Canteen deeds

Frequently Asked Questions about Canteen Deeds

For more information, see the Directorate's factsheet.

What is the Canteen Deed?

The ACT Education Directorate (EDu) requires the school to have a formal written agreement for the provision of canteen services. If your P&C runs the canteen, you will need to sign such an agreement (canteen deed). The deed outlines the conditions of the service, who is responsible for the canteen facilities, insurance and so on. EDu has provided your school with the draft document.

Why is this Deed needed?

EDu is currently in the process of formalising Agreements within schools. Canteens is one of the areas they are looking at and central office have been working with the ACT Government Solicitor’s Office (GSO) to get a standard P&C Deed in place in schools with canteens operated by the P&C.

What agreements are currently in place?

Most schools don't currently have an agreements in place between the school and the P&C for Canteen facilities.

Is this something new for the Directorate?

Yes it is something new for EDu to get standard agreements in place for their School Canteens.

Was there any particular driver for the need of an agreement?

The initial driver to introduce and standardise Canteen agreements within schools was the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011. The ACT Government also introduced a Whole of Government Initiative ‘Healthy Living’ where ACT Government schools were an area of focus which has also been a driver. The two drivers mentioned and with the Healthy School Canteens - guidelines for food and drink supplied in school canteens  it is essential that we have these agreements in place which cover off all of these issues.

Do you expect that there will be similar agreements required for other services that the P&C provides?

If the P&C provides before and after school care at your school there is a standard Licence Agreement being rolled out across our schools for this. For other services, there is no agreement planned at present, however, the school and P&C would be advised accordingly if any further agreements were to be introduced.

For what term does the contract run?

The school can determine a term of up to five years. A good working deed would be for three years.

Who does the definition of "School" relate to?  eg in clause 3.1 states that "the School, its employees....may access the canteen..."

The school is your school Executive Staff, which includes the Principal and the Business Manager

With regard to repairs and maintenance, what, if any, are the limitations in clause 4.1?

Any limitations are according to the Principal’s discretion. You would need to approach the Principal and the school Board to discuss any requests.

What does "install" mean in the context of clause 5.2?  eg can a toaster be plugged in, or does this mean larger white goods?

In this instance it means large items which may draw excessive power from the switch board as the school may need to look at upgrading their current switch boards. These items may include but are not limited to such things as a fridges, freezers, pie ovens, instant hot water systems and stoves etc. Although a toaster is not required to have written approval you would need to ensure that it is tested and tagged appropriately.

Will a new document need to be signed when a new P&C president is elected?

No, a new document will not be required to be signed when a new P&C president is elected. The president is a representative of the P&C body and the deeds sits with the P&C body.

Our canteen only operates part time, do we need to specify this?

At Attachment 2 - Rules of the Deed you could enter a site specific rule such as “The operating schedule of the Canteen will be flexible according to demand and availability of staff as agreed at the beginning of each school year (or school term).”

If the canteen were to change services, would we need to resign this deed accordingly with the 30 days notice?

If a rule like the example above was to be included in the deed you would not need to resign the current deed.

Our canteen is a small operation - if key staff were ill, we may not be able to run it and would be breaching the deed (and potentially the school could to terminate our canteen engagement). How can we avoid this? 

You could also put in a site specific rule at 'Attachment 2 – Rules' along the lines of: “In the case of P&C staff being unavailable to run the canteen due to unforeseen circumstances or illness the school and P&C would work together collaboratively to solve these issues and obtain the best possible outcome for the school and the P&C.”