Department program

Active schools

Active Schools aims to ensure that all Victorian students have the skills, confidence and motivation to be active for life.

Creating active schools

The $24.2 million Active Schools initiative builds on existing programs and funding to boost support and resources for schools to get kids moving. It includes a toolkit for school leaders and teachers, expert physical education leaders and extracurricular coordinators, and funding for schools.

A Joint Ministerial Statement on Physical Activity for Children and Young People between the Ministers for Education, Community Sport and Health sets out how schools, in partnership with families and the community, can set our children on a physical activity path for life, including through the Active Schools Framework.

What is an active school?

The Active Schools Framework, detailed in the Joint Ministerial Statement, supports schools to take a whole school approach to physical activity, recognising there is no single solution to shifting inactivity; it takes a multifaceted and system wide effort.

An Active School goes beyond traditional physical education and sport to ensures it provides students opportunities to be active through the six priority areas outlined in the Active Schools Framework:

  • quality physical education
  • quality school sport
  • active classrooms
  • active travel
  • active recreation
  • supportive school environment.

Becoming an active school

Active Schools Toolkit

The Active Schools Toolkit is now available online to all schools. Aligned to the Framework, the toolkit provides guidance, practical strategies and resources that school leaders and teachers can use to become an Active School..

View the Active Schools Toolkit

Active Schools Grants

Up to 96 schools will receive a $30,000 Active Schools Grant in 2021 and 2022 to plan and implement a whole school approach to improving student physical activity.

300 schools will be eligible to apply for an Active Schools Grant each year. Schools will be selected to apply based on their SFOE (School Family Occupation Education index) and will be notified by the Department if they are eligible. Funding will be paid through the Student Resource Package.

Grant applications will need to outline innovative ways the school intends to use the funds to improve physical activity outcomes across their school in relation to the priority areas of the Active Schools Framework. Schools may elect to focus effort on one or more priority areas to improve physical activity outcomes. Some examples of funding expenditure may include:

  • Quality physical education – professional development programs to support high quality implementation of PE and Sport programs
  • Quality school sport – sport education programs, intra-school sport events (e.g. swimming carnivals) or inter-school sport
  • Active classrooms – Active classroom programs (e.g. Transform-Us!), standing desks
  •  Active recreation – outdoor recreation programs (e.g. orienteering), external providers such as local sporting clubs, dance or pilates instructors or gyms
  • Active travel – bicycle education programs, bike storage or walk/ride to school infrastructure
  • Creation of a supportive school environment – green and open spaces, sensory play areas, fun engaging playgrounds with safe, age-appropriate equipment. 

Funds cannot be used for:

  • purchase of IT equipment,
  • school staff salaries.

Active Schools PE and Sport Funding Boosts

300 disadvantaged Victorian government schools will receive a $3,300 Active Schools PE and Sport Funding Boost in 2021 and 2022 to support them with the costs of physical education, sport and outdoor education, as per Victorian Government's commitment to create active schools, active kids and active communities.

Schools are selected for this funding based on their SFOE and will  be notified by the Department if they are to receive this boost. Funding will be paid through the Student Resource Package.

Schools are encouraged to consider innovative ways to spend this funding to encourage an increased uptake of physical activity in their school. Schools may spend this funding on costs related to physical activity. Schools may elect to use this funding to boost their physical education or sport budget or spend funding on outdoor education, bike storage or playground improvements.

This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Purchase of sport and recreational equipment
  • Transport to interschool sports or entry to sports/recreational facilities
  • Outdoor education programs
  • Bike storage or walk/ride to school infrastructure
  • Playground improvements
  • Entry fees to competitions
  • Casual Relief Teacher (CRT) coverage
  • Coaching fees
  • Costs associated with other outdoor activities

Funds cannot be used for:

  • purchase of IT equipment,
  • school staff salaries
  • items not related to improving physical activity outcomes

For example, a primary school who received an Active Schools PE and Sport Boost may choose to spend part of their PE and Sport Boost on new bibs for the netball team. The remaining funds could be used to cover their entry into the Regional interschool netball competition and the cost of buses to the event. 

Active School Extracurricular Boosts

181 disadvantaged government secondary schools will receive a $13,600 Extracurricular Boost in 2021 and 2022 to support them with the costs of providing extracurricular physical activity opportunities.

Schools are selected for this funding based on their SFOE and will be notified by the Department if they are to receive this boost. Funding will be paid through the Student Resource Package.

Funding may be spent on the cost of running sporting, recreational or physical activity programs either before or after school, or during break times. This may include engaging community or private providers to run programs or paying for CRT/teachers to run programs.

Some examples of how this funding could be used include:

  • External providers such as local sporting clubs, dance or pilates instructors or gyms
  • Outdoor recreational providers like orienteering clubs
  • Paying for CRT/teachers  to run recreational activities

Funds cannot be used for:

  • Staff salaries
  • Laptops or IT equipment
  • PE and Sport equipment (see PE and Sport Boosts)

For example, a secondary school who receives an Active Schools Extracurricular Boost may decided to spend this funding to engage the local dance school to run hip hop classes as an after school activity to engage students who don't participate in the school's traditional sport programs.

Active Schools Expert Support Service

The Active Schools Expert Support Service is now available to provide on the ground support to schools to implement an Active Schools approach and coordinate extracurricular activities.

The Expert Support Service is being overseen by the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Victoria and is made up of two workforces:

  • 8 Physical Education Leaders who provide on the ground mentoring and capacity building to enable schools to implement an Active Schools framework and deliver physical education.
  • 4 Extra Curricular Coordinators who provide direct support to schools to implement an extra-curricular program that meets the needs of their student population.

If you would like support with implementing the Active Schools Framework or have any queries regarding the Active Schools Expert Support Service please contact ACHPER Victoria by email:  activeschools@achper.vic.edu.au 

Get Your Move on Campaign 

The Get Your Move On (GYMO) campaign is aimed at schools, parents and the community to promote physical activity as a crucial part of a child's day.

It encourages parents and schools to get kids moving more and to meet the national guidelines for physical activity for 5 -17 years olds of 15 minutes of physical activity, 4 times a day.

For further information, please visit Get Your Move On. 

Active Schools Behavioural Intervention Trials

The Department will fund a select number of behavioural intervention trials aimed at getting secondary students more active.

The Active Schools Innovation Grants which will open in late 2021. Organisations will be invited to apply for one of four grants valued at $160,250 each, to identify and trial effective, scalable behavioural interventions which incentivise physical activity among adolescents. Each behavioural intervention will focus on a key priority area of the Active Schools Framework, including Active Travel, Quality School Sport and Active Recreation.

View the Active Schools Innovation Grants application guidelines below.

The Department may contact your school in 2022 to gauge your interest in being involved in a behavioural intervention trial.

For further information about the Active Schools initiative, please contact active.schools@education.vic.gov.au.

Get Active Kids Voucher Program

A further $21 million over two years was announced by the Minister for Community Sport to create the 'Get Active Kids' Voucher Program. The Program will deliver $200 vouchers to more than 100,000 eligible Victorian children, assisting lower income families with the costs of participation in sport and active recreation activities.

The implementation of the Get Active Kids Voucher Program will be managed by Sport and Recreation Victoria within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR).

For further information please visit Sport and Recreation Victoria website.