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Community use of state school facilities procedure

Version number 2.0 | Version effective 05 October 2021
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Community use of state school facilities procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure sets out the assessment and approval process for community use of state school facilities.

Overview

Principals have the delegated authority to approve and sign hire agreements for the use of school facilities within the scope of the Community use of state school facilities policy. This procedure provides the process to assist principals to undertake assessments and approvals of applications made by community users to use school facilities and the ongoing management of these agreements.       

This procedure is to be read in conjunction with the department’s Community use of state school facilities policy, Notes for principals and school staff for completing hire agreements for community use and the relevant Hire Agreement.

Responsibilities

All staff

When dealing with any community group or organisation, all staff must act in an ethical manner. This includes:

School staff

  • Provide administrative support to principals in relation to community use of school facilities.
  • Support the Principal to conduct risk assessments to assess the adequacy of the facilities and the suitability of the community user.
  • Support principals to monitor ongoing compliance with the agreed terms of the hire agreement.  

Principal

  • Manage community use of school facilities to the mutual benefit of the school and the community.
  • Conduct risk assessment to assess the adequacy of the facilities and the suitability of the community user.
  • Ensure the proposed use is appropriate (and not prohibited) and risk and child protection issues are communicated and complied with as part of the community use application.
  • Ensure measures are in place to protect the privacy and personal information of students and staff held at the school.
  • Approve and sign the appropriate hire agreement for use of school facilities within the scope of the Community use of state school facilities policy.
  • Comply with departmental policies, procedures and processes when determining fees and charges for community use.
  • Monitor compliance by approved community users of school facilities within the terms of the hire agreement and relevant government policies and procedures.
  • Confirm if the school is located on freehold tenure or reserve land.

Regional Infrastructure Manager

  • Support and advise principals about applications for community use, including seeking legal or other specialist advice as required.

Regional Directors

  • Ensure staff through training and guidance are familiar with and adhere to the Community use of state school facilities policy and this procedure.
  • Support principals in dispute resolution arising from Hire Agreement disputes. Includes seeking legal, mediation or other specialist advice as required. 

Legal Services   

  • Provide staff with legal advice on community use matters. 

Process

1. Providing advice to community users about the application process and documents

School staff must:

  • Upon a request being received by the school ensure the proposed community user is aware of the requirements as set out in this procedure, the Community use of State school facilities policy and Community user guideline for hiring school facilities before the relevant hire agreement is submitted.
  • Advise community users that applications cannot exceed 12 months or for the hire of school swimming pool, cannot exceed three years.
  • The department requires the school principal to undertake a tender process before hiring out the swimming pool. For advice on the swimming pool tendering process the school principal should contact Procurement, Infrastructure Operations, Email: procurement.facilities@qed.qld.gov.au.
  • Advise community users they are responsible for ensuring the proposed community use is permitted by local council, including applying for any required development approvals or application for material change of use. 
  • Advise community users they are responsible for ensuring the proposed community use strictly complies with all applicable legislation including the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Regulations, Public Health Act 2005 or as applicable to the activity being undertaken at the school facilities.
  • Ensure community users seeking to hire school swimming pools or public cyclone shelters are provided with the appropriate swimming pool or public cyclone shelter hire agreement application forms to complete. 
  • Provide a copy of the school’s risk management information relating to school facilities and request the community user complete the Community user risk assessment.

2. Assessing the community user’s application.

Principal must:

3. Notify the community user of the outcome of the application.

Principal must:

  • Advise the community user of the outcome of the application as soon as possible. If the application has not been approved, the outcome must be provided in writing.
  • Make the community user aware of the safety and security responsibilities in using and accessing the school facilities in line with the department’s School security procedure

4. Signing the hire agreement.

  • Ensure the community user:
    • has signed the hire agreement in duplicate and initials each page and all amendments or additions
    • pays the hire fee and provides the security bond (if required).
  •  The principal must:
    • sign the hire agreement and initial each page and any amendments or additions
    • provide the community user with one complete copy of the signed original hire agreement (including a plan of the school and premises with hire facilities and access routes clearly marked).

5. Monitoring the hire agreement.

  • Principal must ensure the community user complies with the terms of the hire agreement throughout the hire period.
  • Non-compliance by the community user should be addressed as soon as possible at the local school level, in accordance with the terms of the hire agreement.
  • If corrective action is required, a notice is to be sent from the principal with specific details of the action and the timeframe to remedy should be clearly communicated to the community user.
  • If the community user fails to comply with any terms of the hire agreement and does not remedy the non-compliance within 14 days after the notice from the principal, the hire agreement may be terminated and the community user should vacate the school site.   
  • If a dispute cannot be resolved at the school level, then the principal should seek advice from the regional infrastructure manager who may seek legal advice if required.
  • All Workplace Health and Safety related incidents, including notifiable and non-notifiable incidents, must be referred to the Principal or recorded on an incident report. (DoE Employees only)

6. Record keeping

  • All documents regarding the negotiation and operation of the hire agreement must be retained by the school for at least seven years.

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 for facilities located on freehold land.

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

School facilities

School facilities including 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.

1.0 Community use of school facilities

Review date

05 October 2024
Attribution CC BY

Policies and procedures in this group

  • Community use of state school facilities procedure (current page)
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