School operations

School and Campus Naming

Renaming an existing school as initiated by school council

Existing schools

Existing schools are those established schools registered in the State RegisterExternal Link by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) and reflected in the department’s Entity RegisterExternal Link .

School renaming processes are led by the school principal.

Policy requirements for renaming existing schools as initiated by the school council

Policy requirements applicable to existing schools requesting a name change are outlined in the Policy tab and include that:

Funding of expenses

The school council is responsible for costs associated with these renaming processes. Typical costs include the requesting of Aboriginal language names from Traditional Owner groups, logo development, uniform redesign, website updates and signage.

Initial phase

Schools may request to change their name if they believe that the change would be beneficial to the school community.

The school renaming process must commence 6 to 10 months prior to the desired implementation date. This allows for approval processes and provides enough lead time for the new name to inform other important operational activities, such as the redesign of the school logo, uniforms, branding, signage and promotional activities as required.

The purpose of the following initial activities is to formally advise Operations and Governance Division and the relevant Traditional Owner group that a school naming process has commenced and to request their participation:

  1. The school discusses the proposal to change the school’s name with the region.
  2. Schools must seek school council and regional support in writing for a school renaming process to proceed.
  3. Confirmation is required from the school council that costs associated with the naming activity will be borne by the school.
  4. The school advises Operations and Governance Division ( that they are considering changing the school’s name.
  5. Operations and Governance Division provides support to the school including advice on engaging with Traditional Owner groups.

    Special schools simply wishing to remove or revise the education provision part of their name are not required to engage with Traditional Owner groups and must instead provide the proposed school name to Operations and Governance Division ( (skip ahead to 'Compliance and shortlisting').

  6. The school submits a request to the formally recognised Traditional Owner group seeking their participation in the naming process by:
    • inviting them to a consultation meeting to discuss the process and timing of the school naming
    • providing information on the school along with procedural guidance to inform decision-making
    • formally requesting 3 Aboriginal language names for the school, including the meaning, written pronunciation and an audio recording of each.
  7. The school regularly updates Operations and Governance Division on progress (
  8. In the unlikely event that Traditional Owner groups are unable to provide names, Operations and Governance Division will ask the school to propose 3 non-Aboriginal language names.

Compliance and shortlisting

The purpose of the following compliance and shortlisting activity is to identify compliant names that can be put forward for community for consultation:

  1. The proposed names are provided to Operations and Governance Division (
  2. Operations and Governance Division, in consultation with Geographic Names Victoria, assesses the naming suggestions against the naming principles and protocols outlined in this policy, noting whether each name complies.
  3. Operations and Governance Division advises the school of the outcome of the compliance check.

Community consultation

The purpose of the following community consultation activities is to engage with the community to seek their input on the future name of the school.

  1. The school must conduct a formal consultation to enable the community to vote on the compliant names by sharing these names and their meanings. Except that special schools seeking to simply remove or revise the education provision part of their name may opt out of consulting their community (in this case, skip ahead to 'Approval and implementation').
  2. The school tallies all votes submitted within the consultation period.
  3. The names are ranked by the number of votes received.
  4. The most preferred name is adopted as the recommended name.
  5. The school advises Operations and Governance Division ( of the outcome of the school consultation process (including the data from steps 2 to 4 above).

Approval and implementation

The purpose of the following approval and implementation activities is to gain approval of the future name of the school and to inform follow on activities:

  1. Operations and Governance Division submits a briefing to the Minister for Education outlining the results of the community consultation, and seeking approval of the most popular name.
  2. As the naming authority, the Minister for Education approves or rejects the proposed name or may decide to directly name the school.
  3. Operations and Governance Division advises the school principal and region of the outcome of the minister’s decision.
  4. The school advises the community of the minister’s decision. However, this may occur via ministerial or local announcement.
  5. If a new name has been approved, Operations and Governance Division lodges a request with Geographic Names Victoria to gazette the new name and update the VICNAMES registerExternal Link .
  6. After gazettal of a new school name, Operations and Governance Division formally advises relevant parties of the gazetted name, including:
    • Performance and Evaluation Division who will update the department’s Entity Register
    • School Provision and Establishment Division who will advise the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) of the gazetted name so that the VRQA’s state register can be updated.
  7. Once a new name has been approved, the school can undertake follow on activities including revision of the school logo design, signage and website, school materials, policies, and procedures.
  8. The school is encouraged to promote and celebrate the new name, incorporating it into future communications.
Includes information on policy requirements, funding, compliance and shortlisting, community consultation, approval and implementation to rename an existing school due as initiated by school council

Reviewed 18 April 2024

Was this page helpful?