Non-government schooling

External Affairs and Regulation advises the Minister in relation to non-government schools policy matters, and is responsible for the distribution of NSW government funding to non-government schools.

Not-for-profit requirements

External Affairs and Regulation oversees the functions outlined in Section 83C-83L of the Education Act 1990 which states that to be eligible for NSW Government funding, non-government schools must not operate for profit.

Changes to not-for-profit requirements

In October 2014, the NSW Parliament passed amendments which tighten the not-for-profit requirements under the Education Act 1990.

The definition of not-for-profit has been made clearer and specifies that:

  • All income and assets must be used for the operation of the school
  • Members of school governing bodies cannot be paid sitting fees
  • All payments, including payments to related parties, must be at market value
  • Schools must meet the new requirements by 29 January 2015.

The Minister for Education has the power to audit schools at any time. Schools must cooperate with investigations and provide information to the Department of Education as required, or risk being found non-compliant.

The Minister for Education has approved Guidelines to assist schools and school proprietors to comply with the not-for-profit requirements. The Guidelines have been published in the NSW Government Gazette and in accordance with Section 83L of the Education Act 1990.

For further information, see:

Schools may also want to seek support from the Catholic Education Commission NSW or the Association of Independent Schools NSW.

Non-Government Schools Not-For-Profit Advisory Committee

The Non-Government Schools Not-For-Profit Advisory Committee is established by the NSW Education Act to provide advice to the Minister for Education on the compliance of schools, and proprietors of schools with the not-for-profit requirements.

For information on the Committee's activities please see the latest newsletter:

Newsletter January 2017 (PDF 4 MB)

Newsletter August 2016 (PDF 4.7 MB)

Newsletter March 2016 (PDF 455 KB) 

Newsletter September 2015 (PDF 44 KB)

Newsletter June 2015 (PDF 38 KB)

Funding of non-government schools

In October 2013, the Minister introduced a bill into Parliament which changed the way funding to non-government schools is calculated. These changes enable NSW to fulfil its commitments under the National Education Reform Agreement.

General enquiries relating to funding applications for individual non-government schools can be sent to

Liaison with non-government school stakeholders

External Affairs and Regulation works closely with non-government school sector organisations such as the Catholic Education Commission NSW and the Association of Independent Schools NSW.

Information relating to non-government school registration and accreditation can be found on the website of the Board of Studies, Teaching and Education Standards.


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