Planning guide for canteen licence agreements

The following procedures should be followed when entering into a licence agreement for the operation of a school canteen:

Step 1: Assess which type of canteen operation will provide the best advantage to the school and its community.

Step 2: If it is agreed that a licensing arrangement is most suitable, the recommendation to call for tenders and any supporting documentation (including details of community support for the decision) are to be forwarded to Schools Finance for approval. The Approval to call for tenders for the licence of school canteen operations form - Appendix A (PDF 172.2KB) should be used to obtain approval to call for tenders for the licensing of the canteen operation.

Step 3: If approved, the signed approval to call for tenders for the licence of school canteen operations is returned to the school, along with the NSW Retail Tenant's Guide.

Step 4: Once approval to call for tenders has been granted, public tenders must be sought through advertisement in the local/metropolitan press.

A suggested form of advertisement is attached at Appendix B (PDF 36.3KB). When setting the closing date and time, allow adequate time for the preparation and submission of tenders.

  • The tender process is essential in order to ensure a competitive process and facilitate gaining the best advantage for the school.
  • Advise the wider school community of the decision to licence the canteen operation and details of the advertisement appearing in the press.

Step 5: The sample Canteen licence agreement - Appendix E (PDF 401.57KB) should be reviewed and details relevant to the school added (including the Schedule of canteen items - Schedule 2).

Prepare a Canteen licence package consisting of:

A tender Information package should be made available to all interested parties as soon as possible after enquiries are made. It is desirable, but not mandatory that all applicants attend a tender briefing and site visit (clause 2 - Tender Offer). The tender fee, included in the tender offer is also optional and should be no more than the recommended $100. This fee is to cover administration costs for the school in preparing the tender process.

Step 6: A committee of at least three people should be formed to assess the tenders and select the most appropriate tenderer. As a minimum, the committee should comprise the principal, one staff member and a representative from the School Council or P & C Association. The selected committee should develop evaluation/selection criteria for those short listed as potential licensees.

All committee members must sign a declaration of interest in respect of their roles as committee members. A sample Declaration of interest form is attached at Appendix H (PDF 55.13KB) All tenders received should be kept unopened in a secure location prior to the closing date.

As soon as possible after the advertised closing date and time, all tenders must be opened by the committee. Each tender is to be immediately numbered and initialled by at least two members of the committee present at the time of the opening.

The particulars of each tender received are to be recorded on the Schedule of tender received - Appendix I (PDF 29.11KB)) which is to be signed by each member of the committee.

Step 7: The committee will then assess the details of the tenders received, using the written responses to the assessment criteria to determine the most appropriate tenderer. The committee may choose to seek further information from tenderers by way of interviews or presentations, if deemed appropriate. The following must be recorded on the Schedule of tenders received:

  • details of the tenders received
  • the decision as to the most appropriate tenderer
  • a justification for selection where the highest tenderer is not selected (if appropriate)
  • the signatures of all members of the committee.

When the evaluation process is complete, the Schedule of tenders received (showing the committee's recommendation) accompanied by the Declaration of interest form and any supporting papers are to be forwarded to Schools Finance for approval.

If the committee's recommendation is approved by State Office, the signed Schedule of tenders received is then returned to the school.

Step 8: Once approved by State Office, the successful tenderer is to be informed in writing of the decision to grant the licence. The licence agreement, disclosure statements and NSW Retail Tenant's Guide are to be provided to the successful tenderer.

If a security deposit has been requested from the licensee the funds and a completed Retail bond lodgement form are to be forwarded by the school to the Retail Tenancy Unit of the Office of the NSW Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development within 10 business days. If lodging a security deposit, please contact Schools Finance to have a Retail bond lodgement form posted to you.

Suggestions by licensees for additional clauses to be added to the agreement should be carefully reviewed and highlighted to Schools Finance because changes may result in the school accepting liabilities or reduced rent for a period.

Step 9: When signed by the successful tenderer and a witness, the licence agreement (including all Schedules) is to be forwarded to Schools Finance for signature by the departmental authorised delegate.

All other tenderers are to be informed in writing that they have been unsuccessful.

Licensees must be made aware that the granting of a School Canteen Licence Agreement is subject to approval by a departmental authorised delegate from State Office, not the principal.

All documents including schedules, licence agreement and tender documents relevant to the licensing process, must be retained by the school for at least seven years.

The Public Works and Procurement Act 1912 has delegated the Secretary, Department of Education the authority to call and accept tenders and execute licences for school canteens and tuck shops, to best advantage, up to $500,000 (covering the term of the licence). The secretary can further delegate this authority to senior officers of the department.

Please note: Once printed these documents are no longer considered current. Refer to Schools Finance intranet site for current document versions.

We are currently in the process of updating documents to meet the department's accessibility standards. If you are having trouble accessing any content on these pages, please contact us.

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