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  5. Premises and buildings
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Premises and buildings

A registered non-government school's premises and buildings must be satisfactory.

The premises and buildings of a registered non-government school must comply with:

  • relevant council and government requirements
  • work health and safety legislation and subordinate legislation
  • environmental and land use guidelines.

In NSW, buildings need to meet the building standards operational at the time of the approval to build. In 1997, all states and territories gave the Building Code of Australia (BCA) the status of building regulations. The BCA contains technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures and covers such matters as fire resistance, access and egress, services and equipment and aspects of health and amenity.

While the BCA applies to new buildings, proprietors and principals (or equivalent) of schools have a common law responsibility to ensure that older buildings are safe for educational purposes. In a dispute regarding the safety or appropriateness of a building, guidance is often sought by referring to the BCA. For older buildings, it is therefore advisable for the proprietor and principal (or equivalent) of a school to refer to local government requirements with respect to compliance with the relevant sections of the BCA.

Evidence of capacity to comply

A proposed non-government school must:

  • provide written evidence that the proposed premises and buildings comply with all legislation relevant at the time of occupation
  • provide written evidence that the proposed premises have approval to be used for their intended purpose
  • have documented policies to assess and monitor the standard and state of repair of proposed premises and buildings, making reference to current building requirements
  • provide details of a fire safety statement for the proposed premises which demonstrates compliance with Part 9 Division 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
  • confirm that it has policies and procedures to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 in terms of the school's buildings and premises.
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