Principals Discretionary Fund

We provide this funding to all 96 primary, intermediate and secondary schools in our area so school students are supported to achieve their potential.

The fund is made up of three parts:

Part A

Enables students experiencing financial hardship to participate in school activities.

Part B

Supports schools to raise student achievement, address inequalities and/or reduce barriers to participation across specific education, sport, art and culture priorities of the Trust.

Part C

Enables schools and students in isolated areas to have equity of opportunity to take part in educational, sporting and cultural opportunities.

Total Fund: $600,000 per annum 

If you have any questions about this fund ring 0800 500 185 or email

Principals Discretionary Fund - Snapshot

Visit Our Insights to view our Principals Discretionary Fund Snapshot which highlights the activities funded, the number of students benefiting and outcomes achieved from this Fund.

Can you apply?

All primary, intermediate and secondary schools in our area - Southland, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Arrowtown, Tapanui and Heriot areas, registered with the Ministry of Education, can receive this funding. 

Funding is, however, not available to homeschooled students.

What we fund

Principals have the discretion to use this funding based on the following guidelines.

Part A

Can be used towards resources and/or extracurricular activities (not normally considered payable from schools’ operational funding) for a student whose family financial circumstance may prevent them from taking part. It can be used, in whole or part, for:

  • ensuring individual students can be involved in all curricular activities, including out-of-the-classroom education such as  school camps or trips
  • paying scholastic fees where no other financial assistance exists, so the student may gain appropriate qualifications
  • providing essential support equipment for an individual student where there is no other funding available such as  personal items such as reading glasses or sports equipment to enable them to participate in a school team
  • paying for things such as school uniforms, stationery, meals for a student

Part A allocation is based on each school’s roll, coupled with a graduated decile weighting i.e. the lower the decile rating, the higher the weighting.

Part B
Can be used for one of the following priorities:

  • Raising the achievement of identified under-achieving year 1-8 students
  • Addressing issues of inequality that present barriers to learning and participating
  • Supporting students identified by their school as being at risk of disengaging
  • Helping to prepare students for life after schooling, with a focus on; life skills and financial literacy, careers education, effective transitions/pathways and linkages between education and industry

Active Lifestyles

  • Providing grassroots support for life-long active participation and engagement with a focus on:
    • children (0-13 years)
    • coaching and volunteering
    • inactive people and those experiencing barriers to participation.

Arts, Heritage and Culture
Increasing awareness of and access to arts, heritage and culture; and to support active participation in artistic, cultural and heritage activities; with a particular focus on children and youth.

Part B allocation is weighted slightly towards year 1-8 students, and then allocated based on each school’s roll, plus a partial decile influence.

A minimum of $1,000 in total funding (Part A & B) per school has been set, irrespective of roll number or decile rating.

Part C

Can be used for activities or costs that provide enhanced equity of opportunity due to the effects of a school’s isolation.

Part C allocation is based on $2 per student to schools with an isolation index of 1.0 and above (based on MoE’s isolation index). A minimum allocation of $500 per qualifying school.

For a Quick Guide that you can download and print click here

What we don't fund

Part A funding cannot be used to purchase school equipment.

Schools cannot transfer funds between Part A and Part B as each part is stand-alone funding.

How to apply

Applications are made online and early in the year your school will be emailed a direct link with instructions on how to access the application form.

Please note that any unspent Part A or Part B allocation may be deducted from your school’s following year’s allocations.

How we calculate your funding

Funding for each school is based on your school roll as at 1 July of the previous academic year. We obtain this from the Ministry of Education.

Part A

Funding of $110,000 is allocated based on your school’s decile and a per-student amount:

Decile       Amount per student
1   $10.00
2   $9.00
3   $8.00
4   $7.00
5   $6.00
6   $6.00
7   $5.00
8   $4.50
9   $4.00
10   $4.00


Part B

Funding of $400,000 is allocated based on the following:

  • $300,000 is apportioned based on your school’s Year 1 – 8 roll and decile rating
  • $100,000 is apportioned based on your school’s Year 9 – 15 roll and decile rating

Part C

Funding is based on $2.00 per student for schools with an isolation index of 1.0 and above, with the isolation factor being based on the Ministry of Education’s Isolation Index.

When will you hear back?

Your school will be emailed a letter each year detailing your amount of funding for Part A, B & C.

You will then need to complete a brief online application to access your funding.

Read our Managing Your Funding for more information.

Our Impact

Riverton Primary School3