This page includes information for schools to administer their use of the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF). For parents, see:
Our key programs: CSEF
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
Schools will need to communicate with eligible parents/guardians 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/guardians if their CSEF application fails the Centrelink validation check. The
Centreink pro-forma letter (docx - 29.37kb) can be used to notify parents that their application has failed the Centrelink validation.
The CSEF payment cannot be used towards voluntary school charges, nor towards books, stationery, school uniforms, before/after school care, music lessons, graduations, etc.
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
New school administrators are able to obtain access to the system by
completing a user access form (doc - 72.5kb).
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 - without the need to complete this form.
There are two access level 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, or to maintain role assignments.
School approver - this role can endorse applications for payment, and 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.
Instructions for adding user roles to the CSEF system
- Click on Administration > Maintain role assignments
- Then click Assign user to role
- Enter the staff member's user id (TO number for government schools, eduweb username for non-government schools), enter the staff member's user id (TO number for government schools, eduweb username for non-government schools)
- Select the required role
- Click the Add button to create the role assignment
Non-government users must have an EduWeb login. The user will then have the assigned level of access to the CSEF system. See:
Create an EduWeb account
Schools are accountable for ensuring the CSEF payment is allocated towards camps, sports or excursion expenses for the eligible child.
Schools will need to communicate with eligible families regarding how the school intends to use the CSEF payment to assist the eligible child.
For government schools:
At government schools, the CASES21 system allows CSEF expenditure to be allocated against eligible students’ expenses, while non-government schools use similar administrative systems.
At government schools, when a CSEF payment is deposited into the school’s high yield account, 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
At Catholic systemic schools the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) can advise schools as to the appropriate accounting treatment and acquittal process.
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 2019 census date is the school that should process and receive the CSEF payment.
If the student transfers to another Victorian school, the default position is that the value of any unspent portion of the CSEF should follow to the student’s new school, so that the student has access to the full value of the payment.
In the government sector, a funds transfer would typically 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:
CASES21 Business process guide (Section 1)
However, if the unspent portion is of a minimal amount, the schools may agree that the funds are not transferred as long as the new school commits to provide the student with assistance to the value of the unspent amount.
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 leaving the school system
If the student leaves the Victorian school system, the CSEF payment will remain with the school to be used towards the expenses for other family siblings, or school-incurred costs associated with operating camps, sports or excursion activities for students.
Parents (including guardians) no longer need to submit a new application form each year in most cases. The CSEF web system has not changed.
Parents only need to submit an application form in 2019 if any of these changes have occurred:
- new student enrolments: students who have started or changed schools in 2019 or if the parent did not apply for CSEF at the school in a previous year.
- changed family circumstances: such as a change of custody, change of name, concession card number, or new siblings commencing at the school in a previous year.
Schools are able to accept and process applications up until the end of term two each year.
Parents who received CSEF at the school in 2018
For parents who received CSEF at the school in 2018 (and the student/s are still enrolled in 2019), schools should 'copy' the application across from 2018 to 2019 on the CSEF system. The CSEF system will automatically validate the parent's eligibility with Centrelink on 29 January 2019.
Parents who did not receive CSEF at the school in 2018
Parents who did not receive the CSEF at the school in 2018 will need to complete an application form in 2019. Schools are able to add new applications in the CSEF web system during terms one and term two, 2019.
The CSEF system will automatically validate the parent's eligibility with Centrelink on 29 January 2019.
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 (Disabilty 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)
Processing 2019 CSEF applications
School administrators need to make sure the school's student enrolment system is up-to-date with the latest enrolments for 2019 before processing starts. This will minimise the risk of incorrect CSEF information being copied across from to 2019 and reduce the chance of any overpayments or underpayments.
Step 1: CASES21 data task (government schools)
Government schools must ensure that CASES21 (admin) accurately reflects current student enrolment details (i.e. that all students currently enrolled at your school are shown are active on CASES21).
The CSEF web system will automatically schedule a download of the student data across to the CSEF system overnight (24 hours).
Government schools can perform the download CASES21 students in the CSEF system prior to processing applications:
- Select Applications, Download CASES21 students − this will update the CSEF web system with the current student enrolment details
- This information is updated overnight into the CSEF web system
Step 2: copying applications
A short method for processing applications is to copy the applications from the previous year (for parents who received CSEF at the same school in 2018).
To do this:
- Log into the
CSEF web system(edumail account required)
- Select ‘Applications’ from the menu bar
- Select ‘Search by applicant’
- Select the year 2018
- Click ‘Search’
- Optionally you may also want to enter the first letter of the parent’s surname to refine the search if you have numerous applications.
- Locate the application which you want to copy and click on the 'Copy' link next to the parent's name.
- This takes you to the Add Application page where the copied parent and student information from the prior year is displayed.
- Check the parent’s application form against the system to ensure that all details are correct for the current year. You can add or delete students from the application.
- Non govermentt schools only will need to add the year level of the student.
- Click the ‘Save application’ button. Once you click the save button, the system will check that all mandatory fields have been completed and the application will then be created in the current year. The application will also be automatically validated against Centrelink’s database. Once successfully saved, the application will be displayed in View mode. Typically at this point you have successfully added the application.
- Click the ‘Back to search’ button if you wish to return to the search page to continue with copying other applications.
- Once you have completed entering your school’s applications you will need to endorse the applications before payments can be made. NOTE: The CSEF web system will validate a CRN with Centrelink when you save the application. CRN validation typically occurs every half an hour or overnight if for some reason the validation could not be completed within half an hour. Applications entered prior to the CSEF eligibility date, will not be validated with Centrelink until this date has been reached. Applications which successfully validate with Centrelink will then require 'endorsement'.
Step 3: add a new application
- Select ‘Applications’ then ‘Add application’ from the main menu.
- Select the ‘Application type’. By default, the value is set to ‘Parent has CRN’ as this is the most common application type.
- Enter the parent (or guardian) 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.
- Enter the Centrelink Reference Number (or CRN) of the applicant as per the application form or concession card. The CRN is mandatory for this application type.
- Government schools − add the children to the application by entering the child’s surname in the ‘CASES21 student selection' search box, clicking the ‘search’ button then ticking the box next to the child’s name and clicking ‘select’. You may add multiple children to the application by ticking each child’s name.
- Non-government schools − manually enter each child’s details into the student details section.
- Click the ‘Save application’ button. Once you click the save button, the application will be created and automatically validated against Centrelink’s database. Once saved, the application will be displayed in View mode.
- Once you have completed entering your school’s applications you will need to endorse the applications before payments can be made. CSEF administrators with 'school approver' access can endorse applications by clicking on the ‘Endorse’ option in the menu bar and following the steps displayed.
Note: applications entered prior to the eligibility date will not be validated with Centrelink until this date has been reached. Applications which successfully validate with Centrelink will then require 'endorsement'.
Step 4: endorse CSEF applications
By endorsing the applications, you are 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 2019.
Only users with school approver access are able to endorse applications.
To endorse applications for processing:
- Select ‘Endorse’ from the main menu.
- To endorse all applications, click on the ‘Endorse all’ button – or if you wish to view these applications first you can click on the ‘List applications’ button. Only applications that are successfully validated with Centrelink will be listed. 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 be displayed on your CSEF homepage under the heading of ‘CRN validation failed’. See Issue 1 for follow up action required for CRN validation failures.
Possible follow-up action
Issue 1: CRN validation failures
Applications which have an application type of 'Parent has CRN' are automatically validated with Centrelink's database to confirm that the parent’s concession card was valid on the CSEF first eligibility date, 29 January 2019. Applications which fail the Centrelink validation are displayed on your CSEF 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: Notify the applicant regarding a CRN validation error by providing them with the
Centrelink error pro-forma (docx - 32.81kb).
For Centrelink error reasons, i.e. applicant's name does not match the CRN or CRN digit validation errors, the school can correct these by updating the details according to the Centrelink card. For Centrelink error reasons, i.e. Centrelink benefit has been cancelled or suspended, inform parent/guardian using the ‘Centrelink validation failure’ proforma letter.
Advise the parent that if he/she believes that he/she was entitled to a card on the first eligibility date, 29 January 2019, a Q053 confirmation letter is required from Centrelink stating that the parent was the holder of a valid concession card on 29 January 2019. If not the application will remain with a status of Centrelink validation failure hold and the CSEF system will automatically resubmit the application to validate against the second option eligibility date of 23 April 2019, the first day of term 2.
When the school receives the Q053 confirmation letter from the parent, the letter can be scanned and attached to the parent's application on the CSEF web system. Under the 'Documents' section of the parent’s electronic application, click on ‘Browse’ to select the scanned document and then click ‘Upload selected file’.
The allowances unit will then receive automatic notification that you have uploaded the scanned document – there is no need to also email the document to the allowances unit. However, if you are unable to attach documents, as an alternative you can scan and email the Q053 letter to the allowances unit at
firstname.lastname@example.org for processing.
Issue 2: possible duplicate detected
Each night, the CSEF system checks applications for the current year to detect any students that may have been duplicated across schools. This usually happens if a student leaves a school and transfers to another Victorian school. The policy as to which school processes the CSEF application is determined by, at which school the student is enrolled and attending on 28 February 2019.
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'. When any duplicates are detected, each of the schools involved will receive a notification email to advise them of this.
- Check whether the student was enrolled at your school on the 28 February 2019 census date.
- 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.
- If the duplication cannot be resolved at the school level or is not a legitimate duplication eg. twins attending two different schools, the CSEF coordinator at the Department central office can resolve duplicates and if necessary, apply an action to mark the duplicates as valid. This will release both applications for further processing and will not detect them as duplicates again. In this scenario, you should email the family payments unit with the details:
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, they will be marked as such. The application will be placed on hold until the issue is resolved.
On the homepage, any such applications will be included in the status summary under 'CASES21 student data discrepancy'. You can click on the link to see a list for your school.
- On your CSEF homepage, click on the CASES21 student data discrepancy link to view the details of each application which has been placed on ‘hold'.
- Click on the ‘view’ link to view the details of the parent’s application.
- Scroll down to the ‘Students’ section and then click on the ‘Fix unmatched’ button next to the child’s name.
- Choose the appropriate option, then click on 'Update student', then 'Proceed with changes'.
- If necessary, repeat step four for other children listed on the application.
- Click the ‘Save changes’ button.
- The application will have the system ‘hold’ removed.
Direct deposit to school
All CSEF payments are paid directly to the school as a bulk payment. The schools 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, under recent payment batches, click on the relevant batch number. This can also be exported to Excel. If your school EFT details change, we should be made aware of any changes in writing.
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.
You can scan CSEF records if you want to. Pending further advice on The Evidence Act 2008, you should also retain the paper copies until the seven years have elapsed.
Principals should arrange for the secure storage of CSEF records during the required document retention period. 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.
The School Policy and Advisory Guide 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.
For more information, see:
Archives and record management
Communicating with parents
It is the school’s responsibility to advertise in the school newsletters about this allowance and make application forms available to parents. These can be downloaded from the CSEF web system. The forms are also available in various languages.
The CSEF policy document has been updated for 2018.
Drought response package for Central and East Gippsland
In October 2018 the Victorian government announced a drought response package targeting Central and East Gippsland.
Financial assistance will be extended to all primary and secondary students attending a registered school or residing within the Wellington or East Gippsland Local Government Areas (LGA) from term 1, 2019.
Application process for parents
To apply, parents must fill out a
drought assistance application form (pdf - 592.53kb) and lodge the form with the school.
Sample newsletter article for schools
Encourage parents to apply for the assistance package by including information in your school newsletter.
Sample newsletter copy:
Drought assistance payment available - apply now
As part of the Victorian Government’s drought assistance package, all
'insert school name' students are eligible for a drought assistance payment through the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF).
This includes parents and independent students that do not hold a means-tested concession card, but are experiencing financial hardship as a result of drought conditions. Families who receive the means-tested CSEF payment are also eligible. A 'one off' amount of $375 per student will be paid to the school to be used towards educational expenses for the direct benefit of your child.
How to apply
Complete a CSEF drought package application form and return it to the school office.
Application process for schools
Schools are required to record the details of parents that apply for drought assistance on the
Drought assistance spreadsheet template (xlsx - 69.77kb) and submit the spreadsheet to our allowances unit for payment. Email the completed template to
The following CSEF drought assistance fact sheet provides more information for schools about the the drought response package.
Drought assistance information sheet