Community use of Queensland State School Facilities
The Department of Education, Training and Employment recognises that schools are valuable community resources which must be used to their full potential. In 2014, the department undertook a review of the procedures and processes for the community use of school facilities to reduce red tape and increase accessibility for the community.
The primary function of a school is as a place of learning and the use of the site for educational purposes during school hours is the absolute priority. However from 2015, use of school facilities by local community members for appropriate activities is encouraged at other times.
COMMUNITY USE POLICY STATEMENT
A new policy and procedure cuts red tape by streamlining the administration and management of the community use of state school facilities.
It also makes it clear that schools have an obligation to make their facilities available to the community outside of school hours.
Stakeholders were consulted in developing the new policy, including the department's Red Tape Reduction Council of Principals.
USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES BY THIRD PARTIES
Any proposed activity must be consistent with providing a safe, secure and supportive learning environment for students and the school community.
The proposed activity must not:
• interfere with the school's teaching and learning programs
• damage the school's physical infrastructure or its reputation
• pose an unacceptable level of risk of injury to users of the facilities.
Requests for the use of school facilities should be made to the school principal and formalised through a written agreement between the school principal and the user.
Principals can determine any fees and charges for the hire of school facilities provided that at a minimum the fees and charges are set on a cost recovery basis to ensure the school is not left out-of-pocket for their use.
Principals may waive fees and charges for the use of the facility if they decide there is a direct benefit to the school.
The hirer must produce evidence of their public liability insurance which provides appropriate coverage of at least $20 million.
In some circumstances, the principal may waive the requirement for public liability insurance, where the activity is of a non-commercial nature and a risk assessment review of the proposed activity by the principal has determined that it carries minimal to low risk.