Alcohol

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To explain when alcohol can and cannot be consumed:

  • on school premises
  • at school functions off the school premises
  • during school hours
  • during school camps or excursions.

Policy

Schools must:

  • obtain school council approval before alcohol may be consumed on school premises or at school approved activities
  • ensure the legal requirements for the sale and/or provision of alcohol in public situations at school functions are enforced
  • prohibit the consumption of alcohol by students at school, or any school organised activity, during school hours
  • have a policy and procedures for responding  to students who have been drinking during school hours and/or brought alcohol onto school premises.

Note: If school council approves the consumption of alcohol on school premises they must ensure adherence to the responsible service of alcohol requirements.

Functions on school premises

When considering whether to allow the consumption of alcohol on school premises, councils should consider:

  • the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 from which schools are not exempt
  • school community attitudes
  • school policies related to drug education and health and wellbeing.

Examples of the type of applications that the school council may approve are:

  • private functions organised by the council if students are not present
  • outside organisations hiring or leasing school buildings
  • private staff functions which exclude students.

Note: Further information, including types of liquor licenses, and when a licence is required can be obtained from Department of Justice - Responsible Alcohol Victoria, phone 1300-650-367.

Functions off school premises

When alcohol is sold at school functions off premises, students under 18 may only be present if they are:

  • accompanied and under direct supervision by parents/guardians or a spouse over the age of 18
  • engaged in a hospitality training program, employment or work experience
  • approved by the Director of Liquor Licensing under section 122 of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998
  • on premises which have an ‘on premises’ license granted as a restaurant and the function occurs during regular trading hours
  • attending a function as approved by Liquor Licensing Victoria taking into account the above requirements.

Note: A temporary liquor licence is required for events where ‘payment’ is required to attend the event and the ticket price includes the supply of alcohol and/or over the counter sales.

Important: Students should not be involved in fundraising events which have an alcoholic beverage as a prize.

During school hours

It is the role of the principal acting in accord with the school’s student engagement and drug education policies, to determine how to respond to students who have:

  • been drinking during school hours
  • brought alcohol onto school premises.

Note: Such incidents are very serious.

The principal should notify police if the source of supply, such as a retailer, can be identified.

School camps and excursions

This table explains the treatment of alcohol consumption on excursions or school camps.

WhoRules

Students

Consumption of alcohol is prohibited regardless of the student’s age. Offenders will be:

  • sanctioned in accordance with the student engagement policy
  • where appropriate, returned to school or home.

Staff

Must:

  • inform parents/guardians and students before departure of:
    - the alcohol prohibition
    - the sanctions that could be expected for offending
  • act in accordance with their duty of care to students, which is in force during the entire time of the camp or excursion
  • be aware that consumption of alcohol by staff during camps or excursions is:
    - inconsistent with the standard of professional conduct necessary to maintain community confidence in these activities
    - is considered unwise
    - could lead to allegations of negligence and loss of WorkCover rights.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • Liquor Control Reform Act 1998

Department resources