School operations

Student Resource Package – School Infrastructure

Annual Contracts and Essential Safety Measures (ESM) (Reference 36)

Annual Contracts

The Annual Contracts allocation provides for the routine servicing, inspection, and testing of various items both essential and mandatory. These tasks are:

  • Hygiene requirements (sanitary bins, nappy bins, sharps containers)
  • Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (OWMS)
  • Private Drinking Water (PDW)
  • Lifts (if required)
  • Termite inspections
  • Heaters (for example, Type A and Type B Gas Appliances)
  • Air conditioning
  • Vertical school systems (i.e. centralised Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems)

Costs associated with repairs for any of the equipment serviced under this component are funded within the Maintenance portion of the Student Resource Package (SRP).

The allocation for SRP Annual Contracts includes funding for the servicing of existing annual contracts items mentioned above at eligible schools. This does not include funding for new annual contacts items (for example, funding is to service air conditioning units and not to purchase new air conditioning units).

Essential safety measures

Essential Safety Measures (ESM) are central to ensuring a safe and healthy environment in Victorian schools, and their maintenance is vital for the life, safety, and health of occupants over the lifetime of school buildings. When correctly maintained, ESM support students, staff and visitors to evacuate safely in the event of a fire.

In line with the department’s Essential Safety Measures Framework, schools are required to ensure ESM compliance which includes the inspection, testing, rectification maintenance (if required) and recordkeeping of measures.

Funding allocation

ACES SRP funding for any eligible school is allocated in order to cover costs of Annual Contracts and Essential Safety Measures. Adjustments to the ACES SRP allocation will be made on the basis of enrolment/entitlement area or the provision of new equipment.

Annual Contracts are calculated using a ‘bottom-up’ formula involving 7 base contracts (as outlined in the Annual Contracts section above, excluding the vertical school allocation). The formula used to calculate each of the individual contracts is either based on fixed tiers, or a specific funding amount per individual unit present at the school.

For each of the annual contract items listed below, a pre-determined dollar/unit rate (with both metro and regional rates) is multiplied by every unit recorded at the school:

  • Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (OWMS) – the number of septic tank units
  • Private Drinking Water (PDW) – the number of potable water drinking tanks
  • Lifts - the number of passenger and/or document lifts
  • Heating units – the number of furnace heating units and/or boiling water units
  • Air conditioning units – including evaporative and refrigerative units

The following annual contract items are calculated based on the enrolment or building area. If the school’s enrolment/building area goes above a certain number, the school will receive an increased funding allowance:

  • hygiene requirements (sanitary bins, nappy bins, sharps containers):
    • the allocation is a fixed amount for schools with less than 400 students, and an increased fixed amount for schools with greater than or equal to 400 students. The amounts are dependent on if the school is metro or rural based
  • termite inspections:
    • the allocation is dependent on the school's total internal floor area. Schools with an area below 2,000 m2 receive a fixed base amount. Schools with an area between 2,000 m2 and 8,000 m2 receive an additional $1,000 on top of the base amount. Schools with an area between 8,000 m2 and 14,000 m2 receive a further $1,000, with the allocation continuously increasing by $1,000 for every subsequent 6,000 m2 threshold crossed
  • instant hot water heating units:
    • the allocation is a fixed amount for schools with less than 400 students, and an increased fixed amount for schools with greater than or equal to 400 students. The amounts are dependent on if the school is metro or rural based.

Distinct rates have been established for metro versus regional schools to accommodate extra travel requirements by maintenance contractors.

A school’s eligibility to receive air conditioning funding is determined by the VSBA Heating and Cooling policy in conjunction with the NatHERS zones 20 and 27 as outlined on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme websiteExternal Link .

Vertical schools receive a single additional payment to accommodate increased servicing costs associated with residing in a high-rise building.

ESM measures funding is calculated based on the size of the school in terms of both floor area (50% of allocation) and the number of buildings (50% of allocation).

Expenditure should be allocated in CASES21 to the following:

  • Sub Program Code: 6401 – Annual Contracts Essential Safety
  • General Ledger Account Code: 86500 – Security/Safety/Fire Prevention
  • General Ledger Account Code: 86504 – Building works.

SRP funding for Annual Contracts and Essential Safety Measures is calculated at the Indicative and Confirmed cycles and may be updated at the Revised cycle. Funding is allocated through cash funding.

For further information, including how to acquit ESM obligations, refer to:

Reference 36 of the SRP Guide, providing information on annual contracts and essential safety measures funding

Reviewed 02 January 2023

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