This policy sets out the process and requirements for naming Victorian government schools, school campuses, buildings and spaces.
- The department’s naming processes must be followed for naming schools, school campuses, and school buildings and spaces.
- School and campus names must reflect the key principles under the Naming rules for places in Victoria — Statutory requirements for naming roads, features and localities 2016 (naming , outlined briefly in the Quick guide for schools .
- Appropriate naming is essential to identify locations for managing emergencies and delivering goods and services.
- The Minister for Education is the naming authority under the Education Training and Reform Act 2006. This applies to the naming of schools and school campuses.
- School names must accurately reflect the school’s educational and service provision.
The naming processes in this policy and the associated guidelines on the Guidance tab must be followed to ensure the consistent naming of new and established schools, campuses, and school buildings and spaces. Appropriate naming is essential for identifying locations in emergencies and delivering goods and services.
The naming process requires careful consideration, consultation, and approval by the naming authority.
The following information outlines the principles and other requirements that must be considered when naming a school, campus, building or space.
The Guidance tab outlines the naming processes for:
- naming a new school
- naming a new school campus
- re-naming an existing school or campus
- naming a school building or school space.
Approval of names
The Minister for Education is the naming authority for school and campus naming and must approve all school and school campus names.
Ministerial approval is also required for the naming of any new building, oval or sports facility that has been funded by the Victorian Government.
Additional approval information can be found on the Guidance tab.
The following principles underpin the application of the naming guidance provided in this policy.
Names are to be assessed against Geographic Names Victoria (GNV) naming rules (section 2, Naming rules for places in Victoria ). This includes, but is not limited to:
- Geographic elements such as town/suburb names (must be the official locality name) or proximity to a geographical feature may be used subject to the requirement that names must not be duplicated and be unique.
- Victorian Aboriginal language names – this is subject to agreement from the formally recognised Traditional Owner group.
- Commemorative names of people must:
- 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 last name of a person, not first or given names.
- Names of commercial businesses, private benefactors or not-for-profit organisations must not be used.
In addition to the principles set out in the naming rules, the following requirements also apply to the naming or renaming of schools and campuses.
In keeping with the Victorian Government’s commitment to self-determination, the naming process must consider local Aboriginal cultural heritage and names as a priority, where the entity to be named is located on lands with a formally recognised Traditional Owner group. Where Traditional Owners have been formally acknowledged (through the Native Title Act, Victorian Traditional Owners Settlement Act or Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act), advice should be sought through formal consultation from the appropriate Traditional Owner Group for cultural heritage purposes, in any naming process.
Proposed school names must include an education provision description. Standard naming conventions are:
- primary provision – Primary School
- secondary provision – Secondary College or Secondary School or school year level descriptors, for example, 7-12 College
- both primary and secondary provision – year level descriptors, for example, P-9 College, P-12 College
- kindergarten services – may include K in the year level descriptor, for example, K-12 College or if offering secondary provision only, College or School may be used without a year level descriptor
- special education provision to students with:
- a mild intellectual disability: Special School
- moderate to profound intellectual disabilities: Special Developmental School
- schools specifically catering for students with a certain type of disability may wish to represent this provision in the school name, for example, Deaf School, Autism School
- schools offering more than one type of provision, for example, special and special development, may wish to describe this dual mode by using Specialist as their descriptor.
Refer to the Guidance tab for detailed information on the required process for naming schools, school campuses, and school buildings and spaces.
Minimum Standards and School Registration
Reviewed 12 April 2023