Department program

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund

​​​​​​​​​The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend activities like:

  • school camps or trips
  • swimming and school-organised sport programs
  • outdoor education programs
  • excursions and incursions.

From 2020, the Victorian Government is investing an additional $160.9 million for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund over the next four years. This funding will help ensure more than 220,000 government and non-government students from lower-income families are able to participate in camps, sports and excursions each year.

On this page

Who can apply

Families holding a valid means-tested concession card or temporary foster parents are eligible to apply. A Special Consideration category also exists. Schools can receive applications from families over term one and two.

Families can list more than one student in the one application form if they are attending the same school.

Eligibility

Criteria 1 - Eligibility

The applicant must be one of the following:

  1. a parent/carer (of the relevant student) who is:
    • on the first day of term one (28 January 2020) or the first day of term two (14 April 2020) an eligible beneficiary of either a Centrelink Health Care Card or a Pensioner Concession Card; or
    • an eligible beneficiary of a Veterans Affairs Gold Card; or
  2. a temporary foster carer; or
  3. the parent/carer of a student who is 16 years or older and who holds a valid concession card (such as a Youth Allowance Health Care Card or Disability Support Pension Card).

The parent/carer must submit an application to the school prior to the end of term 2.

Parents/carer who receive a carer allowance on behalf of a student, or any other benefit or allowance not income tested by Centrelink, are not eligible for the CSEF payment unless they also meet the above eligibility criterion.

Where the parent/carer is seeking eligibility based on holding a Centrelink Health Care Card or a Pensioner Concession Card, eligibility will be determined when the relevant concession card successfully validates with Centrelink on either the first day of term one or term two.

If the eligible card is in the name of the student, the fund is only granted to that student, not their siblings.

Criteria 2 - Be of school age and attend a Victorian school

For the purposes of CSEF, students may be eligible for assistance if they attend a registered Victorian school. Typically, these students are aged between five and 18 years.

School is compulsory for all Victorian children aged between six and 17 years of age.

CSEF is not payable to students attending pre-school, kindergarten, TAFE or who are home schooled.

Special consideration

Special consideration is given to:

Families on a bridging visa, temporary protection visa, are in community detention or are asylum seeker families

A letter from the Australian Red Cross, AMES, or similar organisation is required as evidence. A copy of an 'immi' card is also acceptable evidence.

Students in out of home care

Institutions such as Mackillop Family Services, Anglicare, Berry Street Victoria and other Community Service Organisations are eligible to make an application for students residing on a short term or long term basis. The carer or Community Service Organisation should alert the school of the requirement for a special consideration application

Students in statutory kinship care

The care arrangement must be formalised through the Department of Health and Human Services. The carer should request that DHHS or a Community Service Organisation supervising the placement provide a letter confirming the statutory kinship care arrangement to enable the application to be assessed.

These students may be eligible for assistance if they attend a registered Victorian school and their parent/carer submits an application prior to the end of term 2.

Schools are able to accept applications from newly arrived refugee and asylum seeker students who enrol in terms 3 and 4. For these applications documentation confirming refugee/asylum seeker status, visa grant notice, Immi card or a welfare letter is required to be attached to the application form and a scanned copy emailed to csef@edumail.vic.gov.au for processing before the end of term 4.

Payment amounts

Payments amounts for 2020 are:

  • $125 per year for eligible primary school students
  • $225 per year for eligible secondary school students.

For ungraded students, the rate is determined by the Date of Birth

  • $125 per year for students born on or after 1/7/2008
  • $225 per year for students born on or before 30/6/2008

Payments are made directly to the school and are tied to the student.

  • from March onwards each year where the parent/carer’s concession card is assessed as valid on the first day of term 1; and
  • during term 2 where the parent/carer’s concession card is assessed as valid on the first day of term 2.

Applications can be received over term one and two. Payments are for the application year and cannot be claimed for previous years.

Use of funds

The CSEF payment cannot be used towards voluntary school charges, books, stationery, school uniforms, before/after school care, music lessons, or formals/graduations.

Year 7 and Prep students in government schools who receive the fund are also able to get support for school uniforms. For more information regarding this initiative, see State Schools' Relief.

Submitting an application

Each year the CSEF system is open for schools to enter applications from the start of term 1. Parents/carers wishing to apply for CSEF payments for 2020 must submit their application form to the relevant school before the last day of term 2.

However, a parent/carer will only be required to submit an application form to the school in the following circumstances:

  • the parent/carer is applying for the CSEF payment for the first time – i.e. an application form was not lodged with the school in the previous year; or
  • circumstances have changed – e.g. there has been a change in the care arrangement of the student, a change of name or CRN, or a new sibling has commenced at the school and the parent/carer wishes to apply for the CSEF payment for the new sibling also.

Where a parent/carer is not required to submit a new application, schools can copy the previous year’s application on the CSEF system to the current school year.

Schools must retain application forms for a minimum of seven years.

CSEF applications may be audited by the Department.

Further information about processing application see Manage Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund

Application forms

Schools are able to accept and process applications up until the end of term 2 each year.

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund application form (pdf - 441.28kb)

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund application form (docx - 246.19kb)

Changes for 2020

A number of new and previously announced changes have been approved to the operation of CSEF for 2020 only.

Eligibility

The final eligibility date for CSEF in 2020 has been extended from 14 April until 5 October 2020.

Families holding a valid means-tested concession card or temporary foster parents are eligible to apply. The normal special consideration arrangements continue in addition.

Payments will be made at 50 per cent of the standard per student rates for families eligible between 15 April and 5 October 2020.

Process changes

Applications must be submitted through the CSEF system by 27 November 2020.

CSEF usage is normally restricted to camps, sports and excursions activities. As there is limited opportunity to undertake these activities this year, it was announced in term 2 that CSEF could be used for technology devices and internet access.

CSEF usage has now been expanded further to include voluntary school charges, books and stationery. It may not be used for school uniforms, before/after school care, music lessons, formals/graduations or compulsory fees.

Using the CSEF to purchase devices and internet access

To increase physical distancing across the population and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), children in Victorian government schools have moved to remote and flexible learning and care from the start of Term 2.

For students who do not have access to digital technologies at home, schools will loan internet connections (such as dongles) and devices (such as laptops) to enable internet access.

Schools can use CSEF payments to purchase digital technologies to loan to CSEF eligible students who do not have access to digital technologies at home.

The CSEF is allocated to an eligible student upon an application process. Payment is made to the school for that student.

Non-government schools can also use CSEF for the purchase of digital technologies to support remote student learning.

Who schools can support using the CSEF 

Schools can use the CSEF and CSEF bushfire support to support eligible students only. This is limited to the individual student's allocation only.

The CSEF is means tested. Eligibility includes students whose parents hold:

  • Health Care Cards
  • Veterans Affairs gold cards.

Informing parents if the CSEF is being used

Schools must notify parents that the CSEF and CSEF bushfire support has been directed to purchase devices.

Using all available CSEF funding

Schools can direct all available CSEF and CSEF bushfire support to purchase devices or technologies for eligible students. This includes unallocated funding from a prior year.

Schools must not invoice for an amount that is greater than the available funds. If the CSEF has already been allocated, schools must identify an alternative source of funds.

Excursions later in the year

Schools should consider all sources of funds available to them in addition to accessing the CSEF for the purchase of devices.

If the CSEF is allocated to purchase devices or technologies to enable internet access, this funding will no longer be available to support student attendance at camps and excursions. Schools would need to consider other arrangements to allow students to take part in these activities.

How to show allocations of CSEF in CASES21

  • Create a family fee code: 20LRNEXP - Learning Experience 2020 (SA11001)
  • Subprogram: 9499 or activate a subprogram for this purpose (this is a school decision)
  • General Ledger Code: 74405 Essential Education Items
  • GST code: G03 GST Free
  • Invoice Amount: must not be more than the available funds

For more information, refer to the CASES21 Finance Business Process Guide – Chapter 1 – Families (login required).  

Schools should record expenditure relating to the purchase of devices against both:

  • the relevant general ledger code
  • either an existing sub-program or a school defined subprogram dedicated for the purpose (school choice).

Reporting responsibilities

The school council must minute and approve all budget amendments and parent charges at the next available school council meeting.

Schools should not delay the purchase of devices while waiting for school council approval.

Other ways to fund the purchase of devices and internet access

Schools should consider student need and the availability of devices or internet access already within the school before purchasing additional technologies.

Where additional technologies are needed, schools can access a range of funding sources. These include:

  • currently allocated Student Resource Package (SRP) funding
  • currently allocated equity funding (for IT equipment)
  • the CSEF and CSEF bushfire support.

Loaning devices and internet access technologies

Charging parents for the loan of a device or internet access technologies

Schools must purchase equipment and technologies and loan it to students free-of-charge.

Schools cannot charge parents for the loan of a device or internet access technologies.

Parents already leasing a device

Parents taking part in a lease program can approach their school about the existing arrangement. Any request for financial support should be considered within the context of the school’s financial hardship policy.

Device ownership

The device always remains the property of the school.

The school should record and track any loaned devices in accordance with Section 13 of the Finance Manual for Victorian Government Schools.

If there's shared custody

The CSEF system only allows one application per student. Parents/carers in shared custody situations (who both hold a concession card) must decide beforehand who applies for the CSEF at the school on behalf of the relevant student.

The CSEF is for the benefit of the parent who is in receipt of the CSEF.

Schools are not required to arbitrate this decision.

Schools can contact the Department's CSEF helpdesk for advice on 1800 060 970 or at csef@edumail.vic.gov.au

If you have already paid for some activities

Given the timing of the CSEF payments to schools in term one, it is recognised that some families may have already paid up-front for this year’s camps, sports or excursion expenses. In this scenario, the following options exist for schools to allocate the payment towards camps, sports and/or excursion expenses for the benefit of the eligible student. In addition to allocating the payment towards remaining camps, sports and excursion expenses in that year:

  • carry over the unused amount to be used on eligible activities in the following year
  • create a ‘family credit’ for the costs already paid. The credit can then be used towards other school expenses.
  • Where a family credit is created, the school and family can agree for the credit to be applied to other expenses for the student. The school will need to be able to demonstrate via the family account statement that the CSEF payment was utilised towards camps, sports & excursion expenses for the benefit of the eligible student. It is up to the school whether they agree to this option.
  • CSEF funds cannot be directly refunded to families.

The family credit may be applied by following the steps below:

  1. To process a family credit arrangement the following CASES21 steps must be completed one after the other to ensure the BAS, family account and various other reports are correct.
  2. Ensure that the parent/carer has actually paid for an excursion/camp/sports activity earlier in the year.
  3. Create a family invoice in DF31006 or DF31001 using the original Fee Code you intend to allocate the CSEF funds to, and for the amount you wish to allocate.
  4. Go to Manually allocate CSEF Receipts and allocate the CSEF funds to the new invoice that you just created.
  5. Create a Family Credit Note – DF31021 for the same amount as in step 1, using the same Fee Code. Apart from the amount do not change any other details.
  6. This credit note will stay on the family account until the family advises the school what they want this to be allocated to. NOTE: For any additional assistance or variation to this scenario please log a call with the DET Service Desk on 1800 641 943.

Students changing schools

The school that the student is enrolled at and attending on the 28 February census date is the school that must process and receive the CSEF payment.

If a student transfers to another Victorian school, including where a student is transitioning to secondary school:

  • unspent CSEF amounts should be transferred to the student’s new school**
  • if the unspent amount is minimal, the schools may agree that the funds are not transferred as long as the new school commits to providing the student with assistance to the value of the unspent amount

Students completing year 12 or leaving the Victorian school system

For students completing year 12 or otherwise leaving the Victorian school system:

  • schools may allocate unspent funds to the student's siblings attending the same school once the student leaves school. This is the only time at which CSEF payments can be used for siblings.
  • remaining CSEF funds will stay with the school and may be used to assist any students in need with school-incurred costs for camps, sports activities and excursions.

Information flyers

An information flyer to assist schools with communicating the availability of the CSEF to parents is available for download.

Financial Assistance Information for Parents (pdf - 100.48kb)

​​Translated CSEF information flyers are available in 14 different languages and are available for download:

Information for schools

For information on processing applications, see Manage camps, sports and excursions fund.

Using the CSEF to purchase devices and internet access in 2020

To increase physical distancing across the population and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), children in Victorian government schools have moved to remote and flexible learning and care from the start of Term 2.

For students who do not have access to digital technologies at home, schools will loan internet connections (such as dongles) and devices (such as laptops) to enable internet access.

Schools can use CSEF payments to purchase digital technologies to loan to CSEF eligible students who do not have access to digital technologies at home.

The CSEF is allocated to an eligible student upon an application process. Payment is made to the school for that student.

Non-government schools can also use CSEF for the purchase of digital technologies to support remote student learning.

For more information, you can download the funding technologies factsheet.

Who schools can support using the CSEF 

Schools can use the CSEF and CSEF bushfire support to support eligible students only. This is limited to the individual student's allocation only.

The CSEF is means tested. Eligibility includes students whose parents hold:

  • Health Care Cards
  • Veterans Affairs gold cards.

Informing parents if the CSEF is being used

Schools must notify parents that the CSEF and CSEF bushfire support has been directed to purchase devices.

Using all available CSEF funding

Schools can direct all available CSEF and CSEF bushfire support to purchase devices or technologies for eligible students. This includes unallocated funding from a prior year.

Schools must not invoice for an amount that is greater than the available funds. If the CSEF has already been allocated, schools must identify an alternative source of funds.

Excursions later in the year

Schools should consider all sources of funds available to them in addition to accessing the CSEF for the purchase of devices.

If the CSEF is allocated to purchase devices or technologies to enable internet access, this funding will no longer be available to support student attendance at camps and excursions. Schools would need to consider other arrangements to allow students to take part in these activities.

How to show allocations of CSEF in CASES21

  • Create a family fee code: 20LRNEXP - Learning Experience 2020 (SA11001)
  • Subprogram: 9499 or activate a subprogram for this purpose (this is a school decision)
  • General Ledger Code: 74405 Essential Education Items
  • GST code: G03 GST Free
  • Invoice Amount: must not be more than the available funds

For more information, refer to the CASES21 Finance Business Process Guide – Chapter 1 – Families.

Schools should record expenditure relating to the purchase of devices against both:

  • the relevant general ledger code
  • either an existing sub-program or a school defined subprogram dedicated for the purpose (school choice).

Reporting responsibilities

The school council must minute and approve all budget amendments and parent charges at the next available school council meeting.

Schools should not delay the purchase of devices while waiting for school council approval.

Other ways to fund the purchase of devices and internet access

Schools should consider student need and the availability of devices or internet access already within the school before purchasing additional technologies.

Where additional technologies are needed, schools can access a range of funding sources. These include:

  • currently allocated Student Resource Package (SRP) funding
  • currently allocated equity funding (for IT equipment)
  • the CSEF and CSEF bushfire support.

Loaning devices and internet access technologies

Charging parents for the loan of a device or internet access technologies

Schools must purchase equipment and technologies and loan it to students free-of-charge.

Schools cannot charge parents for the loan of a device or internet access technologies.

Parents already leasing a device

Parents taking part in a lease program can approach their school about the existing arrangement. Any request for financial support should be considered within the context of the school’s financial hardship policy.

Device ownership

The device always remains the property of the school.

The school should record and track any loaned devices in accordance with Section 13 of the Finance Manual for Victorian Government Schools.