Accepting Fill (soil) onto School Sites

Purpose of this policy

To ensure that schools do not accept fill (soil) onto a school site that may pose a health and safety or liability risk.

Prerequisite policy

Background

The Department is aware of developers and commercial companies approaching schools to supply fill (soil) from other sites, such as new housing estate developments.

These proposals often include the supply of fill, labour to construct or refurbish a sporting oval at no cost to the school, and payment from the company to the school for accepting the fill on a per cubic square metre basis.

Policy

School Councils are not authorised to enter into agreements to accept fill without Ministerial approval. School Councils interested in entering into such agreements must contact the Department's Infrastructure and Sustainability Division.

If the Department and School agree to accept fill onto a school site, the Department’s template agreement for the acceptance of third-party fill on school sites must be executed by the Minister or Ministerial delegate and the School Council and the company, see: Department resources.

Further advice/guidelines

School Councils must not sign any agreement or contract for the acceptance of fill without contacting the Department. 

Following discussions between the School and the Department, it may be deemed appropriate to enter into further discussions with the company. Future building plans for the school will be taken into consideration as it is more expensive constructing buildings on fill.

In the event of an arrangement between the school, Department and company, the Department’s standard agreement for the acceptance of third-party fill on school sites must be executed by the Minister/Ministerial delegate and the School Council and the company.

The agreement will cover issues such as health and safety, proof of cleanliness of the fill, traffic management, and liability for works, and clearly set out the responsibilities of the contractor and the school.

A contract prepared by the company will not be accepted.

The Principal acts as the school representative and is responsible for monitoring the contractor’s general safety and environmental management including soil and environmental contamination and general safety practices on site during a construction project.

The school must ensure compliance with the Department's Finance Manual for Victorian Government Schools in relation to any payments received.

If School Councils are paying to receive the fill and/or undertaking construction or refurbishment works, the Department’s procurement policies will apply, including obtaining the appropriate number of quotes.

Department resources