School operations

Planned Maintenance Program

Shelter-in-place projects

The department maintains a Bushfire At-Risk Register (BARR) that identifies approximately 350 Victorian government schools at the highest risk of fire danger within bushfire-prone areas.

There are 2 additional components to the rolling facilities evaluation (RFE) for schools on the BARR:

  1. Bushfire Attack Level assessment
    1. A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) measures how exposed a building could be to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flames.
  2. Shelter-in-place (SiP) assessment
    1. The SiP assessment report reviews the school’s nominated SiP building and recommends works and maintenance to provide ember and bushfire resistance.

There are 5 Bushfire Attack Levels that form part of the Australian Standard for construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas (AS3959-2018):

  • BAL-12.5
  • BAL-19
  • BAL-29
  • BAL-40
  • BAL-FZ (Flame Zone)

Applying shelter-in-place guidelines

The objectives of the SiP assessment for the RFE project are to:

  • identify gaps between the SiP and the construction principles within the AS3959-2018
  • identify work needed for the SiP to comply with the minimum performance criteria guidelines
  • enable consistent and evidence-based decision making for schools on the BARR.

When an RFE assessor recommends improvement works or maintenance, they will provide supporting commentary and a cost estimate.

Where the guidelines provide options to meet specific SiP requirements, the RFE assessor will recommend a preferred option and provide supporting rationale. Their recommendation will take into account the resilience of the building, along with the cost of the proposed work.

Delivery of shelter-in-place projects

Given the technical nature of some SiP works, the VSBA will deliver all high priority SiP works using a centrally managed contract procurement. Schools will be assigned a dedicated VSBA Project Officer as their point of contact who will work with the school throughout the entire delivery process.

Guidance chapter on shelter-in-place (SiP) projects

Reviewed 29 September 2022

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