School Facilities: South Australia
The Community Use of School Facilities resource is designed to support access to school facilities by community groups and activities.
Information about Department of Education schools in South Australia
Principles are authorised to allow school premises to be used by ‘school bodies’ (generally accepted to mean staff and student groups, school councils, council sub-committees and committees affiliated to councils pursuant to section 89 of the Education Act) and also ‘organisations not connected with the school’ with the permission of the school council.
These organisations “are licensees which mean(s) that they acquire no more than a contractual right to use the premises”.
For specific information about using facilities built under the Building the Education Revolution (BER) program, click here. To find out whether a primary school near you has a BER hall, click here for a list of Primary Schools for the 21st Century projects in South Australia.
Types of Agreements
There are three sections in the Use of School Facilities policy
1) Use of school facilities for private purposes by teachers
2) Use of school premises by working bees
3) Use of school premises by community organisations
Non-school bodies (eg. community groups) are considered "licensees" unless they have a formal lease agreement approved by the Minister. A lease may be warranted where complex conditions or legal implications, long term use, capital improvements to school facilities or exclusivity is involved.
The standard license agreement ("Use of school premises - agreement form") can be used, a formal agreement between the user and the school is required.
Length of Agreements
Generally up to one year.
The "Use of School Premises – Agreement Form" provides for termination of the licence by mutual agreement, unilaterally by terminating for a breach of condition by either party or upon the expiry of the term of one year.
The amount insured must not be less than ten million dollars.
Public liability insurance may be waived in cases where small, non-profit making locally organised clubs or groups with less than 50 members are permitted to use school premises.
Public liability insurance need not apply in "one off" type user situations even though the activity may involve more than fifty participants/members e.g. family wedding reception. However, the user agreement must still be completed.
Other Regulations (including Alcohol)
Acts and regulations may include the Noise Control Act, the Tobacco Products Control Act and, if alcoholic drinks are to be provided, the Liquor Licensing Act. Users should also take note of the controls on over-crowding in Section 83BA of the Summary Offences Act. Section 83BA applies to all manner of gatherings of people.
When considering applications to use school facilities and/or plant and equipment, site managers are required to assess the risks before approving the application. The consultation process should include the staff member who is responsible for the oversight of the facility, plant and equipment and/or the health and safety representative.
Fees and Charges
It is suggested that when determining hiring fees, principals and school councils adopt the following strategy:
- Survey the local area and compare the school's facilities with comparable facilities in the community.
- Obtain details of fees charged for comparable facilities by nearby schools and community controlling bodies, e.g. YMCA, local council, etc.
- Canvass demand for the particular facility within the community. Take into account type of use, objectives of the organisation (non-profit making or profit making), effect on school program and particular benefits that may accrue to students attending the school.
- Conduct a cost rating of the facility to be hired. Factors such as wear and tear on semi-expendable items such as tennis nets, gym mats and synthetic cricket pitches should be taken into account. Advice on the cost of operating standard facilities can be sought from Property Services, Asset Services.
Hiring fees must not be charged when rooms are used by:
- Religious organisations using the facility for religious purposes.
- Federal, state and local government bodies for polling purposes.
- Ethnic schools' associations for the teaching of language and culture.
- Family Life Association of South Australia, Inc where the service to
- Parents and children are purely educational.
- Community associations providing out-of-school hours and vacation
- Care programs.
Use of departmental (including educational and children's services) sites for other than departmental purposes, including standard Agreement Form template (PDF) http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/docs/documents/1/useofschoolpremisesandfac.pdf