Our Education program focuses on supporting strategic, whole-of-community approaches to education in order to make real, long term improvements to education and employment outcomes in our communities.

Story time, a Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) playgroup, Education Benalla Program


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.

Funding Objectives

The Ian Potter Foundation Education program focuses on improving outcomes for students in early childhood, primary and secondary schools.


  • 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.

Grants submitted within this area may also be considered under The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift. Please also refer to the Funding Principles section for further information.

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
- Scholarships
- Arts/Health/Environmental Education programs
- The Foundation does not prioritise support for existing programs

General Exclusions
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.

Application Process

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.

To improve your chance of success, check out : Tips & Hints, FAQs, Grants Database

Application Process

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 Icon minilink 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.

Apply for a Grant

Next Funding Round


Round 1, 2017

Applications open November 7 2016

The Education program will be considering applications by invitation only in Round 2, 2016.  The next round for applications opens in November 2016. Find out why here.

Expression of Interest

Open: Monday 7 November 2016
Close: Friday 9 December 2016

Feature Case Studies

  • Mentoring through Music

    In 2008 the principal of Springvale Primary School wrote to the Stride Foundation asking the organisation to consider implementing their successful Mentoring through Music middle years program at the primary school. 

    Stride Foundation Ltd, Vic
    Mentoring through Music
    September 2011 - December 2012

    Read more

    ‘Students who have participated have demonstrated improvement in their personal interactions, confidence, resilience and self esteem.’

    Springvale Rise Primary School Campus Principal

  • Primary Industry Centre for Science Education

    University of New England expands the PICSE Science Investigation Awards (SIA) to include rural and socio-economically disadvantaged schools.

    University of New England, Faculty of the Arts and Sciences, NSW
    Away with the PICSE
    April 2012 - April 2014

    Read more

    ‘Away with the PICSE - Improving employment and education opportunities in north western NSW’


Support Australia's most innovative projects through a donation to The Ian Potter Foundation. Your donation will support projects that address areas of particular need or opportunity, managed by credible organisations with solid track records in their particular fields.

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