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Community use of state school facilities policy

Version number 1.0 | Version effective 05 October 2021
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Community use of state school facilities policy

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This policy outlines the department’s approach to providing community access to state school facilities when they are not required by the school, through hire agreements.

Policy statement

State school facilities are valuable community assets and when not required by schools, should be available for use by communities for activities that do not interfere with the school’s teaching and learning programs and that provide benefits to the community. 

Significant benefits can be achieved when schools and communities work together to maximise the use of school facilities including:

  • fostering closer links between the school and local community groups;
  • promoting a positive image of the school in their community; and
  • creating opportunities for additional revenue to enhance school programs.

Principles

The department’s community use principles reflect schools’ connection to the local community.

Principle

What this means for the department

Schools are a community resource

  • The department is committed to ensuring local community groups and organisations have the opportunity to use school facilities, when they are not required by the school, as they are important community assets for the benefit of the broader community.

Appropriate use

  • Schools will ensure any proposed community use does not interfere with the school’s teaching and learning programs.
  • Principals must consider the welfare of staff, students and visitors, protection of property, resources and information when considering a request for community use. 
  • Community users are responsible to ensure the proposed community use is permitted by the local authority and Principals are to seek confirmation of this requirement.

Transparency and equity

  • Schools will consult with community stakeholders who may be impacted, such as Parents and Citizens’ (P&C) Association and nearby neighbours as required, to ensure the suitability of the proposed community use. 
  • The Principal will communicate decisions concerning applications for hire agreements.
  • Principals will treat community users fairly and consistently.
  • All staff must comply with the Code of Conduct for Queensland Public Service and the department’s Purchasing and procurement procedure when dealing with community users, including declaring any conflict of interest. 

Financial Accountability

  • Schools should ensure community users cover the costs associated with using the school’s facilities.
  • Revenue raised is public money and must be treated in accordance with the relevant departmental policies including the department’s Revenue policy and other revenue requirements.
  • Revenue raised should be included in the school’s budget and may be used as determined by the school (e.g. to support educational programs or improving school facilities). 

Governance

  • Principals must monitor compliance to the hire agreement’s terms and conditions by approved community users of school facilities.

Requirements

1. Arrangements which are outside the scope of this policy

The following types of arrangements are excluded and managed under other agreements:

  • Joint development arrangements – where the proposed use involves capital works and requires the construction of new school facilities or the upgrade of existing school facilities and these are to be funded in whole or in part by a community user.
  • Leasing of school facilities by a third party – where a grant of a right of exclusive possession of State property such as a school facility or land which gives the lessee exclusive possession of the leased premises during the term of the lease.
  • Commercial contract with a service provider – this may include commercial operators of tuckshops, uniform shop or dedicated use of buildings for Outside Hours School Care and Vacation Care Programs.
  • Utility service agreements and easements – where a developer, adjoining owner, local council or a utility service provider seeks to construct, install or connect to utility service infrastructure or register an easement on department land.
  • Use of facilities on ‘Reserve’ land under the Land Act 1994.

2. Community use arrangements within the scope of this policy

Community use arrangements managed in line with this policy are those that involve the use of existing state school facilities and do not interfere with the school’s teaching and learning programs, and are consistent with the school’s purpose and objectives.

Inappropriate or prohibited community use

Care should be taken to avoid community use agreements for inappropriate purposes or with inappropriate users as determined by the principal. These may include activities that:

  • are likely to cause harm or injury to or affect the safety of students, staff or others at the school
  • are likely to cause damage to school land, property, equipment, resources or buildings    
  • are likely to generate excessive noise, light or pose a nuisance to neighbours or residents
  • may involve dangerous weapons, equipment, chemicals, gases or materials
  • may compromise the external or internal structural integrity of a public cyclone shelter
  • involve gambling, unless authorised or licenced to do so
  • do not comply with Queensland Government policies or procedures
  • are inappropriate or illegal.

3. Child protection and risk assessment requirements

Principals are responsible for determining the suitability of the community user. This includes informing the community user of the requirement to comply with child protection and risk assessment requirements: 

Child protection requirements

  • Where the proposed community use activity involves children or young people, the principal must inform the community user of their mandatory obligations to comply with the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 and requirements to provide appropriate evidence of compliance by their employees, contractors and volunteers.  

Risk assessment requirements

  • For all applications for community use the Principal must inform the community user of the requirement to identify and manage risks to assure the activity can be conducted safely. 
  • The Principal must complete a risk assessment process to determine if the activity is appropriate and that adequate measures are in place for the activity to be conducted safely.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Community user

A community user may be a P&C Association, community group, organisation or individual. 

Hire agreement

Agreements assessed, negotiated and signed by school principals with third party users.

The document used to apply for a community use of school facilities which also contains the terms and conditions for use.

There are three types of hire agreement forms:

  • Hire agreement
  • Hire agreement – Swimming pool
  • Hire agreement – Public cyclone shelter

State School facilities

State School facilities include ovals, grounds, halls, public cyclone shelters, swimming pools, classrooms and school equipment

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

Nil

Review date

05 October 2026
Attribution CC BY

Policies and procedures in this group

Community use of state school facilities policy (current page)
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