School operations

Community Use of Schools – Hiring and Licensing

Opportunities for schools and the community

Integrated school and community facilities play an important role in bringing together communities. They allow for increased access to local services and participation opportunities, and foster a sense of community pride and value in schools.

Co-located and shared facilities build a sense of collective purpose between schools and communities. They facilitate diverse and positive learning experiences, increase family involvement in children’s school, and improve the attendance and achievement of students. They build a sense of community from a broad range of users and foster improved connectivity with schools.

There are many opportunities for schools and community partners to work together and share the use of school facilities, which can lead to significant benefits as a result of partnerships based around shared facilities. Examples of these include:

  • using school premises for community meeting spaces, creating stronger social networks between schools and communities
  • opening school facilities up for use as community recreation facilities, improving availability of sports, arts and other facilities in local communities
  • creating spaces to support school-aged holiday, before- and after-school programs, which can improve school security and reduce vandalism as a result of the increased use of school premises out of school hours
  • providing information technology centres for community use, allowing better access for communities to state-of-the-art facilities
  • sharing libraries or resource centres, performing arts spaces, or sports facilities, which can offer financial savings as a result of sharing the operating and maintenance costs of large facilities
  • co-locating preschool centres on school grounds, promoting greater community involvement in school activities and children’s learning.

Schools can pursue these opportunities with a number of community partners, including:

  • local councils
  • community organisations
  • sport and recreation providers
  • other education and training providers
  • not-for-profit organisations.

Third party markets

A school council may wish to hire out school facilities to enable community users to run a stall at a market, fete or fundraising event outside of school hours.

Schools should not sign any agreement prepared by a market operator or stallholder. Instead, schools should use the Template licence agreementExternal Link provided by the department’s Legal Division. Any questions relating to this agreement should be directed to the Legal Division.

Community gardens

In some cases, schools may wish to grant a short-term licence of unused school land to community groups for use as community gardens.

Schools that are approached by a community group for this purpose should contact the department’s Legal Division for advice in the first instance.

Guidance chapter outlining the different opportunities for schools and community partners to work together and share the use of school facilities, including third party markets and community gardens

Reviewed 30 April 2023

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