National School Chaplaincy Programme 2016-2018

The National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP) 2016-2018 is a Commonwealth-funded initiative to support the emotional wellbeing of students and the school community through the provision of pastoral care.

The New South Wales Government administers the Programme on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Applications from NSW public schools to participate in the National School Chaplaincy Programme for 2016 – 2018 closed on 16 October 2015.

Programme Overview

The National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP) Project Agreement is a four-year (2015-2018) Commonwealth–funded initiative to provide chaplaincy services in government, Catholic and independent schools.

The New South Wales Government has been administering this Programme on behalf of the Commonwealth since 2015.

The Programme aims to support students through the provision of pastoral care services and the promotion of strategies that support the emotional wellbeing of students and the broader school community. Pastoral care is defined in the Agreement with the Commonwealth as:

the practice of looking after the personal needs of students, not just their academic needs, through the provision of general spiritual and personal advice.”

Participation in the Programme is voluntary for both schools and students.

What is a chaplain?

A chaplain funded under this Programme is an individual who is recognised:

  1. by the school community and the appropriate governing authority for the school (where applicable) as having the skills and experience to deliver school chaplaincy to the school community, and
  2. through formal ordination, commissioning, recognised religious qualifications or endorsement by a recognised or accepted religious institution.

A chaplain may be from any faith, and a title other than ‘chaplain’ may be used where the title is appropriate to the religious affiliation of the individual.

A chaplain can be engaged by the school, through a chaplaincy provider or through the school’s Parents and Citizens Association (if incorporated) in line with the Department’s procurement processes.

Endorsement of a chaplain by a recognised religious institution can be undertaken at a local level (e.g. a local church that is part of a larger entity), where appropriate.

What is the role of the school chaplain?

School chaplains support the emotional wellbeing of students by providing:

  • pastoral care services, and
  • strategies that support the emotional wellbeing of the broader school community.

Pastoral care is defined in the agreement with the Commonwealth as the practice of looking after the personal needs of students, not just their academic needs, through the provision of general spiritual and personal advice.

NSW NSCP Arrangements for 2016 – 2018

The NSW arrangements for 2016 – 2018 are as follows:

  • There will be one application round for the 2016 – 2018 calendar years. Schools approved to participate will be funded for three years.
  • Schools will be eligible for up to $20,000 per annum ($24,000 for remote schools), with funding to go directly to schools. School funding allocations will be determined by sector authorities based on the number of chaplaincy hours to be provided and the overall funding available.
  • Where a school sources a chaplain through a provider, the school may select a provider that best meets its needs. NSW Public Schools will be required to purchase a chaplaincy service using the Departments’ procurement processes. A prequalified panel of Chaplaincy service providers will be appointed and accredited to assist schools.
  • As there is limited funding available, sector authorities will prioritise schools for participation based on an assessment of school applications against the common conditions and core criteria applying to all schools, as well as against any sector-specific criteria.
  • It is a Commonwealth requirement that funding is only available for school chaplains – secular student welfare workers are not eligible for Programme funding.
  • Where a school sources a chaplain through a provider, the provider must be able to replace a chaplain if the chaplain is unable to remain with the school.
  • Chaplain providers (including school Parents and Citizens Associations) must enter into the Agreement for the National School Chaplaincy Programme with the school and agree to its terms and conditions.

Contact details

For further information contact:

Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships
Email: chaplaincyprogram@det.nsw.edu.au

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