Manage Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund

This page includes information for schools to administer their use of the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF). For parents, see: Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund

Access the CSEF system
School administrator login required

Use of funds

Schools are required to use the CSEF payment for expenses relating to camps, sport and/or excursions for the benefit of the eligible student.

Some common examples of school-organised programs for which the CSEF payment may be used include:

  • school camps/trips
  • swimming and other school-organised sporting programs
  • outdoor education programs
  • excursions/incursions.

Schools will need to communicate with eligible parents/carers about how it is proposed the CSEF payment will be allocated for the benefit of the eligible student.

Schools will also need to inform parents/carers if their CSEF application fails the Centrelink validation check. Use the Centrelink pro-forma letter (docx - 29.61kb) to notify parents that their application has failed the Centrelink validation.

The CSEF payment cannot be used towards:

  • voluntary school charges
  • books and stationery
  • school uniforms
  • before/after school care
  • music lessons
  • locker hire
  • classroom/homework materials
  • graduations/formals
  • other expenses unrelated to camps, sports or excursions.

Review the full Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund policy:

CSEF system

Applications are processed by schools using the CSEF system. School administrators can access this system via:

Access the CSEF system
School administrator login required
The system provides:

  • a consistent method of registering applications across all government and non-government schools
  • an automated interface with Centrelink for the validation of applicants
  • the ability for all schools to review and modify applications
  • the ability to perform a central review of applications for corporate reporting
  • payment reconciliation
  • reporting, security and audit facilities.

Getting access to the system

There are two roles in the CSEF system:

  • School administrator – this role performs most of the data entry in the CSEF system for a school, such as entering CSEF applications. The role does not have access to endorse applications.   
  • School approver – this role can endorse applications for payment. For government schools the role can also add or remove school administrators for their school. This role cannot add or copy applications.

A user may request access to one (or both) of these roles, and may have access to more than one school.

Government schools

New school administrators can get access to the system by completing a government school user access form:


Existing CSEF users with the 'school approver' access level can add and remove CSEF users to the 'school approver' and 'school administrator' roles at their school. They do not need to complete this form.

To add user roles to the CSEF system: 

  1. Select Administration, then Maintain role assignments
  2. Select Assign user to role
  3. Enter the staff member's user ID (TO number)
  4. Select the required role
  5. Select the Add button to create the role assignment

Non-government schools

New users at non-government schools need to create an eduPass account before submitting a non-government school user access form. Find out how to create an eduPass account.  

When registering for an eduPass account, enter all mandatory fields and the name of the school you need access for.

A single user can administer CSEF for more than one school. You do not need to have multiple user IDs.

Once set up, the user will get two emails:

  1. The first email will be sent providing the eduPass ID with a temporary password. Activate your account within 30 days and update your password.
  2. The second email will be sent indicating access to the CSEF has been accepted. The eduPass account is now created and ready to use. It will not yet have access to the CSEF system. 

Once the eduPass account is set up, email the non-government school user access form to csef@edumail.vic.gov.au

A third confirmation email will be sent confirming that CSEF access has been granted. If you do not get the third email, CSEF access has not been set up. Email csef@edumail.vic.gov.au for more information.

CSEF expenditure

Schools are responsible for allocating the CSEF payment towards camps, sports and excursion costs against the eligible student.

Schools will need to communicate with eligible families regarding how the school intends to use the CSEF payment to assist the eligible child.

Acquittal

For government schools

At government schools, the CASES21 system allows CSEF expenditure to be allocated against eligible students’ expenses.

When a CSEF payment is deposited into the school’s high yield account, schools must run the process to receipt the CSEF payment against the family account. The family statement has a column indicating CSEF receipts. Schools can then allocate the CSEF payment to the appropriate camps, sports and excursion costs.

For more information, see: CASES21 business process guide (section 1).

For Catholic schools

The Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) can advise schools as to the appropriate accounting treatment and acquittal process.

Independent schools

Independent schools may have different systems in place. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that their systems can allocate CSEF expenditure against eligible students' expenses.

Students changing schools

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

If the 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. The new school must commit to providing the student with assistance to the value of the unspent amount. 

For government schools

In government schools, a funds transfer would usually require the initiating school to create a CASES21 Family Payment and then arrange for the unspent portion to be transferred to the new school via a bank transfer or cheque payment. For more information, see the CASES21 business process guide (section 1).

Remaining funds

Any remaining portion of the CSEF not expended by the end of the school year must be carried forward by the school towards the following year’s camps, sports and excursions expenses for the eligible child.

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 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.

Accepting applications

Each year the CSEF system is open for schools to enter applications from the start of term 1. Parents and carers applying for 2020 CSEF payments 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 for the student – for example, an application form was not lodged with the school the year before
  • circumstances have changed – for example, the student’s care arrangements have changed, there is a change of name or Centrelink Reference Number (CRN), or a new sibling has started at the school and the parent/carer wishes to apply for the CSEF payment for the new sibling too. 

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

Parents who received CSEF at the school in 2019

For parents who received CSEF at the school in 2019 (and the student/s are still enrolled in 2020), schools should 'copy' the application across from 2019 to 2020 on the CSEF system. The CSEF system will automatically perform a validation check against Centrelink's database to check the parent's eligibility to the concession card on 28 January 2020.

Parents who did not receive CSEF at the school in 2019

Parents who did not receive the CSEF at the school in 2019 will need to complete an application form in 2020. Schools can accept and process applications up until the end of term two each year. 

The CSEF system will automatically do a validation check against Centrelink’s database. This is to check the parent's eligibility to the concession card on 28 January 2020.

For new applications, copy or sight the parent's concession card to make sure the parent's name and Centrelink Reference Number (CRN) matches the Centrelink database.

Centrelink cards eligible for CSEF

The following Centrelink cards are the most common means-tested cards which can be used to apply for CSEF. The card type is a two or three letter code which is printed on the applicant's concession card:

  • YA or YAL (Youth Allowance)
  • PPS (Parenting Payment Single)
  • PPP (Parenting Payment Partnered)
  • DSP (Disability Support Pension)
  • NSA (Newstart Allowance)
  • LI (Low Income)
  • FA (Family Tax Benefit)
  • SA or SKA (Sickness Allowance)
  • CAR (Carer Payment)
  • ABA or ABY (Schooling Applicant)
  • AGE (Age Pension)
  • AUS (Austudy)
  • HCC (Health Care Card)
  • PTA (Partner Allowance)
  • SPL (Special Benefit)
  • WID or WFD or WFA (Widow Allowance/Pension)

The following card types are not means-tested by Centrelink and are not able to be used to apply for CSEF:

  • CD (Carer Allowance – child's card)
  • EH (Ex Carer Allowance)
  • FO (Foster Care)

Processing 2020 CSEF applications

Step 1: CASES21 data task (government schools)

Before CSEF applications for 2020 can be processed, school administrators must make sure:

  • the CASES21 end of year processing has been completed
  • the school's student enrolment system is up-to-date with the latest enrolments for 2020.

This will reduce:

  • the risk of incorrect CSEF information being copied across from 2019 to 2020 
  • the chance of any overpayments or underpayments.

Government schools must make sure that CASES21 (admin) accurately reflects current student enrolment details (i.e. that all students currently enrolled at your school are shown as active on CASES21).

The CSEF system will automatically schedule a download of the student data across to the CSEF system overnight. 

Government schools can schedule a download of the student data by: 

  1. Selecting ‘Applications’ 
  2. Selecting ‘Download CASES21 students’

This will update the CSEF system overnight with the current student enrolment details.

Step 2: copying applications

A short method for processing applications is to copy the applications from the previous year (for parents/carers who received CSEF at the same school in 2019).

To do this:

  1. Log into the CSEF system(login required)
  2. Select ‘Applications’ from the menu bar
  3. Select ‘Search by applicant’
  4. Select the year 2019
  5. Select ‘Search’
  6. Optionally enter the first letter of the parent/carer’s surname to refine the search if there are many applications.
  7. Find the application to be copied and select the 'Copy' link next to the parent/carer's name. This takes schools to the ‘Add Application’ page where the copied parent/carer and student information from the prior year is displayed.
  8. Check the parent/carer’s application form against the system to ensure that all details are correct for the current year. Schools can add or delete students from the application.
  9. Non-government schools will need to add the year level of the student.

  10. Select the ‘Save application’ button. The CSEF system will then check that all mandatory fields have been completed and the application will then be created in the current year. The CSEF system will automatically perform a validation check against Centrelink’s database to check the parent's eligibility to the concession card on 28 January. CRN validation usually happens every half an hour or overnight. Once successfully saved, the application will be displayed in View mode. Typically at this point the application has been successfully copied.
  11. Select the ‘Back to search’ button to return to the search page to continue with copying other applications. .
  12. Once a school has completed entering their applications, the school will need to endorse the applications before payments can be made. CSEF administrators with 'school approver' access can endorse applications by selecting on the ‘Endorse’ option in the menu bar and following the steps displayed (see step 4).

Validation checks

A validation check against Centrelink’s database for applications entered prior to the first eligibility date will not take place until this date has been reached.

A validation check against the first eligibility date will be done for applications entered in term 2. If the Centrelink validation fails, the CSEF system will attempt another validation check against the second eligibility date in an automatic overnight process.

Step 3: add a new application
  1. Select ‘Applications’ then ‘Add application’ from the main menu.
  2. Select the ‘Application type’. By default, the value is set to ‘Parent has CRN’ as this is the most common application type.
  3. Enter the parent/carer surname and first name. This is not case sensitive, but the spelling must be identical to the spelling on the parent’s Centrelink concession card. Then (optionally) enter a school reference number.
  4. Enter the Centrelink Reference Number (CRN) of the parent/carer as per the application form or concession card. The CRN is mandatory for this application type.
  5. Government schools − add the student to the application by entering the student’s surname in the ‘CASES21 student selection' search box. Select the ‘search’ button, tick the box next to the student’s name and select the ‘select’ button. Schools may add multiple students to the application by ticking each student’s name.
  6. Non-government schools − manually enter each child’s details into the student details section.
  7. Select the ‘Save application’ button. The application will be created and the CSEF system will automatically do a validation check against Centrelink’s database. Once saved, the application will be displayed in View mode.

Once schools complete entering their applications, and the applications have been validated with Centrelink, schools will need to endorse the applications before payment can be made (see step 4).

Validation checks

A validation check against Centrelink’s database for applications entered prior to the first eligibility date will not take place until this date has been reached.

A validation check against the first eligibility date will be done for applications entered in term 2. If the Centrelink validation fails, the CSEF system will attempt another validation check against the second eligibility date in an automatic overnight process.

Step 4: endorse CSEF applications

By endorsing the applications, you're indicating that your school’s student enrolments in the CSEF system are up to date and the student was enrolled and attending the school on 28 February 2020.

Only users with 'school approver' access are able to endorse applications.

To endorse applications for processing:

  1. Select ‘Endorse’ from the main menu.
  2. To endorse all applications, select the ‘Endorse all’ button – or, to view these applications first, select the ‘List applications’ button. Applications that are endorsed will be paid in the next scheduled CSEF payment run (the next payment run date is displayed on the CSEF homepage).

Applications which fail the Centrelink validation will not be available for endorsing. See issue 1 for more information. 

Application processing problems – possible follow-up actions

Issue 1: CRN validation failures

The CSEF system does a validation check with Centrelink’s database for applications which have an application type of 'Parent has CRN'. This is to confirm that the parent’s concession card was valid on the CSEF first eligibility date (i.e. the first day of term 1). Applications which fail the Centrelink validation are displayed on the CSEF system homepage with a status of ‘CRN validation failed’. 

In addition, an automated email is sent to your school and/or CSEF administrator to inform you of any CRN validation failures.

Action required

  • For Centrelink error reasons arising because the applicant's name does not match the CRN or CRN digit validation errors, the school can correct these by updating the details to reflect the details on the concession card. 
  • For Centrelink error reasons arising from the Centrelink benefit having been cancelled or suspended, schools must inform the parent/carer using the Centrelink pro-forma letter (docx - 29.61kb)
  • Schools must advise the parent/carer that, if they believe that they were entitled to a concession card on the first eligibility date (28 January 2020), they must arrange for a ‘Q053 confirmation letter’ to be provided from Centrelink stating that the applicant was the holder of a valid concession card on 28 January 2020. If a letter cannot be provided, schools must leave the application with a status of ‘Centrelink validation failure’ until term 2. The CSEF system will then attempt another validation check against the second eligibility date (14 April 2020) in an automatic overnight process. When the school receives the Q053 confirmation letter from the parent/carer, the letter can be scanned and attached to the application on the CSEF system. Under the 'Documents' section of the electronic application, select ‘Browse’ to select the scanned document and then select ‘Upload selected file’. The Schools Finance & Resources Branch is automatically notified of the uploaded document.
Issue 2: possible duplicate detected

The CSEF system checks applications for the current year to detect any students that may have been duplicated across schools. This may happen when a student leaves a school and transfers to another Victorian school. The school where the student is enrolled and attending on Census day 28 February 2020 is the school that must process the student's CSEF application. 

Where a duplicate is found, applications at both schools will be placed 'on hold by system' and will be displayed on your CSEF homepage as 'Possible duplicate detected'. A notification email will be sent to each of the schools involved. 

Action required

  1. Check whether the student was enrolled and attending the school on the 28 February 2020 census date.
  2. If the student was not enrolled and attending your school on this day, view the parent’s application and under the next available actions, select 'Delete application'. Overnight, the system will re-check the duplicate status and if the duplication no longer exists the application will automatically have the ‘hold’ status removed.
  3. If the duplication cannot be resolved at the school level or is not a legitimate duplication (for example, twins attending two different schools) the CSEF coordinator in the Schools Finance & Resources Branch can resolve duplicates and if necessary, apply an action to mark the duplicates as valid. This will release both applications for further processing. In this scenario, schools must email the Schools Finance & Resources Branch at csef@edumail.vic.gov.au
Issue 3: CASES21 student data discrepancy (government schools)

When a CASES21 student data export into CSEF is performed, the CSEF system will check against students in relevant schools. Where an active student can no longer be matched using their CASES21 student key, the application will be placed on hold until the issue is resolved.

On the CSEF system homepage, any such applications will be included in the status summary under 'CASES21 student data discrepancy'. You can select the link to see a list for your school.

Action required

  1. On your CSEF homepage, select the CASES21 student data discrepancy link to view the details of each application which has been placed on ‘hold'.
  2. Select the ‘view’ link to view the details of the parent’s application.
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Students’ section and then select the ‘Fix unmatched’ button next to the child’s name.
  4. Choose the appropriate option, then select 'Update student', then 'Proceed with changes'.
  5. If necessary, repeat step 4 for other children listed on the application.
  6. Select the ‘Save changes’ button.
  7. The application will have the system ‘hold’ removed.

Other issues

For any other issues processing CSEF applications, contact the Department's CSEF helpdesk for advice:

Direct deposit to school

All CSEF payments are paid directly to the school as a bulk payment. School bank details are stored in the accounts payable system and payment will be made accordingly. Government schools can receipt this money to the respective parent through CASES21 in accounts receivable via the CSEF0007 message.

To view the breakdown of payments on the CSEF home page, look under recent payment batches and select the relevant batch number. This can also be exported to Excel. 

If your school EFT details change, schools must notify the Schools Finance & Resources Branch in writing as soon as possible. Email csef@edumail.vic.gov.au

Record keeping

Government schools

CSEF records are treated as financial records that detail the receipt and expenditure of public monies. Based on Class 5.1.1 of the Authority, government schools are required to keep CSEF records for seven years.

A scanned copy of CSEF records can be maintained. However, pending further advice on The Evidence Act 2008, you should also keep the paper copies until the seven years have passed. 

Principals should arrange for the secure storage of CSEF records during the required document retention period. 

The School Policy and Advisory Guide for archives and record management discusses the need for secure storage of records and information. The privacy section gives directions and the archives and records section details the need for secure storage of temporary records and mentions the issue of personal information being revealed.

Non-government schools

Non-government schools must seek advice on record keeping procedures as part of regular business requirements from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). The ATO guideline specifies maintaining records for seven years as part of good general practice.

Communicating with parents

It's the school’s responsibility to advertise in the school newsletters about this allowance and make application forms available to parents. The forms are also available in different languages.

Policy

The CSEF policy document has been updated for 2020.