Demountable Accommodation for Schools

Sets requirements and expectations for the use of demountable accommodation on school sites.

Changes since previous version

2021 Aug 04 - updated policy statement contact details.


Document history

Updated contact details and made minor style and editing changes.


2017 review:

  • clarifying that demountables may only be used where local enrolments exceed the availability of permanent accommodation
  • including reference to the department's Educational Facilities Standards and Guidelines, which were introduced in 2014
  • clarifying roles and responsibilities of the following:
    • school principals
    • local Asset Management units
    • Directors (Public Schools NSW)
    • Executive Directors (School Performance)
    • Group Director (Capital Works)
    • Demountable Coordination Unit
    • Demountable Review Committee.
  • outlining the governance structure for the Demountable Review Committee and including a Primary and Secondary School Principal in the committee
  • removing outdated references (e.g. to TAFE).

2008 review:

  • Principals have five working days to appeal a decision regarding the removable of a demountable
  • The appeal must be discussed with the School Education Director or the regional Asset Management Unit Manager
  • The appeal is determined by the Regional Director
  • Principals may retain surplus demountable accommodation but must make it available when it is required elsewhere
  • If the school keeps the demountable, they are responsible for maintaining it and ensuring that it is kept in good repair
  • Principals are custodians of demountables for the whole organisation.

Superseded documents

Demountable Accommodation for Schools Policy 2008 - PD/2005/0261/V03


  1. Policy statement
    1. The Department of Education provides demountable accommodation to school sites to supplement permanent facilities where local enrolments exceed the availability of permanent accommodation. Demountables are no longer provided for non-local enrolments.
    2. Local asset management units manage the equitable distribution of demountable resources in the best interests of public education.
    3. Local asset management units in conjunction with school principals are responsible for keeping demountable buildings in good repair and in a condition that would allow them to be fully operational when relocated to another site.
    4. Schools principals are custodians of demountable buildings on behalf of the department and are responsible for developing a contingency plan to maintain the activities taking place in the demountable building in case it is removed.
    5. A school may continue to use demountable accommodation identified as surplus to the school's requirements if it is not required elsewhere.
    6. Local asset management units will give school principals one term notice that a demountable building is to be removed from their school site, other than in exceptional circumstances (most commonly in the case of a major emergency or disaster).
    7. If a school principal disagrees with a decision to relocate a demountable building, they should initially discuss the issue with their director, educational leadership and local asset management unit director to ascertain if the decision can be reversed.
    8. However, if the original decision cannot be reversed a school principal may appeal to the Demountable Review Committee within ten working days of the original decision made by the local asset management unit to remove the demountable.

      The principal is required to lodge the appeal (via their director, educational leadership and executive director, school performance) with their local asset management unit, which will submit it to the Demountable Review Committee.
    9. The Demountable Review Committee is responsible for determining an appeal made by a school principal to retain demountable accommodation. The determination will be made within three months of lodging the appeal and before the removal of the demountable.
    10. In determining an appeal, the Demountable Review Committee considers:
    11. The Demountable Review Committee will communicate the outcome of appeals to school principals in writing.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all schools, department asset owners, and School Infrastructure NSW.
  3. Context
    1. In accordance with the Education Act 1990, demountables enable schools to accommodate enrolment numbers within a designated intake area. Demountable accommodation is an integral part of the Department of Education School Infrastructure strategy.
    2. Demountables are located and maintained on school sites in accordance with the local asset management unit, in consultation with the school principal.
    3. Demountable buildings (prefabricated buildings that can be removed from one site to another) enable the department to:
      • provide accommodation in areas of fluctuating and peak local enrolments
      • provide emergency accommodation (for example fire, flood, natural disasters or damage to existing buildings)
      • provide accommodation during capital works upgrades
      • provide accommodation to support specific education services initiatives
      • provide specialist accommodation to supplement permanent facilities required in a school.
    4. The Demountable Review Committee consists of:
      • Director, Business Systems (Chair)
      • Director, Asset Management Unit
      • Asset Planner, Asset Management Unit
      • Manager, Demountable Coordination Unit.
      • A primary school principal (nominated by Primary Principals Association)
      • A secondary school principal (nominated by the Secondary Principals Council)
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Executive directors, school performance:
      • review appeals made by school principals to retain demountable accommodation
      • communicate their comments to the Demountable Review Committee.
    2. Directors, educational leadership:
      • review appeals made by school principals to retain demountable accommodation
      • communicate their comments to the Demountable Review Committee
      • assist school principals, the local Asset Management Unit, the Demountable Coordination Unit and the Demountable Review Committee to resolve demountable accommodation issues.
    3. School principals:
      • oversee maintenance of demountable buildings retained by the school (in conjunction with local asset management units)
      • may lodge an appeal to retain a demountable that has been identified as surplus to the school's requirements
      • develop contingency plans to maintain the activities taking place in the demountable building in case it is removed.
    4. Local asset management units:
      • deliver maintenance of demountable buildings retained by the school (in conjunction with school principals)
      • provide advice and support to schools regarding demountable accommodation requirements and entitlements
      • annually review current and future enrolments and identify schools with changes in required teaching spaces
      • make recommendations to the demountable coordination unit
      • perform an initial assessment of applications for demountable accommodation received from schools and liaise with the demountable coordination unit
      • negotiate installation and release dates with school principals
      • advise school principals on delivery and removal dates.
    5. Group Director, Capital Works:
      • has responsibility for the holistic management of the department's demountable portfolio and the demountable coordination unit
    6. Demountable coordination unit:
      • assesses applications recommended by local asset management units for supplementary and emergency accommodation
      • coordinates the allocation, relocation and release dates for demountable buildings.
    7. Demountable Review Committee
      • determines appeals made by school principals to retain demountable accommodation
      • communicates the outcome of an appeal to the school principal, director, educational leadership and executive director, school performance.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Group Director, Capital Works, School Infrastructure NSW will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report on its effectiveness every three years, or as required, to the Chief Executive of School Infrastructure NSW.
  6. Contact
    Manager Demountable Program
    0438 155 236
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