Commercial Arrangements – School-Based Activities Policy

Commercial arrangements are required when a school plans to provide goods or services to an external organisation, individual or business in return for cash or a value-in-kind provision.

Changes since previous version

April 2020 updated contact details and repaired broken links.

Superseded Documents


Document History

7 April 2020 - Updated contact details and repaired broken links.

14 February 2019 - Updated contact details and made minor style and editing changes.

17 December 2015 - Update to content in response to the School Operations and Performance realignment including financial delegations.

1. Policy statement


The department supports commercial arrangements with appropriate organisations, individuals, businesses and other government agencies. Schools must also consider probity issues with any commercial arrangement that may constitute a conflict of interest.


Commercial arrangements provide opportunities for schools to raise extra money that can be spent in a way that benefits students and supports the work of teachers and the school community. The extra resources derived from commercial arrangements are in no way meant to displace any government or other provision on which public schools and the department rely.


Commercial arrangements in schools should be consistent with the principles, vision and goals for public education in NSW, namely that the arrangement:

  • represents a fair exchange between the department or school and the external organisation
  • is consistent with the values, vision and goals of public education
  • supports teaching and learning
  • meets an identified need within the school or program.


Commercial arrangements must be formally documented in a manner that is appropriate for the type of arrangement involved.


Commercial arrangements must not infer or involve the endorsement of products or services by the department, employees or students.

2. Audience and applicability


This policy applies to all NSW public schools and directorates. The policy is to be read in conjunction with the implementation procedures.


For sponsorship arrangements, schools should refer to the Sponsorship Policy.

3. Context


Schools are permitted to participate in commercial arrangements with external organisations, individuals or businesses.


Principals, teachers and others should also refer to the Sponsorship Policy and the relevant implementation procedures.


Revenue generated from commercial arrangements can be actual or value-in-kind. Standard financial and annual reporting requirements apply to such arrangements.

4. Responsibilities and delegations


Principals and senior officers approving commercial arrangements need to ensure that the principles contained in the policy and implementation procedures are abided by. Approval of commercial arrangements needs to be made in accordance with the department’s delegations (Intranet only) and the following clauses.


Principals and managers – A principal or manager may approve a commercial arrangement on behalf of the department for their school or directorate where the proposed value of the agreement (including the retail cost of any value-in-kind contributions) is less than $10,000.


Director, educational leadership – Where a group of schools in a principal network seeks involvement in a commercial arrangement as a group, and the contract does not exceed $10,000, the director, educational leadership should be consulted to approve the proposed arrangement on behalf of the department.


School and Business Systems – Where the commercial arrangement involves statewide activity and/or the agreement exceeds $10,000 the Business Systems directorate should be consulted to approve the proposed arrangement on behalf of the department.

5. Monitoring and review


The Director, School and Business Systems is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness every three years or as required.

6. Contact

Director, School and Business Systems: (02) 7814 2488

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