School Facilities: Northern Territory

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 the Northern Territory

General Policy

Northern Territory Government schools are encouraged to make school facilities available for use by community groups and organisations outside of normal school hours.

Schools should ensure that the proposed use is consistent with the goals and values of the school and that community use does not interfere with the provision of education for students.

This policy does not apply to the following and community use agreements are not to be used for:

  • Children’s Services such as After School Care or Vacation Care
  • establishment and renewal of markets on school sites.
  • commercial operators providing school canteens or for the use of playing fields

These uses require a contract drafted specifically for the proposed use. In the first instance, principals must seek advice from the department’s Legal Services in relation to these types of arrangements

Related Policies

  • Alcohol consumption on departmental premises
  • Emergency Management – Public Shelter Responsibilities
  • Smoke free premises
  • Temporary or Emergency Closure of Schools
  • Trespass on School Grounds

Management of Community Use

The following activities should be given priority for use:

  • educational purposes, i.e. adult literacy and numeracy programs, tutoring for students
  • Strong Start, Bright Future 3 – 9 Pilot Program in selected schools
  • professional teaching association activities
  • local sporting organisations for use of basketball courts or ovals
  • not-for-profit organisations.

Consideration should be given to the availability of similar services by existing private providers.

Where there is already an appropriate standard of facility within the community the school may not wish to approve uses that may compete and impact on the long term profitability of these providers, e.g. local council hall.

BER Halls

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 the Northern Territory.

Use of Schools for Commercial Ventures

Fees should not be waived for commercial operators.


No information provided

Security Deposit

Schools can request a bond (an up-front payment) from users as a way of encouraging users to take care of school facilities and to provide funds to cover replacement or repair of any damage caused by the user. The bond should be non-refundable if the conditions of the agreement are not met. As a general rule of thumb a bond should be 5% of the value of the agreement.

Risk Assessments / Child Protection

Schools must undertake a risk assessment prior to entering into an agreement for community use. The risk assessment must ensure that the relevant facilities are fit for the intended purpose, the proposed use is legal and appropriate, the applicant is suitable and the risk and child protection issues are addressed.

Fees and Charges

A schedule of fees should be determined in consultation with the school council for the use of facilities. Fees comprise the following:

  •  bond – where required
  • utilities fee – a non-refundable fee to cover utility and operational costs (i.e. power)
  • hire fee – an additional fee may be charged to groups to assist with school council fundraising activities.

All fees must be paid in advance.

In consultation with the school council, principals have the discretion to waive and/or reduce fees in accordance with this policy. Any waiver or reduction should be applied consistently and fairly across comparable users and should only be applied to utilities fees in exceptional circumstances.

School councils may approve the use of school facilities to commercial operators at market rates.

Fees should not be waived for commercial operators.

More Information

Community Use of School Facilities Policy (PDF)

Community Use Agreement (PDF)

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Music-Count-Us-InMiCN Logo 35kbThis is part of the School-Community Links Project, an initiative of the Music in Communities Network and Music: Count Us In.