Joint Use of School Facilities and Land Policy

Outlines the department’s commitment to and conditions for partnerships between the department and third party organisations to invest in new facilities, upgrade facilities, or maintain facilities.

Changes since previous version

April 2020 - Updated contact details.

Superseded Documents


Document History

April 2020 - Updated contact details.

1. Policy statement

1.1 ‘Joint use’ is where the department and other parties make significant investments (land and/or capital) in new facilities, upgrading facilities or maintaining facilities. The asset is typically shared between the school and the other parties over an extended period of time, or the lifetime of the asset. These projects are voluntary and intended to be of mutual benefit to all parties.

1.2 A Joint Use Project Agreement (JUPA) must be negotiated and signed by both the department and other parties to outline the terms and conditions for joint use projects involving public property and facilities, prior to any construction or joint use commencing. It is a legally binding document between the department and other parties.

The JUPA outlines responsibilities of all parties in relation to (but not limited to):

  • management structures
  • financial arrangements
  • legal matters (including legislative obligations)
  • design and construction considerations.

1.3 The department recognises that all parties to a JUPA must have mutually beneficial outcomes that meet their requirements in ways that build trust and openness.

1.4 ‘Joint use’ projects:

  • are only used for activities that do not interfere with the school’s teaching and learning programs
  • are only used for activities that are consistent with the values of public education and the school’s purpose and goals
  • are only used where student safety is not jeopardized
  • charge appropriate fees for the use of facilities (as mutually agreed)
  • use appropriate design solutions
  • support the School Site Development Standards as contained within the Educational Facilities Standards & Guidelines.

1.5 The specific terms of each JUPA is negotiated on a project-by-project basis. The level of financial contribution, ongoing maintenance responsibilities and the length of the agreement take into account factors such as the needs of the school, community demand, and total construction cost of the project.

1.6 JUPAs can be directly developed in partnership with a government entity. However, JUPAs relating to not-for-profit or private organisations must be subjected to a competitive tendering or unsolicited bid proposal.

1.7 Joint use project opportunities will be identified and implemented as the department undertakes the planning of school assets. A school may seek a JUPA outside of this planning process if supported by the relevant Director Schools Planning, who must be satisfied that the proposal will not compromise a major redevelopment or major upgrade of that school in the future.

1.8 If the department is dependent on a JUPA to enable a school to be developed, redeveloped or upgraded over the next four years, the JUPA must be finalised as part of the Schools Community Plan.

1.9 If a school is planned to be developed, redeveloped or upgraded beyond a four year period, the joint use process should be completed at least to the Joint Use Project Heads of Agreement stage.

1.10 Executive Directors School Performance, Directors Public Schools NSW and school principals will be consulted on the development and implementation of every JUPA.

The relevant Executive Director School Performance must endorse a JUPA before it is signed by the Chief Executive, School Infrastructure NSW.

1.11 When no JUPA has been negotiated and shared use is required, the Community Use of School Facilities policy applies.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1 This policy applies to all NSW public schools and the use of land and facilities by NSW public schools which is held by other parties.

3. Context

3.1 The concept of jointly sharing school facilities is articulated in the department’s School Asset Strategic Plan, and is supported by NSW Government, the Greater Sydney Commission and the NSW Audit Office.

3.2 This policy stands apart from, and is not affected by, the department’s Local Schools Local Decisions framework.

3.3 The Joint Use of School Facilities and Land Policy guidelines give further information on JUPA development.

4. Monitoring and review

4.1 The Group Director, Planning and Strategy is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness every three years.

5. Policy contact officer

5.1 Executive Advisor, Property 0478 487 329.

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