North Queensland region
- Schools prepare individual ESPs for eligible students.
- Schools then submit a funding application with the ESP to the regional office by a set date. Approximately 80% of funding is allocated in this process using a weighted basis that takes into account a student's participation in schooling, wellbeing and achievement.
- The remainder of the budget is held as contingency funding which can be applied for at any time during the year for emergent issues.
Payment timelines and proportions will change from year to year based on the school calendar and how each region assesses funding applications from schools. Contingency funding is generally assessed and paid on an ad-hoc basis.
|Data requirements as specified in the Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women|
Regional and central office data collection
Schools receive funds based on individual students. If a student exits the school, refuses to engage in the service or program, or no longer qualifies for the program, recoupments of residual funding may be requested from the school.
How to apply
Access to funding under this program will depend on the specific regional funding allocation models. Please contact your local regional office for further information.
Telephone: (07) 4842 8300
Darling Downs and South West
Telephone: (07) 4616 3771
Far North Queensland
Telephone: (07) 4037 3822
Telephone: (07) 3028 8052
Telephone: (07) 3203 9000
Telephone: (07) 4758 3222
Telephone: (07) 5656 6688