This policy sets out requirements for schools repurposing or renaming spaces.


  • Schools must notify the department when changing the purpose or name of spaces, to comply with the School Asset Drawing Changes ChecklistExternal Link .
  • Principals must contact their department regional office before repurposing a space, unless only changing a room name.
  • Principals seeking to reclassify a space must complete an application form and submit it to the department for approval.
  • This policy falls within the 'Manage' stage of the School Asset Lifecycle.


Reclassification, reconfiguration, renaming and refurbishment are ways that schools can repurpose school spaces. These processes can occur independently or simultaneously. Refer to definitions for more information.

Schools must notify the department of changes to the purpose or name of spaces to ensure changes are accurately recorded in the department’s Asset Information Management System (AIMS) in compliance with the Asset Drawing Changes Checklist.

Before proceeding with changes other than renaming, principals must contact their regional provision planning manager via their regional office to discuss relevant legal requirements (including whether they require a building permit), department permission and tendering processes.


Principals seeking to reclassify a space must complete and submit an Application Form for Repurposing of SpacesExternal Link to the department (via the regional office) for approval.

Principals seeking to reclassify a space as part of a school-led capital project may request to do so as part of their school-led capital project business case instead of completing a business case for repurposing of spaces.

When developing a business case for repurposing of spaces, principals must consider how the change may impact the school’s ability to deliver effective learning outcomes for students. The department is less likely to approve changes that:

  • reduce the number of teaching spaces
  • create excess space

Principals are not permitted to reclassify non-teaching spaces (for example, administrative areas) due to their highly specialised nature.

The VSBA encourages schools to consult with the manager of its Planned Programs and Compliance Unit when seeking to repurpose relocatable buildings.


Principals seeking only to change a room’s school-defined name (for example, without reclassification) may do so without department approval by sending a marked-up SAMS plan detailing name changes to Marked-up SAMS plans must comply with the School Asset Drawing Changes ChecklistExternal Link .

Reconfiguration and refurbishment

Principals seeking to reclassify a space as part of a reconfiguration or refurbishment project must not proceed without a department-approved business case for repurposing of spaces.

Schools must provide the department with updated essential safety measures (ESM) maintenance schedules which may result from physical alterations to school facilities. For more information on ESM requirements, refer to the Essential safety measures guidance.


These are changes to the classification, or use, of a teaching space as it appears in the ‘location entitlement classification’ column of the school building and room report (accessible via the School Facilities Profile websiteExternal Link ) — staff login required. Room classifications do not appear on SAMS plans. Reclassification sometimes occurs alongside reconfiguration or more extensive capital works projects.

These are changes to school-defined room names as they appear on the school SAMS plan and building and room report (both accessible via the School Facilities Profile websiteExternal Link ) — login required. The school-defined room name is used only to identify different rooms and is distinct from classification which defines how the room is used.

Schools sometimes use numbers to distinguish rooms with the same school-defined name (for example, classroom 1, classroom 2). This is different to the location reference number that appears on the building and room report and below the school-defined room name on SAMS plans. The location reference number is fixed and cannot be changed.

These are physical changes to the floorplan or layout of a built space, redesigning the floorplan or increasing or decreasing the footprint. This may include dividing a large room into two smaller rooms, or combining several small rooms into a single large room.

These are renovations without changing building purpose or overall floorplan (for example, replacing carpets, painting or modernising appearance). They improve the condition of a space without necessarily changing its configuration or classification.

The requirements for schools on repurposing or renaming spaces

Reviewed 07 February 2024

Policy last updated

15 June 2020


  • Schools


Victorian School Building Authority VSBA Plans and Asset Data Team

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