Use of government school facilities
Over the last number of years members of the Federation have contacted our office with regards to problems accessing and using government schools facilities.
There is a government policy allowing community language schools (CLS) free use of schools, if they are registered with the CLS Program, to help communities teach their language. The decision to allow a community language school access to a government school is made at a local level, that is, by the mainstream school principal.
When you use a government school, the main thing you need is a lease agreement. This document will outline the number of rooms to be used, equipment such as desks, chairs, whiteboards/blackboards, toilets and playground if you have a recess or lunch time break for students. Also the time you have access to the school and rooms. The school hall for presentation days or other special one-off events should also be available free of charge, as many principals as a gesture of goodwill help the community language schools. Electronic equipment like televisions, DVD players and electronic whiteboards have to be negotiated.
One important factor when using a government school is that you are using someone else’s work place. You have to respect and look after what you use. Mainstream school teachers like to have a clean classroom on Monday morning with everything put back in place ready to start a new week and not find things moved or students’ works moved or damaged. This biggest issue facing community language schools is the use of the classrooms and toilets.