School Chaplaincy has a long and strong history across Australia.
“Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians.”
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, 2008
A Chaplain’s role is to assist schools in this vital role by providing holistic pastoral care for their students.
In 2007 the Australian government established the National Schools Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP), a three year program that provided funds to place a Chaplain in schools that successfully applied for a grant.
The goal of this Program was to make available the support that community-funded chaplains already provided in most states.
Due to its success Chaplaincy was expanded in 2012 to include another 1,000 schools.
The Commonwealth budget on May 13, 2014 provided funds for a further four years under a new National School Chaplaincy Programme.
On June 19, 2014 the High Court ruled that the method of providing grants for schools was outside the narrowly defined "executive power" of federal governments under the constitution and that Chaplaincy grants must be applied via the states.
Each state and territory has now established its own grant application process where all schools wanting a Chaplain can apply. The NSW Department of Education (DoE) is now responsible for the application process for NSW state schools. Schools have now been advised if they were sucessful in being awarded a grant for the 2016-2018 Programme.