Policy last updated
19 January 2022
- School councils
This policy outlines strategies for schools to prevent graffiti and manage graffiti removal on school premises.
- Preventing and removing graffiti can have a positive impact on the perception of the school as a safe place with a welcoming and inclusive school culture.
- School cleaners and maintenance staff must report instances of graffiti and graffiti removal through regular local communication arrangements (for example, in a cleaning logbook).
- For one-off instances of difficult to remove graffiti, schools can contact the Victorian School Building Authority’s (VSBA) School Cleaning Unit for advice and support.
- Schools with ongoing graffiti problems are encouraged to contact their regional provision and planning officer for advice and support with graffiti management and removal.
- Where students are believed to be responsible for graffiti, schools can contact their area student support services branch manager or key contact officer to develop a plan to manage the problem as a behavioural issue.
- Where members of the broader community are believed to be responsible for graffiti, schools can contact the Department of Education and Training’s Security Unit to identify local risks and develop appropriate crime prevention and risk mitigation strategies.
Graffiti on school property can be unsightly, cause distress and ultimately reduce the perception of the school as a safe place to be – particularly when the graffiti is hateful or offensive. Offensive graffiti can also indicate other types of offensive behaviour occurring at the school.
Preventing and removing graffiti can have a positive impact on the perception of the school as a safe place with a welcoming and inclusive school culture. This can improve the overall health and wellbeing of the school community.
Schools can take practical measures to discourage antisocial and illegal behaviour on school grounds, including acts of unwanted graffiti and vandalism. Possible strategies include:
- increasing passive surveillance by making the school more visible to legitimate users of the school and the surrounding community (for example, through judicious pruning or removal of vegetation that obscure sightlines into and around the school site)
- monitoring of high-risk areas by school staff (including toilets, classrooms, hallways, and locker bays)
- installation of CCTV where appropriate (refer to CCTV in Schools – Installation and Management for more information)
- constructing an entrance that clearly defines school ownership and gives the impression that there are obligations and rules that apply to those that enter the site
- planting dense shrubbery immediately adjacent to buildings to deter potential offenders approaching what they might want to damage or graffiti
- encouraging neighbours to be vigilant and report any unwanted behaviour observed on the school site.
Graffiti management and removal
School cleaners and maintenance staff must report instances of graffiti through the school’s regular local communication arrangements. This can be achieved by writing in a cleaning logbook or maintenance book.
Cleaners or school maintenance staff must clean graffiti that is capable of being easily removed as part of their regular duties. Graffiti that is offensive, hateful or racist must be removed as soon as possible. Removal of graffiti must also be recorded in the school cleaning logbook or maintenance book.
For one-off instances of difficult to remove graffiti, schools can contact the VSBA School Cleaning Unit for advice and support on graffiti removal. The School Cleaning Unit may recommend a specialist graffiti removalist for graffiti that is particularly extensive or difficult to remove.
Schools with ongoing graffiti problems are encouraged to contact their regional provision and planning officer in the first instance. The provision and planning officer can work with other relevant regional office staff and the VSBA School Cleaning Unit to provide advice and support with removing existing graffiti and preventing further acts of vandalism.
Where students are believed to be responsible for graffiti, schools can contact their regional student support services key contact officer to develop a separate plan to manage the problem as a behavioural issue. Schools must also contact the department’s OHS Advisory Service for advice on graffiti that contains or implies threats of violence towards other students or staff.
Where members of the broader community are believed to be responsible for graffiti, schools can contact the Security Unit to identify local risks and develop appropriate crime prevention and risk mitigation strategies. The unit can provide immediate support to schools that have experienced a security incident (including advice on whether to contact Victoria Police) and can identify opportunities to further ensure staff and student safety and wellbeing.
- CCTV in Schools – Installation and Management
- Crime Prevention in Schools
- Police — Department Protocol on Reporting Criminal Activity
- Police and Child Protection Interviews
- Reporting and Managing School Incidents (including emergencies)
- Risk Management — Schools
- Student Support Services
- VSBA School Cleaning Unit – 1300 842 754 or email@example.com
- Regional provision and planning officers – regional office contact
- Area SSS branch manager or SSS key contact officer – contact details available on the Regional Maps contact (staff login required)
- OHS Advisory Service – 1300 074 715 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Security Unit, Security and Emergency Management Division – 03 7022 2736 or email@example.com
There is no further guidance for this topic.
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Reviewed 19 January 2022