Case studies

The following case studies demonstrate successful ways schools can collaborate with local organisations and individuals to draw on the best ideas and support from outside the department. Contact us to discuss a case study in more detail and for advice on setting up something similar for your school or directorate.

Gol Gol Public School approaches organisations within their community to support the school by investing in an annual sponsorship package that includes participating in their country fair, which has been running for 35 years

How does it work?

Gol Gol Public School works closely with its P&C to secure sponsors for their annual country fair held on school grounds on the first Sunday in May. The school has raised on average $45,000 per year over the last few years.

The school engages with local businesses to seek support for the country fair. Businesses are approached and sent a letter outlining sponsorship packages with various benefits which may include: 

  • a stall and logo placement at the fair

  • a listing in the school's newsletter

  • acknowledgement on social media channels

  • inclusion in advertising streams throughout the year. 

The school works in collaboration with the P&C to manage the operations of the fair. The P&C arranges insurance for some aspects of the event through the NSW P&C Association. The school provides the venue and ensures the sponsor benefits are delivered (as outlined in the agreed package via the sponsorship acceptance form.)

Each year the principal and school staff develop a purchase plan. This purchase plan includes excursions, school grounds improvement projects and staffing of special projects like the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden, which provides healthy lunches to students. The P&C holds the funds raised through the annual packages. The school executive and P&C then use the purchase plan to prioritise the allocation of funds.

What are the outcomes for students and schools?
  • Gol Gol Public School raises approximately $45,000 through secured annual sponsorship packages and contributors to the fair
  • The event attracts thousands of visitors from the local area
  • The country fair fosters positive relationships with local organisations and sponsors and brings the whole school community together
  • Students thoroughly enjoy contributing and participating in the annual event
  • All money raised is used by the school to buy valuable resources which benefit students educational learning experiences. 
Things to consider when planning a school fundraising event 
  • Engage your P&C to assist with managing the event. For guidelines on working with your P&C Refer to Section 23 Parents and citizens associations in the implementation procedures

  • Develop a list of appropriate businesses to target for sponsorship and ensure it is an open, fair, and transparent process

  • Relate the event to a specific fundraising initiative(s) e.g., upgrading the playground or purchasing equipment

  • Compile a list of sponsorship benefits that can be offered and delivered for the event. Refer to Section 15 Benefits of sponsorship in the implementation procedures

  • Ensure you formalise these arrangements with a signed agreement or contract. Refer to Section 8 Written agreements in the implementation procedures

  • Register any sponsorships or commercial arrangements that contribute to the event in the Sponsorship Register

Contact

If you'd like to know more about working with your P&C to host a school fair, please contact:  
- Business Engagement  02 7814 3863 
- Gol Gol Public School, Melinda Blows  03 5024 8401

Resources

View and download this case study as a .pdf

 

Lucas Gardens School has put together a successful model for working with its P&C association to increase donations, encourage investment in student wellbeing and connection with the community, and reduce the administrative burden on the school's executive and staff.

Lucas Gardens School (LGS) is a School for Specific Purposes (SSP) catering for students with severe to moderate disabilities from kindergarten to Year 12.  The school has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. LGS has shared a few of the key strategies it uses to attract philanthropy and increase the effectiveness of donations.

Key strategies:

·       Upskilling the P&C

The principal  strategically sought the skills and expertise of the executive   of Communities for Communities, a volunteer organisation within the local community and long standing supporter of Lucas Gardens School  to mentor and work with the P&C to develop skills  and knowledge in:

·       Collaborative leadership between school and the P&C

·       Singular mission (the students)

·       building an effective agenda and to keep mission on track

·       strategies and protocols for running effective meetings

·       completing grant applications

·       supporting school fundraising.

This enabled staff to focus on other school priorities while the P&C monitored and applied for community, club and council grants in close consultation with the principal. Refer to Section 23 Parents and citizens associations of the implementation procedures.

·       Developing an annual purchase plan

Lucas Gardens School principal, staff and school community create an annual purchase plan. This plan details resources, grounds improvement projects and aspirational staffing goals, for example employing a specialist music teacher.  A template purchase plan is available on our resources page.

·       Building relationships with the community

The principal and staff have built strong relationships by inviting members of the community to school events and activities such as the End of Year Presentation Day. The school has involved 11 schools, from both the private and public sector in community programs, connecting their students with Lucas Gardens students and providing the chance for the Lucas Gardens principal to present to these schools to raise disability awareness.

The principal also attends various functions hosted by local organisations, clubs and not-for-profits as a guest or speaker. These relationships have led to offers of donation to the school from philanthropists, local council, clubs and other businesses.

·       Detailed reporting

The school provides a detailed annual report to all donors to provide a breakdown of where donated funds have been spent and the direct impact they have had on students’ lives. The report can include or link to videos and photos, for example, of students using equipment purchased with the donated funds. This reporting function builds trust amongst donors and allows the community to see the impact of their donations and the improvements made year on year.

What are the outcomes for students?

In recent years students benefitted from the following P&C-coordinated projects:

·       $90,000 raised from a dinner dance for parents/carers and the community

·       $70,000 raised for a shade cloth for the school playground

·       $5,000 received for a sensory garden from a council grant

·       $1,000 raised for the school veggie patch from an Easter Hat Parade and raffle

·       Hydro session equipment for students funded by a raffle

·       Funds raised for a music program enabling the school to engage the services of a specialist music teacher

·       World Teachers Day morning tea

·       Enhanced resourcing for students and the formation of a proactive and professional P&C to support the school

·       Council and community organisation to fund the establishment of Yarning circle within the sensory garden.

What are the steps in the process?

1.      The school principal works with staff to develop an annual purchase plan. The plan prioritises equipment, resources, services and special projects the school would allocate extra funding to, for example upgrading the playground, human resources and technology.

2.     Work with the P&C to develop a plan to upskill and increase their efficiency (if required).

3.     Identify opportunities to invite community members to school events and community events where the principal can share updates on school plans and vision.

4.    Establish an annual reporting system for school donors. 

Additional Information 

·       DGR Status – Implementation

As an SSP school, Lucas Gardens is eligible for deductible gift recipient status. This allows individuals and organisations who donate to the school to receive a DGR receipt enabling them to claim donations as a deduction on their taxable income. Non SSP schools can set up library and capital works accounts that are eligible for DGR status. Refer to Section 22.1.7 Gifts, donations and grants in the implementation procedures or call EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 for more information.

·       Grant Eligibility

Some grants are only open to not-for-profit organisations or registered charities.

P&Cs are considered not-for-profit organisations and can also apply to the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) to register as a charity.

You can search the ACNC Charity Register to see if your P&C is registered as a charity. P&Cs do not have to be registered with the ACNC; however, registration will provide charity tax concessions and eligibility for particular government and community grants.

These strong connections with community within and beyond have made a profound difference to learning for Lucas Gardens students.

Contact

If you'd like to know more about building relationships within your community or building your P&C's capacity, please contact:
- Business Engagement  02 7814 3863
- Lucas Gardens School 02 9744 6461

Resources
Links

View and download this case study as a .pdf

Through generous local businesses donating resources, Miller Technology High School students and staff have built a drag car for entry into the NSW Drag Racing Championships held at Eastern Creek. 

How does it work?

With the assistance and collaboration of Southwest Connect, Miller Technology High School secured partnerships with local businesses to provide equipment, parts, and technical expertise to build a competition-ready Holden one-tonne ute. There were over fifteen partners that contributed to the project.

Throughout the project, the partners’ contribution included: 

  • parts at trade prices  
  • building and maintenance of the differential centre 
  • building and servicing the transmission
  • painting of the car
  • logos and custom stickers 
  • nitrous system and refills at each race meeting
  • tickets to various events
  • regular tuning of the car.

As part of the school’s automotive class, the students and staff built and adapted the ute to a standard that enabled them to compete in Super Street at Sydney Dragway.

During the project, Miller Technology High School would regularly host breakfasts for the partners to update them on the progress and meet the students involved. 

The car was shown at many events such as the Australian V8 Supercar Rounds, numerous hot rod car shows and trade nights various partners participated in, promoting the school and its students.
 

What are the outcomes for students/ the school?

  • Many of the students who participated in the program were previously at risk of disengagement. Being involved in the program boosted their confidence, improved behaviour, increased attendance, and improved results in all subjects.
  • Students felt valued by contributing to a project with a public profile.
  • The project enabled the students to develop their skills in dealing with other students, partners, and the public.
  • The skills the students learnt went beyond the syllabus as partners mentored and shared their expertise and experiences.
  • Students developed a powerful sense of pride towards the school and the project.
  • Students learnt about being responsible and professional working with the partners and their staff.
  • Many students involved in the program were introduced to partners who offered them employment or work experience opportunities. Miller Technology High School students were sought after due to their exposure to the program.
  • Through this partnership, the students were able to access professional support and advice.
  • The program increased connections between school and community.

Things to consider when partnering with organisations on similar projects: 

  • Sponsorships and collaborations should be formalised with a written  agreement appropriate for the scope of the project, determining what is expected of each partner. This could be an email or letter of agreement, sponsorship or collaboration agreement.  Refer to Section 8 Written  agreements in the implementation procedures. Template agreements  and an Entering a Sponsorship Checklist are available from the Business  Engagement resources page.
  • Is there a possibility that some of these employees will be alone with any student? Partner employees working with children require a Working with Children check.  This can be made clear in the collaboration agreement. Refer to the Working with Children Check Policy 
    The department should achieve value for money when offering benefits to local businesses and individuals who collaborate with schools. This could be acknowledgement in the school newsletter and at school events, logo recognition on project materials, or a letter of appreciation. Refer to Section 15 Benefits of sponsorship in the implementation procedures.

Testimonial

“It was very successful and … I am hoping to replicate it here at Picton High”.  - Jeff Goodwin,  Picton High School, previously R/Head Teacher, Technological and Applied Studies, at Miller Technology High School

Through nurturing effective partnerships with local businesses and organisations, Miller Technology High School developed a multi-dimensional, dynamic and innovative approach, engaging its students.

Contact

If you would like to know more about working with partners on a similar project, please contact:
- Business Engagement  02 7814 3863
- Miller Technology High School  02 9607 8669

Resources

Links 

View and download this case study as a .pdf

Does your school have a connection to a professional sporting club? Narrandera High School’s relationship with the Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) has provided its students memorable and engaging experiences and given the school a way of rewarding good attendance and behaviour.

How does it work?

Narrandera High School connected with the GWS Giants through a former student who was playing for the team.

GWS Giants provided the school with tickets to games, tours of the training facility and merchandise, which supports whole school welfare programs. GWS Giants and Narrandera High School co-funded the excursion in order to allow students to participate free of charge.

The collaboration with GWS Giants enabled the school to purchase additional tickets at reduced prices for students and their families wanting to attend other games outside of the program. 

What are the educational outcomes for students?

  • Inclusion in the excursion is an acknowledgement by the school of improved attendance and behaviour
  • Reinforces the school’s positive behaviour system, students who behave well get rewarded
  • Zac Williams, a proud Wiradjuri man, nominated for the 2013 AFL Rising Star award and former student is seen as a role model
  • Students see the benefits of working as a team, not only the players but the behind the scenes crew who support the players
  • Strengthens relationships amongst students and their teachers
  • Students wanting to play AFL for the GWS Giants being familiar with the association and vice versa.

Things to consider when approached by sporting associations or partnering with organisations on similar projects

  • Is the school being asked to pay for services, training or equipment as part of a partnership offer? This should be managed in the same way as any other commercial offer made to the school by a potential supplier. Contact Business Engagement for advice as to whether an offer to the school is purely commercial, or if it can be arranged as a collaboration or sponsorship.
  • The department should achieve value for money when offering benefits to local businesses and individuals who collaborate with schools. This could be acknowledgement in the school newsletter and at school events, logo recognition on project materials, or a letter of appreciation. Refer to Section 15 Benefits of sponsorship of the implementation procedures.
  • Is there a possibility that some of the members of these associations will be alone with any student?  If so they will need to apply for or have a current Working with Children Check. This needs to be stipulated in the collaboration agreement. Refer to the Working with Children Check Policy
  • Has the sporting organisation suggested students purchase co-branded uniforms? The placement of commercial logos on regular school uniforms is not permitted. For guidelines on placement of a commercial logo on representative sporting attire and the school website refer to Section 6.2.4 Using a commercial brand or logo of the implementation procedures.
  • Does the sporting association want to use the school grounds? If so see the Sharing of School Facilities Policy

Testimonials

'The partnership between Narrandera High School and the GWS Giants has been a wonderful relationship that has resulted in many benefits for both parties. Our students have had a wonderful opportunity to experience the ins and outs of professional football life by not only attending games but also being part of the 'behind the scenes' action in the dressing room and also the business side of the operation. For many of our students, this is their first AFL football game experience and for some, their first visit to Sydney. Our students have also had the opportunity to see one of their own - former Narrandera High student Zac Williams achieve amazing success and they are very proud of Zac and our school. For many, it is a motivation that even though they are from a small town, they can achieve anything and dreams do come true.' - Marni Milne, Principal, Narrandera High School

“Hopefully they can see what’s possible when you set your mind to something.” - Zac Williams, GIANTS backline, former Narrandera High School student

Beth Chappell, PDHPE Teacher and some students have also spoken about their experiences.

This relationship has given students opportunities and experiences that may not have been possible without the support of the GWS Giants and the school.

Contact

For more information about the benefits of establishing a relationship with organisations similar to this, please contact:
- Business Engagement  02 7814 3863
- Narrandera High School, Marni Milne  02 6959 1744

Resources

Business Engagement resources page

View and download this case study as a .pdf

Strathfield Girls High School is using their alumni network to raise funds to assist students in need.

How does it work? 

The Strathfield Girls High School Former Students and Staff Association (SGHS FSSA) network of alumni and former staff provides a bridge between current and former students and staff.

The principal aim of the alumni network is to support current students who are in financial need with funds raised through annual membership fees.

Benefits of an alumni network

  • Keep past students and staff invested in the school community Assist students in need through funds raised
  • Raise funds for aspirational school projects through annual membership and events
  • Share past students’ success via channels including an alumni newsletter, social media and as a guest speaker at alumni events
  • Capitalise on alumni network members willing to share expertise or provide mentoring opportunities

What are the outcomes for students and alumni?

  • Each year one Year 7 and one Year 11 student may present a case for financial support to a committee made up of alumni network representatives. The successful applicant in Year 7, for example, has all fees covered, including the cost of school camp, approximately $1600.
  • Students benefit from improvements to the school grounds, for example the association has funded murals to be placed around the school.
  • Alumni can stay connected with the school, participate in future projects, and invest in their school community.

Tips on setting up or expanding your school’s alumni network

  • Create or expand a database of past students and staff
  • Establish an alumni network team so tasks and responsibilities can be shared
  • Create a profile for your alumni network on relevant channels including Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Reach out and promote your alumni network and its benefits using your school’s newsletter and social media channels
  • Invite graduating students to join your alumni network. Obtain permission for their contact details to be used by the alumni network
  • You could choose to charge a small annual membership fee. Strathfield Girls’ FSSA charge $25 and explain how the funds will be spent
  • Provide a report to the alumni network members to show how their contribution has impacted or improved educational outcomes for the school community.

Building a strong alumni network at your school will inspire past and present students to stay in touch and create a community across generations.

Contact

If you’d like to know more about setting up an alumni network, please contact:
- Business Engagement  02 7814 3863
- Strathfield Girls High School  02 9746 6990

Resources

Business Engagement resources page

View and download this case study as a .pdf

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