Naming a new or existing school building or space
This guidance applies to the naming of new school buildings and spaces, as well as the naming or renaming of existing school buildings and spaces.
The naming of school buildings and spaces is optional. School buildings and spaces include, but are not limited to:
- physical buildings
- sporting facilities such as ovals or courts
- school spaces such as the name of a room or gardens.
The following principles guide the application of naming provided in this policy:
- For physical buildings and sporting facilities, names are to be assessed against Geographic Names Victoria (GNV) naming rules general principles (section 2, ). This includes, but is not limited to:
- geographic elements – town/suburb names or proximity to a geographical feature may be used subject to the requirement that it be unique
- Victorian Aboriginal language names – this is subject to agreement from the formally recognised Traditional Owner group
- commemorative names – commemorative names of people are to:
- be applied posthumously
- be applied during a person's lifetime only in exceptional circumstances, with initial endorsement sought from the School Operations and Statewide Services Division (SOSSD) which in turn will seek approval from the Registrar of Geographic Names
- preferably only use the surname of a person, not first or given names.
- Names of commercial businesses, private benefactors or not-for-profit organisations are not to be used.
For school spaces, schools can choose names in addition to the above as long as they are respectful and inclusive.
The naming process can be initiated at any time. Consideration should be given to any joint use of the building, sports facility or space when considering names, however naming of school buildings, sport facility and spaces remains the responsibility of the principal in consultation with the school community.
To begin the initiation activity, the school’s leadership team should refer to the principles in this policy – refer to the . The principles must be followed when considering naming a school building, sports facility, or space.
The purpose of this consultation activity is to invite the school community’s input on the naming of a school building, sporting facility, or space. The steps within this activity are:
- If the building or space is on land with formally recognised Traditional Owners, and the school wishes to use an Indigenous name, the school principal must obtain approval from the Traditional Owner group.
- The principal must also invite local and school community members, including the school council, to suggest name options. The school’s email, newsletter, website, and social media can be used.
- The principal collates local suggestions, shortlists appropriate options in line with the naming principles and invites the school community to participate in selecting the building or space name, subject to the requirements outlined in the Approval section below.
Ministerial approval is required for the naming of any new building, oval or sports facility that has been funded by the Victorian Government.
For the naming of other school buildings or spaces, the regional director must approve the name (or name change):
- if the proposed name involves the name of a serving or former public servant
- where a name is proposed and that individual is still living
- where names do not meet the naming principles set out in this guidance.
The regional director has the authority to deny any building, oval or sporting facility name changes.
The principal can approve all other names.
Reviewed 01 March 2022