The Governing Body regards the school buildings and grounds as a community asset and will make every reasonable effort to enable them to be used as much as possible. However, the overriding aim of the Governing Body is to support the school in providing the best possible education for its pupils, and any lettings of the premises to outside organisations will be considered with this in mind.
A charge will be levied to meet the additional costs incurred by the school in respect of any lettings of the premises.
Definition of a Letting
A letting may be defined as “any use of the school premises (buildings and grounds) by either a community group (such as a local music group or football team), or a commercial organisation (such as the local branch of ‘Weight Watchers’)”. A letting must not interfere with the primary activity of the school, which is to provide a high standard of education for all its pupils.
Use of the premises for activities such as staff meetings, parents’ meetings, Governing Body meetings and extra-curricular activities of pupils supervised by school staff, fall within the corporate life of the school. Costs arising from these uses are therefore a legitimate charge against the school’s delegated budget.
Organisations seeking to hire the school premises should approach the Headteacher (or other designated member of staff), who will identify their requirements and clarify the facilities available. A School Letting Request Form (a copy of which is attached to this model policy) should be completed at this stage. The Governing Body has the right to refuse an application, and no letting should be regarded as “booked” until approval has been given in writing. No public announcement of any activity or function taking place should be made by the organisation concerned until the booking has been formally confirmed.
Once a letting has been approved, a letter of confirmation will be sent to the hirer, setting out full details of the letting and enclosing a copy of the terms and conditions and the Hire Agreement. The letting should not take place until the signed agreement has been returned to the school with a deposit of 25%, in the event of an ongoing hire, the deposit will be deducted from the final invoice. The person applying to hire the premises will be invoiced for the cost of the letting, in accordance with the Governing Body’s current scale of charges.
The hirer should be a named individual and the agreement should be in their name, giving their permanent private address. This avoids any slight risk that the letting might be held to be a business tenancy, which would give the hirer security of tenure.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
FOR THE HIRE OF THE SCHOOL PREMISES
All terms and conditions set out below must be adhered to. The “Hirer” shall be the person making the application for a letting, and this person will be personally responsible for payment of all fees or other sums due in respect of the letting.
Status of the Hirer
Lettings will not be made to persons under the age of 18, or to any organisation or group with an unlawful or extremist background. The hire agreement is personal to the hirer only, and nothing in it is intended to have the effect of giving exclusive possession of any part of the school to them or of creating any tenancy between the school and the hirer.
Persons may have to undergo, at the discretion of the Governing Body, a criminal record check via the Disclosure Baring Service (DBS). If a particular letting involves contact with the school’s pupils, all personnel involved must provide a DBS certificate, in accordance with Dfe guidance. These checks must be made by prior arrangement with the Headteacher, with at least half a term's notice in advance to ensure that the checks can be carried out in time. The Governing Board need to be satisfied that the hirer / hiring organisation is an ethical enterprise/ group.
Any adults working with the school’s pupils (for example, at an after school sports club) must be appropriately qualified. Sports coaches must follow the LEA’s guidelines for working in schools.
Priority of Use
The Headteacher will resolve conflicting requests for the use of the premises, with priority at all times being given to school functions.
The Hirer shall ensure that the number of persons using the premises does not exceed that for which the application was made and approval given.
The Hirer shall be responsible for the prevention of overcrowding (such as would endanger public safety), and for keeping clear all gangways, passages and exits. The Hirer shall be responsible for providing adequate supervision to maintain order and good conduct, and - where applicable - the Hirer must adhere to the correct adult/pupil ratios at all times.
It is the Hirer's responsibility to ensure that all those attending are made aware of the fact that they do so in all respects at their own risk.
Damage, Loss or Injury
The Governing Body has arranged appropriate public liability insurance to cover all legal liabilities for accidents resulting in injuries to persons (including all participants in the activity for which the premises are being hired), and/or loss of or damage to property, including the hired premises, arising out of the letting. A pro-rata cost of the insurance premium has been included in the hire charge.
The Hirer warrants to the Governing Body that it has appropriate public liability insurance to cover all its legal liabilities for accidents resulting in injuries to persons (including all participants in the activity for which the premises are being hired), and/or loss of or damage to property, including the hired premises, arising out of the letting. The minimum limit for this insurance cover is £5 million. The Hirer must produce the appropriate certificate of insurance cover before the letting can be confirmed.
Furniture and Fittings
Furniture and fittings shall not be removed or interfered with in any way. No fittings or decorating of any kind necessitating drilling, or the fixing of nails or screws into fixtures which are part of the school fabric, are permitted. In the event of any damage to premises or property arising from the letting, the Hirer shall pay the cost of any reparation required.
Responsible adults must supervise the use of any equipment which is issued and ensure its safe return. The Hirer is liable for any damage, loss or theft of school equipment they are using, and for the equipment's safe and appropriate use.
Any electrical equipment brought by the Hirer onto the school site MUST comply with the LEA code of practice for portable electrical appliance equipment. Equipment must either have a certificate of safety from a qualified electrical engineer or be inspected by the LEA. The intention to use any electrical equipment must be notified on the application.
Car Parking Facilities
Subject to availability, these may be used by the Hirer and other adults involved in the letting.
Access to the school’s toilet facilities is included as part of the hire arrangements.
First Aid Facilities
There is no legal requirement for the school to provide first aid facilities for the Hirer. It is the Hirer's responsibility to make their own arrangements, such as the provision of first aid training for supervising personnel, and the provision of a first aid kit, particularly in the case of sports lettings. Use of the schools resources is not available.
The person responsible for the security of the premises before, during and after the hire will explain the fire procedures to the hirer. The advice will specifically relate to emergency evacuation procedures, fire alarm points and fire fighting equipment, assembly points and roll call of personnel, location of telephone and how to summon the Fire Brigade and emergency services. A written copy of fire evacuation procedures will be issued to hirers.
Food and Drink
No food or drink may be prepared or consumed on the property without the direct permission of the Governing Body, in line with current food hygiene regulations. All litter must be placed in the bins provided.
No intoxicants shall be brought on to or consumed on the premises.
The whole of the school premises is a non-smoking area (including car parks, playing fields, footpaths, gardens etc.), and smoking is not permitted within the school boundary fence. This also includes the use of Electronic Cigarettes.
Copyright or Performing Rights
The Hirer shall not, during the occupancy of the premises, infringe any subsisting copyright or performing right, and shall indemnify the Local Education Authority against all sums of money which the LEA may have to pay by reason of an infringement of copyright or performing right occurring during the period of hire covered by this agreement.
The Hirer shall not sub-let the premises to another person.
Hire charges are reviewed annually and the current charge is set out in the Lettings Request Form.
Variation of Scales of Charges and Cancellations
The Hirer acknowledges that the charges given may be increased from time to time (they will be reviewed by the Governing Body on an annual basis) and that the letting may be cancelled, provided that in each circumstance at least 28 days notice either way is given. It is the Hirer's responsibility to notify parents in writing (where appropriate) of any changes in dates or venues at least a week in advance.
The Governors will hire and pay for a person to be responsible for the security of the premises before, during and after the hire, and for the cleaning of the premises after its use. This cost will be included in the charge for the letting. If no suitable person can be employed, then the letting will not be allowed or will be cancelled. Only named key holders may operate the security system. Keys should not be passed to any other person without direct permission of the Governing Body of the school.
Right of Access
The Governing Body reserves the right of access to the premises during any letting. The Headteacher or members of the Governing Body may monitor activities from time to time.
Conclusion of the Letting
The Hirer shall, at the end of the hire period, leave the accommodation in a clean and tidy condition, all equipment being returned to the correct place of storage. If this condition is not adhered to, an additional cost may be charged.
Vacation of Premises
The Hirer shall ensure that the premises are vacated promptly at the end of the letting. The Hirer is responsible for supervising any children taking part in an activity until they are collected by a responsible adult. In the event of an emergency, occupants must leave the school by the nearest exit and assemble on the Junior Playground or Infants Playground depending on the building you are in. The Hirer must have immediate access to participants’ emergency contact details, and may use the telephone in the school office in the event of an emergency. Hirers are responsible for familiarising themselves with emergency exits and must ensure that participants are aware of evacuation procedures.
A draft copy of any information to be distributed to participants or through the school must be sanctioned by the Headteacher a week prior to distribution by the Hirer.
Conditions of Use
- Application for a letting does not necessarily guarantee acceptance. All applications will be confirmed, or otherwise, by the Headteacher (or other designated person) and is at the discretion of the Governing body.
- Organisations will be required to pay the letting charge if the premises are opened for the letting even if the letting does not take place.
- The School reserves the right to cancel or amend this letting in the event of the premises subsequently being required for school activities. In this event as much notice as possible will be given but the school will not be under any obligation to offer alternative accommodation.
- The letting must be correctly supervised by the Hirers who will undertake to pay for any damage caused by their use of the premises and are responsible for their own third party liability cover.
- Multiple Lettings: Following the initial deposit, all accounts are payable within 14 days from the date of the invoice. The school reserves the right to refuse the hirer subsequent admission to the premises if any account remains unpaid after this period.
Single Lettings: Payment for single lettings must be made to the school before the commencement of the letting.
- If a letting over-runs the time booked, an additional charge will be made.
- The school reserves the right to amend the charges giving 14 days notice.
- The hirer must make him/herself fully conversant with the fire drill for the premises and the position of appliances and emergency exits. He/she must also keep a register of members for Health and Safety reasons. In the event of an evacuation of the building the hirer is responsible for informing the Key Holder present that all group members have been evacuated safely.
- Once completed the School Letting Request Form should be returned to the School Office.
- Failure to comply with the Conditions of Use may result in a letting being cancelled and may jeopardise any future application.