Australia’s education system has a large degree of inequity. There is a significant gap between its highest and lowest performing students: far greater than in many OECD countries. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are consistently achieving educational outcomes lower than their peers (Gonski, 2011). Closing this gap in education across Australia is essential to delivering equitable education for all.
Education is fundamental to any effort to mitigate disadvantage and is therefore a very important part of the Foundation’s philanthropy. In recent years, the Foundation has focused on early intervention and whole-of-community initiatives to help bring about sustainable and meaningful change in education outcomes that has the potential to reduce inter-generational disadvantage.
In 2015 the Foundation undertook a review of its Education program and has refocused its objectives to target initiatives that engage parents and the wider community in their children’s education and support strong school leadership to improve education outcomes for children.
The Foundation recognises that schools alone are not responsible for ensuring every child meets their educational potential.. Effective school leadership, and parental and community engagement in children’s education are essential in order to strengthen students achievements and lifelong opportunities and outcomes. When parents, teachers and the wider community work together and are engaged and involved in children’s learning, students have improved academic achievement, well-being and productivity.
- To support innovative programs delivered in early childhood centres and in primary and secondary schools that foster parental engagement in children’s learning.
- To support innovative programs delivered in early childhood centres and schools that increase wider community involvement in student learning and educational facilities.
- To support school leadership to increase parental and community participation in school life.
The Foundation only considers grant applications in excess of $50,000 in this program area.
Applicants are required to speak with a Program Manager if submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) for a grant of more than $100,000.
The Ian Potter Foundation rarely awards the full amount of any project. Please ensure that you have alternative providers of funding, and that your application clearly considers any possible grant from the Foundation in this context. We are unlikely to fund 100% of a project cost.
Details of our previous Education grants can be found in our Grants Database.
The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status. It is important that you check the Eligibility section to ensure your organisation meets these Australian Tax Office requirements.
Under the terms of the deed of The Ian Potter Foundation and Australian taxation laws, The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status
Please make sure you read the funding objectives and specific exclusions (section below) for the Education program area before you apply for a grant.
Due to tax requirements the Foundation is not able to directly fund schools.
Other exclusions include:
- Research projects
- Arts/Health/Environmental Education programs
- The Foundation does not prioritise support for existing programs
Projects that fall into any of the following categories will not be considered for funding.
• Retrospective funding – projects which are already underway or which will commence prior to the date indicated in our online application information are not eligible for consideration.
• Recurrent expenditure for which there is no future provision.
• Capital or endowment funds established to provide a corpus for institutions.
• Research for undergraduate, masters or doctoral students.
• Auspicing* is not permitted – the organisation applying must be the one that will run the program or project.
• Applications for public charitable purposes outside the Commonwealth of Australia**.
• Applications for projects that have previously been declined by the Foundation cannot be resubmitted.
• Applications will not be accepted from organisations that have not successfully acquitted previous grants from the Foundation
Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that does not have DGR and TCC status) applying to the Foundation via an eligible organisation. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under the Foundation's guidelines. The organisation applying to the Foundation must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.
** Geographical constraints on grants
The Foundation is limited to providing money, property or benefits for public charitable purposes in the Commonwealth of Australia. However, the Foundation is able to provide a grant for activities outside the Commonwealth if the grant is made for a public charitable purpose in the Commonwealth. For example, a grant might be made to an Australian university to enable it to fund an overseas study tour by an Australian researcher engaged by the university.
Outcomes & metrics
It is the aim of the Foundation that the projects it funds will have impact well beyond immediate KPIs and outputs. In your Education application, you will be asked to select up to five long-term outcomes. If only one or two apply, that is fine.
Long-term outcomes are:
- Promotion/dissemination of best practice/new knowledge
- Improved operational capacity/capability
- Increased knowledge base
- Improved skill base
- Improved service delivery/quality
- Improved service system/sector collaboration
- Improved learning outcomes
- Improved parental engagement
- Improved engagement in school/learning
- Improved attitude towards engagement in school/learning
- Improved school readiness
In your final report, you will be asked how you progressed towards your long-term outcomes. It’s helpful to select your metrics early on, so you can begin to collect information about your success as soon as your project begins. Some suggested metrics can be found in our Education Outcomes & Metrics guide.
Grant requests in Education are considered via a two-step Expression of Interest process. You can preview the EoI information you will be required to submit.
The online application can only be accessed when a funding round is open.
Step 1: Read ALL the information on this program area page to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and program area objectives before you begin.
Step 2: Select 'Apply for a Grant' tab below. This tab will only appear when applications are open.
Step 3: You will then need to login by entering your username and password or create an account by clicking New Applicant?.
Step 4: Complete the Eligibility Quiz. If you meet eligibility requirements, you will proceed to the Expression of Interest online form.
After you save and close you can re-access your Expression of Interest via the My Account link using your username and password.
Step 5: If your Expression of Interest is approved by the Program Manager, you will be invited to submit a full application.
Step 6: Complete your application (Stage 2). Ensure your application is submitted by 5pm EST on the closing date.
We require a hard copy including all supporting documents as well as the online application. Both must be received by the 5pm EST deadline on the closing date. Applications may be sent by courier or hand-delivered. Applications postmarked with the closing date will not be accepted.
We require a hard copy including all supporting documents as well as the online application. Both must be received by the 5.00pm EST deadline on the closing date. Applications may be sent by courier or hand-delivered. Applications postmarked with the closing date will not be accepted.
What happens next?
All grant applications are considered by the Board of Governors at the Foundation’s board meetings, which are held three times a year in April, August & December.
You will be advised of the outcome of your application by phone or email.