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Alcohol Policy

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy explains the requirements of schools regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol in schools and school related activities.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. Alcohol will not be consumed on school premises during normal school hours of 8.30 am and 4.51 pm Monday to Friday except where the principal has given an exemption for appropriate special occasions at times when students are not present.
    2. Alcohol will not be carried in government vehicles except where prior approval in writing has been given for a special occasion by the principal. Alcohol must not be consumed in government vehicles.
    3. Students, regardless of age, are not permitted to consume or possess alcohol at any school activity including excursions, outdoor adventure activities and camps.
    4. Staff will not consume alcohol during hours of duty or when they have a continuing responsibility for students. This includes school excursions/outdoor adventure activities and any other school activity held outside ordinary school hours.
    5. Non-school sponsored student social occasions

    6. Principals will ensure staff attending students’ social occasions not sponsored by the school, for example year 12 end of year activities, are informed of the possible implications of attending such activities and are aware of their responsibilities. These responsibilities include high standard of professional behaviour, duty of care obligations and adherence to Directorate polices.
    7. Accredited courses

    8. Students under the age of 18 years must not serve liquor unless it is within a course requirement and the course provider is the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) or a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) approved to conduct Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training in the ACT.
    9. The registration of the organisation must be confirmed by the school before the school enrols student in the course. This can be done on line at This confirmation must also be undertaken for commercial training schools for which the government school acts as an agent.
    10. Work experience

    11. Students under the age of 18 years must not be placed in positions which will require them to serve alcohol.
    12. Students 18 years of age and over may be placed in work experience positions requiring them to serve alcohol. The approved work experience guidelines must include the suitability of the placement for the individual student concerned and address the requirements of serving alcohol. Work experience placements must comply with the provisions contained in the Liquor Act 2010 (the Act).
    13. Social functions and activities

    14. Consumption of alcohol is permitted at social and school fund raising occasions involving staff and/or parents.
    15. Prior approval for possession and consumption of alcohol must be given by the principal for occasions where school staff, school boards or parent and citizen associations wish to provide or sell alcohol. This must occur for each individual function and must be in writing.
    16. Parents will be advised, by the principal or function coordinator, in advance when alcohol will be supplied at a social function or school fund raiser. Parents must be advised that students are not permitted to attend such an event unaccompanied by a supervising adult.
    17. Students in attendance with parents at social and school fund raising occasions are the responsibility of parents.
    18. Where alcohol is sold, a licence or permit is mandatory and the requirements under the Act are to be observed and followed. A licence or permit is obtained through the Office of Regulatory Services.
    19. The function must not occur during normal school hours or at times when any school activities involving students are in progress.
    20. Principals are ultimately responsible for the function and should be in attendance. Prior to a function, the principal must ensure that staff are informed and understand their responsibilities and obligations.
    21. Community education programs

    22. Alcohol in moderate amounts may form part of specific community education programs. The facilitator must get prior permission from the principal to run the program.
    23. The purpose and conduct of the program must be clearly documented and specify that the consumption of alcohol is appropriate in the context of the course. The facilitator running the program must provide this information to the principal when seeking permission.
    24. Where alcohol is being supplied, the requirements under the Act are to be observed and followed.
    25. Other relevant requirements of this policy must also be observed.
    26. Community use of school facilities

    27. Community hirers of school facilities for purposes other than school related functions, activities and or community education programs are not permitted to bring alcohol onto or consume alcohol on school premises.
    28. Production companies or equivalent who hire school theatres, must comply with the provisions as stated in the policy Community Use of School Facilities, the Facility Hiring Agreement and the Act.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to all ACT public schools, principals, school based staff, students, parents, local and wider community members.
  4. Context
    1. There are circumstances where the possession and/or consumption of alcohol at a school or school related activity, including social events involving staff and parents, accredited courses and work experience may be appropriate. At all times, expectations about high standards of professional behaviour, duty of care obligations and adherence to Directorate policies apply.
    2. The Directorate has a duty of care, through its staff, to take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of injury and prevent harm to students.
    3. Staff have a responsibility to carry out their duty of care at all times and perform their official duties in accordance with the Public Sector Management Standards 2006.
    4. The Liquor Act 2010 prohibits a child or young person under the age of 18 years from purchasing or consuming alcohol on any occasion.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. Principal: The school’s principal is responsible for implementing this policy.
    2. Policy Owner: The Director, People and Performance, is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact Employee Relations, People and Performance Branch, on 6205 9147 or email
  8. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this policy or the policy itself, should be raised with:
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • Duty of care: is a duty to take reasonable measures to protect students against risk of injury which could reasonably have been foreseen. The duty is not to ensure that there is no injury but to take reasonable care to prevent injury which could reasonably be foreseen.
      • A parent: is a person with parental responsibility for the child. Includes a carer.
      • School functions and activities: include the variety of learning, recreational sporting and social occasions which are organised by a school or with the assistance of school staff. They also include social and fundraising activities organised by the school board or by the parent and citizens’ association.
      • Work experience: is a student’s short term unpaid participation in the workplace as a learner and observer.
    2. Legislation
    3. Related Policies and Information
      • Chief Executive’s Financial Instructions - Accounting Procedures 2.5 Official Hospitality
      • Facility Hiring Agreement
      • HR Advice End of Year Activities
      • Liquor Practice Manual and the Guide to the Liquor Act 2010
      • Teachers’ Code of Professional Practice

Alcohol – Possession and Consumption in Schools and at School Related Activities: APC201504 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at

Policy Identifier: APC201504

Published: January 2016

Implementation Documents:

No Current Implementation Documents

Related Policies and Information:

  • Chief Executive’s Financial Instructions - Accounting Procedures 2.5 Official Hospitality
  • Facility Hiring Agreement
  • HR Advice End of Year Activities
  • Liquor Practice Manual and the Guide to the Liquor Act 2010
  • Teachers’ Code of Professional Practice