Voluntary School Contribution

Outlines the criteria for schools to request voluntary school contributions that may be made by parents and carers to enhance educational programs.

Changes since previous version

2021 Nov 15 - policy statement and Code of Practice updated to provide greater clarity and guidance and to remind schools they must not use terms that imply voluntary school contributions are mandatory, for example, fee, charge or levy. There will be no implementation changes required for schools.

Document history

2021 Apr 27 - policy statement contact details updated to reflect new ownership of policy.

2019 Sep 27 - updated contact details and made minor style changes.

2019 Mar - Voluntary School Contribution Code of Practice updated.

2014 May - section 1.5 updated to remove reference to the Student Assistance Scheme which ended on 19 May 2014.

Superseded documents


  1. Policy statement
    1. All schools may request contributions to enhance their educational programs.
    2. NSW Government policy is that school contributions are voluntary. The payment of voluntary school contributions is a matter for decision by parents and carers.
    3. There will be no charge to access the minimum curriculum as defined in the Education Act 1990.
    4. Schools may request contributions for elective subjects that go beyond the minimum requirements of the curriculum.
    5. Parents and carers who are unable to pay elective subject contributions because of financial hardship may be eligible for assistance from the school.
    6. Principals must ensure that students and families who are unable to make a voluntary school contribution or elective subject contribution do not experience any embarrassment or discrimination. Schools must maintain confidentiality and privacy regarding payment of contributions.
    7. Principals must adhere to the Voluntary School Contribution Code of Practice.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. All NSW public schools.
  3. Context
    1. The NSW Education Act states that instruction provided in government schools is to be free of charge. This does not apply in relation to overseas students.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Principals:
      1. determine the level of voluntary school contributions in line with published departmental advice and in consultation with the school community
      2. determine the level of elective subject contributions in consultation with the school community
      3. advise parents and carers that school contributions are voluntary
      4. inform parents and carers that financial assistance for elective subject contributions is available if required
      5. make decisions about financial assistance and refunds
      6. adhere to the Voluntary School Contribution Code of Practice.
    2. Finance directorate:
      1. will publish advice regarding voluntary school contributions each year.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Director, Strategic Schools Resourcing monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
  6. Contact
    Director, Strategic Schools Resourcing
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