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?

An Active School encourages physical activity through a whole school approach that goes beyond traditional physical education and sport to promote physical activity at every opportunity.

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 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

All schools will have access to the Active Schools Toolkit from Term 1, 2021.

Up to 480 disadvantaged government schools each year in 2021 and 2022 will receive an Active Schools funding boost to help meet the costs of running sport, outdoor education and active recreation programs after school. A further 96 schools per year in 2021 and 2022 will receive extra funding, in the form of a grant, to implement a whole school approach to physical activity.

The following funding is being provided to support schools to improve their approach to physical activity:

Active Schools Grants

Up to 96 schools per year in 2021 and 2022 will be provided with a $30,000 Active Schools Grant to plan and implement a whole school approach to physical activity, with the assistance of a new team of physical education leaders.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the Active School Grants for 2021 will open on 1 February 2021 until 25 February 2021. 300 schools will be eligible to apply for an Active Schools Grants. These schools have been selected based on SFOE (School Family Occupation Education index). Schools have been notified via email whether they are eligible to apply.

Applications will open on 1 February 2021 and eligible schools will be sent a link containing all information relevant to the EOI application process.

The 96 schools to receive funding will be selected based on level of need and their school's proposed approach as outlined in their EOI.

School grant applications will need to outline innovative ways the school intends to use the funds to improve physical activity outcomes in their school in relation to the priority areas of the Active Schools framework. Schools may use their Active Schools Grant to support the implementation of their identified plan to become an "Active School". Schools may elect to focus effort on one or numerous priority areas to shift physical activity outcomes. Some examples of funding expenditure 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.

Schools may not spend funds on:

  • to purchase IT equipment,
  • school staff salaries

If you are successful in receiving an Active Schools grant, a Physical Education Leader from the Active Schools Support Service will contact you to help you plan for implementation in Term 2, 2021. Successful schools will be required to work closely with the Physical Education Leaders to look at their school community and consider options for implementation.

Successful schools will receive funding in Term 2, 2021 through the Student Resource Package.

The selection process for 2022 Active Schools Grants will commence in term 4, 2021.

Active Schools PE and Sport Funding Boost

300 disadvantaged Victorian government schools will receive an Active Schools PE and Sport Funding Boost 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 have been selected for this funding based on their SFOE. Schools have been notified by the Department if they are to receive funds in 2021. Funding will be paid through the Student Resource Package in late Term 1 2021.

Schools who are eligible for 2022 funds will be notified in term 4 2021.

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 Boost

181 disadvantaged government secondary schools per year in 2021 and 2022 will also receive an Extracurricular Boost to support them with the costs of providing extracurricular physical activity opportunities.

Schools have been selected for this funding based on their SFOE and have been notified by the Department if they are to receive funds. Funding will be paid through the Student Resource Package in late Term 1 2021.

Schools who are eligible for 2022 funds will be notified in term 4 2021.

Funding may be spent on the cost of running sporting, recreational or physical activity programs either before, after or during break times. This may include engaging community or private providers to run programs or paying for CRTS/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 CRTS/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 has received an Active Schools Extracurricular Boost and have 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.

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).

Further information about eligibility criteria and voucher distribution is currently being developed by DJPR and will be communicated soon.

For further information please visit Sport and Recreation Victoria website.