Canteen Operations

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Purpose of this policy

To ensure school councils manage canteens in line with legislation.


School councils may decide to provide canteen services as a school council operated canteen or outsourcing the canteen services to a third party by issuing a School Council Canteen Licence.

For the template School Council Canteen Licence, see the Legal Division's Contract Templatesintranet site.

Important: No confectionery is to be supplied.

School council operated canteen

For a school council operated canteen:

  • the school council is responsible for the:
    • canteen and its policies
    • employment and dismissal of staff
    • ordering of goods for the canteen
  • profits are transferred to the school council
  • the principal supervises the canteen
  • a delegated officer counts the daily takings
  • paid or voluntary workers run day-to-day operations
  • under GST legislation the canteen may be operated as ‘input taxed’
  • a canteen profit and loss statement is prepared at a minimum of once per year
  • yearly maximum contributions to the school from the canteen would be equivalent to the:
    • net profit for the year less any increase in working capital required for the canteen
    • costs of any services met by the school.

School council leased canteen

The school council should invite public tenders following standard purchasing procedures.

When it is agreed to operate the canteen through a private contractor, then:

  • income to the school is receipted as a hire of facilities and other stock and trading
  • staff issues are part of the leasing agreement between the contractor and school council.

Healthy eating

The School Canteens and Other School Food Services Policy (the policy) has been developed to support students in making healthy food choices at school and through life. The policy contains a number of resources to assist schools in developing healthy canteens and other food practices.  

The policy explains the guiding principles, including food selection, food categories, food safety and the role of school council in developing a school food services policy.  The policy applies to food services within the school environment, for example school events such as celebrations and sports days and vending machines. For a copy of the policy, see: Healthy Eating - School Food Services

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Section 2.3.5 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • Food (Amendment) Act 2001 – Act No. 14
  • National Food Safety Standards

Department resources

For more information see:

  •  School Financial Guidelines: for the Finance Manual for Victorian Government Schools (See: Section 11 - Trading Operations)
  • Tax: for Canteens GST Fact Sheet