School operations

Records Management – School Records

Best practice archiving – hardcopy records

The following steps will help you when archiving your school’s hardcopy (paper) records.

Step 1 – Sort records

Sort records by type. For example

  • put all finance records together in one box
  • put all school excursion permission slips together in a different box.

This will make it easier to find and dispose of the records.

To help you sort common school records by type, refer to:

This quick reference guide is a poster you can print out and display for easy access. If you print out, be sure to keep updated with the latest version as the content may change from time to time.

Step 2 – Arrange records in boxes

Arrange the records in their box in an order appropriate to each record type. For example:

  • arrange finance records by financial year in date order
  • arrange student files by year of exit then alphabetically by surname
  • arrange parent permission forms for camps and excursions together with other documents related to that event by year
  • arrange personnel files by year of exit then alphabetically by surname
  • arrange school council meeting papers by month and year.

Step 3 – Label and list boxes

Label the boxes with the record type and relevant year, for example, ‘Finance – batch reports – 2018-19’, or ‘Student files – exit 2019’.

Make a list of your archived boxes, capturing the same information you recorded on the box labels. Keeping a list of your records will help you find records easily when needed and dispose of them in a timely way.

Archiving tips

  • Regularly archive records, at least once a year.
  • Only archive inactive records, that is, records you no longer need ready access to.
  • Only archive single copies of documents – you may dispose of duplicates without formal approval under ‘Normal Administrative Practice’.
  • Remove records from binders, clips and plastic sleeves where possible – these take up extra space in archive boxes and make later disposal more time consuming.
  • Use paper or manila folders to separate records where necessary.
  • Use good quality archive boxes made of sturdy cardboard that include a double layer of cardboard on the bottom to prevent collapse. Use A1, or half-size, archive boxes to prevent boxes becoming too heavy.
  • Do not over fill boxes. This can make them unsafe to lift and cause damage to boxes so they do not last as long.

For a list of common school record types that must be archived, refer to:

For a full list of school record types that must be archived, refer to:

Guidance chapter on best practice archiving — hardcopy records

Reviewed 30 November 2023

Was this page helpful?