Teachers Environment Fund FAQs
What is the Teachers Environment Fund (TEF)?
The Teachers Environment Fund is a sustainability initiative set up to assist public schools and TAFE/CIT to enhance their sustainability. The fund allocates bi-annual grants of up to $2,500 each to public schools and TAFE/CIT in NSW, ACT, NT and WA for environmental projects.
Since its launch in 2008, the Teachers Environment Fund has distributed $284,000 to almost 100 schools and TAFE/CITs, including the last round in December 2012. Of this total, $40,000 was contributed by Teachers Mutual Bank on behalf of members who switched from paper to online statements.
Recipients have used the grants for various initiatives such as sustainable gardens, native tree planting, indigenous creeks and worm farms, to name a few. These projects have provided teachers with the opportunity to promote sustainability through practical learning experiences that embed sustainability in students’ thinking.
Why do we have the Teachers Environment Fund?
The Teachers Environment Fund underpins our approach to sustainability. Through this program, we are helping teachers bring their sustainability projects to life.
At Teachers Mutual Bank, we are passionate about supporting programs that equip teachers with practical ways to embed sustainability into students’ thinking – and hopefully have some fun along the way.
We believe that teaching students to make small positive contributions in their environment from a young age can help build a sustainable future for us all.
When can I apply?
Round 1 2013 applications open on Monday, 29 April 2013 and close Monday, 3 June 2013.
Download the application form
How do I apply?
You can download TEF application form. The form can be handwritten or you can type your response into the PDF and then save it. We prefer it if you email your response to us, but you can also post or fax if that is easier for you.
Send your completed form to us at:
Fax: (02) 9704 8211
Mail: CSR Department, Teachers Mutual Bank, PO Box 7501 Silverwater NSW 2128
How much can I apply for?
Grants are for a maximum of $2,500.
Who can apply?
Any public school and TAFE/CIT in NSW, ACT, NT and WA can apply for the Teachers Environment Fund. It is a requirement that the teacher, who is leading the project and applying for the fund, is a member of Teachers Mutual Bank.
Why have you introduced membership criteria?
At Teachers Mutual Bank, we are focused on our members’ needs and putting them first. We believe in fairness and want to prioritise our members when it comes to awarding these grants. After all, it is through our members’ money that we are able to run all these important initiatives.
What activities does TEF support?
There is no definitive list, but below are the typical projects used by teachers in sustainable education programme:
- Water and energy savings
- Habitat conservation, biodiversity
- Tree planting
- Chicken coups
- Worm farms
- Outdoor learning areas
- Waste, recycling and composting projects
- Aboriginal cultural projects
- Vegetable and kitchen gardens
- Organic produce
Please note that we prefer not to fund straight capital works projects, such as fencing, building materials, footpaths or grounds maintenance. Additionally, we no longer fund water tanks as nearly all schools have one.
What are the eligibility criteria?
The complete eligibility criteria can be found in the application form. Essentially, we would like to fund projects which can demonstrate that they are:
- Viable in the long-term
- Linked to a broader environmental education strategy
- Supported by the school and wider community
- Monitored and measured effectively
- A maximum of $2,500
How will Teachers Mutual Bank assess my application?
We assess each application based on the following criteria:
- Application eligibility criteria
- Teachers Mutual Bank membership attributes
- Geographical variation
- Education and environmental benefits
- Feasibility and sustainability
- Merit, equity and need
Who will assess my application?
The Teachers Environment Fund campaign is managed by the Corporate Social Responsibility Strategist and the winners will be selected by the CSR Committee.
How will I know that my application has been received?
Once we receive your application and relevant attachments, we will send you a confirmation email within 2 working days. Once the winners are selected, we will inform all applicants of the outcome on Monday, 17 June 2013.
What do I do if my application is successful?
If your application is successful, you agree to:
- Conduct the project and the grant expenditure as described in your application form.
- Complete your project within 6 months.
- Provide a final report on the outcomes of the project within 6 months of receiving the grant including proof of expenditure.
- Give consent to Teachers Mutual Bank to use your project name and photographs for promotional, publication and marketing purposes for an unlimited period of time and commit to regular communication with us in achieving this purpose.
- Provide any updates, stories, and photos of your project upon request by Teachers Mutual Bank.
What are the terms and conditions for applying?
- Ineligible and incomplete applications will not be considered.
- All applications for funding will be considered on their merits at Teachers Mutual Bank’s absolute discretion.
- All expenditure of funds will be consistent with the application made. The recipient schools and TAFE/CITs are accountable for the utilisation of funds via receipts or other evidence of expenditure or purchase.
- The amount awarded for any given grant is final and no additional funds will be provided in any one application round. Only one application is allowed per school in any calendar year.
- If the recipient does not successfully implement the project as outlined within the agreed timeframe, Teachers Mutual Bank reserves the right to seek reimbursement of all or part of any money awarded.