School operations

Student Resource Package — School Specific Programs

Country Area Program Grant (Reference 45)

The purpose of this funding line is to improve the capacity of country schools to broaden the curriculum, improve ICT, professional development and promote networking.

Funding is provided to schools with campuses meeting the eligibility criteria. Allocations comprise base and per student amounts, which increase with distance from Melbourne.

Eligibility criteria

Campuses of any type that meet all of the following location criteria are eligible:

  • more than 150 km from Melbourne (as measured from GPO), and
  • more than 25 km from the nearest provincial centre (town hall or similar used as point of measure, see below) with a population of more than 20,000 as measured according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Urban Centres and Localities (UCL) 2016)
  • in a community with a population of less than 5000 (as measured according to UCL 2016).
Table of Provincial Centres with a population of more than 20,000 according to UCL 2016
Provincial Centre Point of measurement
Geelong Geelong City Hall
Ballarat Ballarat Town Hall
Bendigo Bendigo Town Hall
Shepparton-Mooroopna Greater Shepparton City Council
Warrnambool Warrnambool City Council
Albury-Wodonga Wodonga Council
Mildura Mildura Rural City Council
Traralgon Traralgon LaTrobe City Council Service Centre and Library
Melton Melton Community Hall
Sunbury Sunbury Memorial Hall

Funding is calculated at the Indicative, Confirmed and Revised cycles, funding is allocated through cash funding.


Allocation = [(Base + Primary Enrolment × Per Primary Student Rate) + (Base + Secondary Enrolment × Per Secondary Student Rate)] × [1 + (Distance from Melbourne / 150 km)]

Note: The campus receives each Base only when the relevant enrolment is more than zero. Primary enrolments included in calculation are limited to a maximum of 300 students. Secondary enrolments included in calculation are limited to a maximum of 500 students.

Rates 2022

  • Base amount – $2,145.89
  • Primary – $1.32
  • Secondary – $5.75

Other relevant information

  • It is intended that location measures will be updated with the release of new ABS data every 5 years. The next release is scheduled in 2021.
  • School distances from provincial centres and Melbourne GPO are measured via road distances.
  • For more information about UCL definition and sources, refer to the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.
  • To determine the UCL that your school is in, refer to the map function on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

To determine a school’s geographic parameters, refer to Steps to determine a school’s geographic parameters.

Additionally, schools that may be eligible for transition should refer to: Transition Funding (Rural) (Ref 126)

Reference 45 of the SRP Guide, providing information on the country area program grant including eligibility and rates

Reviewed 17 January 2022

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