Naming a new school campus
The new school campus naming process should begin 15 to 18 months prior to the scheduled campus opening to allow sufficient time for community consultation.
School Operations and Statewide Services Division (SOSSD) provides naming process guidance to the school principal and advises them of the due date for the provision of a list of possible names for the school campus.
The introduction of a new campus often also triggers the renaming of existing campuses. SOSSD will discuss this with the principal during the initiation phase.
The purpose of the ‘Consultation-starter list’ activities is to identify a ‘seed list’ of possible names that can be put forward to the community for consultation on Engage Victoria. The steps within this activity are:
- The principal establishes a working group of school community members to suggest name options.
Note: Broader local community consultation is not permitted at this stage as this will occur through Engage Victoria.
Note: If the new campus is on land with formally recognised Traditional Owners, the principal must invite the Traditional Owner group to suggest name options.
Note: As the naming authority, the Minister for Education can decide to directly name a school through ministerial or local announcement. In this case, community consultation through Engage Victoria would not proceed (skip to activity).
- The principal collates local suggestions and submits the list to SOSSD.
- SOSSD in conjunction with Geographic Names Victoria assesses the suggested names against the naming principles outlined in this policy, noting whether each suggested name complies.
- The suggested names, with their compliance status, are presented to the Minister for Education for review.
Engage Victoria community consultation
The department uses Engage Victoria as a digital way for school communities to participate in the naming process and have a say in shaping their local community.
The purpose of the ‘Engage Victoria community consultation’ activities is to consult with the community to seek their input on the future name of the new school campus. The steps within this activity are:
- SOSSD seeks approval from the Minister for Education to commence Engage Victoria consultation on the consultation-starter list of possible names.
- Once approved, SOSSD lodges a request to the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) to begin the community consultation on Engage Victoria.
Note: Once the consultation period begins, the Engage Victoria consultation can be promoted to the prospective school and local community via social media, newsletters, email, and websites.
- Once the consultation period is closed, the VSBA compiles results and provides them to SOSSD.
The purpose of the ‘Approval’ activities is to gain approval from the Minister for Education, as the naming authority for schools and campuses, on the recommended name. The steps within this activity are:
- SOSSD submits a brief to the Minister outlining consultation results and seeks approval of the recommended name.
- As the naming authority, the Minister for Education approves the new name.
- The school community will be notified. This may be by ministerial or local announcement.
- SOSSD seeks confirmation of the school campus address from its local council. This typically cannot be confirmed until the later stages of the school campus build. Once confirmed, SOSSD lodges a request with Geographic Names Victoria to gazette the new school campus name.
- SOSSD formally advises relevant parties of the gazetted name, including:
- the Performance and Evaluation Division who will formally update the department's Entity Register
- the School Provision and Establishment Division who will advise the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) of the gazetted name, and once registered the school is added to the VRQA state register.
The school community is encouraged to promote and celebrate the selected name and incorporate it into all future communications. School materials, policies and procedures must be updated to reflect the gazetted and registered name.
Reviewed 01 March 2022