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Back to "Education Law Notes - Term 1 2024"


Review of section 83C of the Education Act 1990 (NSW)

In an article last year, we wrote about the NSW Department of Education’s review of the Not-For-Profit Guidelines for Non-Government Schools (2019) and the new draft ‘Regulatory Framework’ for the not-for-profit requirements under the Education Act 1900 (NSW).

On 19 October 2023, the draft regulatory framework and the revised draft Guidelines were made available to the public and the Department called for feedback from stakeholders on both of these documents. Submission were open to stakeholders until Friday, 24 November 2023. Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers made submissions, which you can view here.

On the same day, the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning, Prue Car, announced that she had appointed Mr Tom Alegounarias to conduct a review of section 83C of the Act. Mr Alegounarias has served as Chair of the NSW Educational Standards Authority and President of the former NSW Board of Studies and has been appointed as a leading educational advisor.  The purpose of the review of section 83C is to ‘examine the operation of section 83C of the Act – within the context of Part 7 Division 3 – and make recommendations to the Minister for improvements’. You can read the Terms of Reference for the review here.

To be eligible for financial assistance, a non-government school in NSW must not operate for profit, as defined in section 83C. This requires the income and assets of a school to be used only for the operation of the school. Further, any payments by the school for property, good or services must be for the operation of the school, for no more than reasonable market value and not be in any other way unreasonable in the circumstances.

As it has been 10 years since section 83C was introduced to the Act in 2014, it was considered timely for this provision to be reviewed (separate to the review of the Guidelines and the draft Regulatory Framework which is already underway). It is expected that the review will provide greater clarity for schools and the community around the use of government funds by non-government schools and will build public confidence that such funds are ‘being appropriately used for the education of students’.

Submissions (which may be made publicly available as part of the review) were accepted until 23 February 2024. Anyone interested in contacting the review may email:

Please contact David Ford or Stephanie McLuckie if you have any questions about this review or about the operation of section 83C.

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