Government schools comply with legislative and safety requirements in regards to animal welfare and chemical safety education.

Animal welfare in schools

The Animals in schools website has been designed to assist schools satisfy the requirements of the Animal Research Act 1985 (NSW) and the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. The advice on this site applies to all schools.

The site includes an explanation of the legislation governing the use of animals in schools, Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee (SACEC) approved activities and their respective categories. It also provides detailed information about animals commonly used in schools, their handling and approved use.

Application forms for category 4 and 5 activities and any activity using animals that is not on the approved list can also be downloaded from the website.

Application forms for particular activities involving animals

Biosecurity in schools

Schools have many students entering and leaving the site daily and this increases the risk of plant and animal pests and diseases being spread. It is recommended that schools complete a biosecurity plan for their school. Completing a school biosecurity plan will provide a valuable opportunity to educate students about the importance of biosecurity in Australia and help protect your school from the entry and spread of pests and diseases. The NSW Department of Education has developed two biosecurity plan templates for schools to use.

Template A (DOCX 65.87KB) is intended for use by schools that have minimal plant and animal production and do not require a Property Identification Code (PIC). A PIC is required if you have any of the following on the school property: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, camelids, equines or over 99 small poultry or 9 large poultry (Emus or Ostriches).

Template B (DOCX 71.61KB) is intended for use by schools that are teaching agriculture and require a PIC. A biosecurity plan is required to maintain Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accreditation.

Schools wishing to maintain a Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) of 7 or 8 must have their biosecurity plan signed by a veterinarian.

A parent letter (DOCX 43.75KB) is also included for those schools wishing to involve the whole school community in their biosecurity plan.

These templates have been developed in consultation with the Department of Primary Industries and agriculture teachers using resources from the farm biosecurity website, the LPA On-Farm Biosecurity Plan template (PDF167KB), and Department of Primary Industries.

Chemical safety in schools

Schools have legislative obligations to use and handle chemicals safely. Chemical safety in schools outlines safe workplace practices and procedures and will assist schools to:

  • use and store chemicals in a safe manner
  • control the risks associated with using chemicals
  • meet the legal requirements for hazardous substances and dangerous goods
  • identify current best practice for the use of chemicals for teaching and learning
  • develop a long-term strategy for the safe use and storage of chemicals.

Chemwatch is a searchable database of safety data sheets to assist staff and students in the preparation of chemical registers and risk assessments. Note: Log in required for this site.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
Return to top of page Back to top