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.
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.
On May 8, 2018 the Federal Government committed to the ongoing funding of the National School Chaplaincy Programme.
The NSW State Government has recently announced funding for the Student Wellbeing Support Program. Schools can apply for a Chaplain under this Program.
Grants of $7,000 have been made available to schools who commit to contributing $7,000 and are able to secure $7,000 of community funding.