This policy sets out schools’ responsibilities for funding fences, managing fencing responsibilities with neighbours and responding to fence-related safety incidents.
- As community assets, schools should be welcoming environments. Schools are discouraged from installing tall security fences unless local circumstances warrant it.
- Principals must ensure that the condition of fencing does not expose school users to safety or security risks.
- Schools on freehold land must contribute to the costs of fencing in accordance with the and the if a local council or neighbour wants to build a fence on a shared boundary.
- Schools on Crown land are not obliged to contribute to the cost of fencing if a local council or neighbour wants to build a fence on a shared boundary, but are encouraged to do so in the spirit of community participation.
- The Department encourages schools to fund fencing work from their Student Resource Package.
- If an unexpected event damages a school’s fencing and creates immediate or potential safety risks, the school may contact the Make-Safe Service Provider on for an immediate response to the incident.
- This policy falls within the 'Manage' stage of the School Asset Lifecycle.
As a general rule, school properties are community assets that should be welcoming environments for the community. Therefore, the Department does not provide or encourage tall security fencing unless local circumstances warrant it.
Shared responsibility for fencing
Principals, as school site managers, need to be sensitive to the rights of property owners adjoining school boundaries. Schools need to share perimeter fencing with neighbouring properties and local roads. Therefore, principals must be aware of the responsibilities and costs associated with constructing and repairing these fences.
In accordance with the and the , schools on freehold land must contribute to the costs of fencing on shared boundaries. Schools on Crown land are not obliged to contribute to fencing or municipal works initiated by local councils or neighbours, but are encouraged to contribute up to 50 percent of the costs in the spirit of community participation.
The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) recognises that principals may not know whether their school is on Crown or freehold land. Schools can contact the VSBA for information and advice on their land type and their fencing obligations.
If a fence next to a road needs repairs, the school can immediately initiate the work to maintain student and staff safety. Local councils are not required to contribute to these costs.
Funding for fences
The Department encourages schools to fund fencing work from their Student Resource Package, while prioritising projects that enhance school safety and security.
Fencing costs must be reasonable, and it is best practice for a school, or the neighbour, to obtain three quotes before agreeing to the work and the level of contribution. Schools must comply with the procurement requirements described in the .
If one party wants a more expensive fence than the other, they may split the cost of the cheaper option. The party preferring the more expensive option pays the difference.
Responding to safety issues
Principals must ensure that the condition of fencing does not expose school users to safety or security risks.
If an unexpected event damages a school’s fencing and creates immediate or potential safety risks, the school may contact the Make-Safe Service Provider on 1300 133 468 for an immediate response to the incident.
Reviewed 18 October 2021