Sharing of School Facilities

Guidance for assessing applications from the community, not-for-profit entities and commercial organisations to use school facilities.

Changes since previous version

2021 Oct 01 - update to policy statement and implementation document: Sharing of School Facilitiets Procedures. Both updated to reflect renaming of the Community Use of School Facilities policy to Sharing of School Facilities policy, incorporating content from the Joint Use of School Facilities and Land policy and the Mobile Telecommunications Facilities policy, and moving the instructions for advertising on the school perimeter from the Commercial Arrangements – School- Based Activities policy.

Document history

2021 Apr 14 - updated Electoral Commission MOU information in implementation procedures.

2021 Mar – updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for federal, state and local elections.

2021 Feb - Policy maintenance, which may include but not limited to, updated contact details, business unit or position titles, typographical, text and style changes and repairing hyperlinks.

2020 Nov - Minor review to existing documentation to align policy and website content with current issues related to changes in procedure and departmental structure.

2020 Jul - Minor formatting changes along with updated contact details and repairing broken links to the policy and the implementation procedural document.

2019 Oct - Minor text and style changes along with updated contact details made to the policy and the implementation procedural document.

MOU for Federal elections updated 7 March 2019.

MOU for State and Local elections updated 13 July 2018.

Implementation procedures now contained within one document.

Amalgamation of the Community Languages Schools Free Use of Government School Facilities Policy.

Superseded documents

None

  1. Policy statement
    1. Schools are valuable community assets that should be available for community use, when not required for school purposes.
    2. School facilities must only be used for activities that do not interfere with the school’s teaching and learning programs.
    3. School facilities must only be used for activities consistent with the values of public education.
    4. Community use applications are assessed on whether facilities are fit and available for the proposed use, the proposed use is appropriate and the proposed community user is suitable.
    5. Where there is competing demand for use, priority is determined according to the instructions provided in the Sharing of Schools Facilities Procedures.
    6. Any necessary consultation between the school principal, other departmental officers, the shared use applicant and other key stakeholders should be conducted prior to any agreement being signed.
    7. An executed written agreement for the use of school facilities is made to specify the rights and obligations of both parties.
    8. Shared use of school facilities should not be a financial burden to the school or the department. Appropriate fees may be charged for the shared use of school facilities. Free use may be provided as described in the Sharing of Schools Facilities Procedures.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. The policy applies to all NSW public schools
  3. Context
    1. School facilities are primarily for educating children and young people, however there are many times when school facilities are not in use.
    2. Schools support families and communities by making facilities available for children’s services.
    3. Sharing resources strengthens the partnership between schools and local communities.
    4. Shared use of school facilities benefits both schools and their communities through:
      1. access to services to support families and communities
      2. enhanced cooperation and goodwill between the school and the community
      3. the provision of additional extracurricular learning opportunities
      4. opportunities for parents and the broader community to become better informed about and participate in the school's operation and activities
      5. more effective use of valuable school facilities
      6. opportunities for the community to play a positive part in school security through out-of-hours use of the facilities.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Principals:
      1. work collaboratively with the local community to address identified needs through the use of school facilities.
      2. plan, promote and manage shared use of school facilities for the mutual benefit of the school and the community, in line with the Sharing of School Facilities Procedures
      3. adopt a risk management approach when assessing applications for community use of school facilities, including conducting a risk assessment, before approving any application
      4. sign community use agreements consistent with their delegation
      5. refer shared use arrangements involving upgrading of facilities, outside school hours care, commercial ventures (including canteens, uniform shops and markets), or uses exceeding 12 months’ duration to School Infrastructure NSW.
    2. Directors, Educational Leadership:
      1. liaise with the school and the community to resolve issues of availability or management of shared use of school facilities and assist in dispute resolution where the dispute cannot be resolved by the school principal
      2. support the effective implementation of this policy and procedures.
    3. School Infrastructure NSW:
      1. manages all aspects of agreements of a commercial nature, leases, licences (including for canteens, uniform shops, out of school hours care, markets), project deeds, and mobile telecommunications facilities, in consultation with school principals and Directors, Educational Leadership.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Chief Executive, School Infrastructure NSW monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
  6. Contact
    Community use agreement enquiries - call EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 (select option 1 – Finance and business services and then option 4 – Other)

    Department staff with operational and implementation enquiries – call the local asset management unit on 132 779 from a landline phone

    Community Languages School Program funding enquiries – 02 7814 2528

    Details on how to apply for grants for use by Community Languages Schools – visit the Community Languages School Grants website

    Policy enquiries – email School Infrastructure NSW, Strategy, Policy and Reporting sinsw.spr@det.nsw.edu.au
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