This advice describes current built capacity, site capacity and additional capacity considerations for Victorian government schools.
- To ensure equity across schools, the (the Schedules) – staff login required, indicate the spaces required for a school to deliver its curriculum to a certain number of students.
- Schools need to know their current built capacity figure to manage enrolments in accordance with the .
- The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) calculates the current built capacity of schools based on building and room information in its Asset Information Management System (AIMS) and the School Facilities Area Schedules.
- This advice falls within all stages of the School Asset Lifecycle – Plan, Build, Manage and Dispose.
Capacity is the number of students or learning spaces a school can accommodate.
For schools to manage their enrolments and accommodation, it is important they know their current built capacity.
Primary, secondary, P-9 and P-12 schools can access their current built capacity figure on the PRISM Dashboard under the ‘Enrolment Support’ tab.
The department does not currently publish current built capacity figures for specialist schools, English language schools or community schools. Principals should contact their regional office for their current built capacity figure.
Schools can use their learning spaces flexibly but are discouraged from making changes that reduce their current built capacity.
Any changes to school spaces must adhere to the . Principals seeking to reclassify school spaces must submit an Application form for repurposing of spaces, in accordance with the Repurposing and Renaming Spaces policy.
If a school has questions about their capacity or seeks a review of their current built capacity figure, they should contact their regional office. The regional office will notify the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) if a change to a school’s current built capacity figure is required.
How is current built capacity calculated?
The VSBA calculates schools’ current built capacity using building and room information in AIMS. This is the same information used to create School Plans (formerly SAMS Plans).
If a school’s accommodation changes due to capital works, the allocation or removal of relocatable buildings, following a capacity review or approved reclassifications of existing learning spaces, the VSBA will update the school’s current build capacity figure.
The current built capacity of primary schools is calculated by identifying the number of general purpose classrooms (or equivalent general purpose learning spaces) located on a school site and multiplying that figure by 25 (students per classroom or equivalent learning space).
In certain circumstances, adjustments may need to be made for an average class size of 21 for P-2, for example, when a school has a disproportionate number of that age group.
Principals should contact their regional office if their school requires a P-2 capacity assessment.
Specialist learning spaces, such as art, music, science/technology, library and multi-purpose spaces are not counted towards capacity.
The calculation of current built capacity is used to assess entitlement for specialist learning spaces, as per the Schedules.
The current built capacity of secondary schools is calculated by identifying the total number of classrooms (or equivalent learning spaces) located on a school site and comparing that number to the relevant enrolment band outlined in the Schedules.
The current built capacity for secondary schools allows for some transferability between general and specialist learning spaces.
P-9 and P-12 schools
The primary school current built capacity methodology is applied to primary learning spaces and the secondary school current built capacity methodology is applied to secondary learning spaces as classified in AIMS.
Specialist schools (for students with disability)
The current built capacity of specialist schools is calculated by dividing the total classroom area of a school by the average classroom space required by students attending that school. The amount of classroom space required by students attending specialist schools varies according to each school’s specialisation.
This approach reflects the fact that specialist schools use more flexible class sizes than primary and secondary schools.
Additional built capacity considerations
If a school has excess (non-entitled) specialist learning spaces, these may be counted towards current built capacity, provided that they are fit for purpose as a classroom (or general learning space).
Buildings classified as entitled spaces for the purposes of Student Resource Package and other funding are counted towards a school’s capacity.
Trade Training Centres, Australian Technical Colleges and other non-entitled facilities provided from Commonwealth Government funding are not included in the current built capacity count, unless they are classified as entitled spaces for the purposes of Student Resource Package and other funding.
How is site capacity calculated?
Site capacity takes into account relevant site factors, including physical characteristics of individual sites and the needs of the school community. More specifically, the key factors in considering the capacity of a site are:
- physical constraints
- health and wellbeing
- the effect on, and capacity at, surrounding schools
The VSBA calculates the site capacity of schools on a case-by-case basis, especially if school clusters (groups of surrounding schools) have current or future growth pressures. In some circumstances, to accommodate strong local growth, the current built capacity of a site may be increased beyond what was previously envisaged.
School facilities area schedules
To ensure equity across schools, the Schedules indicate the spaces required for a school to deliver its curriculum for a certain number of students.
The Schedules are tables that set out the number and type of learning spaces and/or square metres of space that are required for a school of a certain size and type – for example, primary, secondary, special and special developmental.
The VSBA maintains a register of each school’s facilities area in AIMS. A school’s required facilities area, as per the Schedules and the school’s enrolments, are key to calculating resource allocations, including:
- determining the size of new facilities in capital works projects
- allocating resources and funding for maintenance and cleaning
- allocating relocatable buildings.
A school may have space in addition to its allocated facilities area. This space is a school's designated ‘excess space’. Excess space attracts less government funding to clean and maintain.
Schools with excess space may purchase insurance to protect against damage or loss. In most circumstances, the department is unable to provide additional funding to reinstate excess space if it is damaged, for example in a flood. Additionally, facilities in excess of, or excluded from a school’s area allocation, are not covered by the VSBA’s Make-Safe Program. Refer to for more information about insurance requirements for schools.
Current built capacity
A school’s current built capacity indicates the number of students that can be accommodated in the school’s existing learning spaces, including permanent and relocatable buildings, according to the department's (staff login required).
Site capacity is the maximum number of teaching spaces that can be accommodated on a school site.
For questions about your school’s capacity or to verify building information, contact the appropriate regional office.
North eastern Victoria region
North western Victoria region
South eastern Victoria region
South western Victoria region
For general questions about this advice
Reviewed 02 November 2023