Can a board of management allow use of school property by a third party after school hours?

Yes. A board of management may licence buildings and grounds to outside bodies such as community groups and those providing after school activities to pupils and others.

The board of management must be given an assurance by the organisers that there is full compliance with all legal requirements such as health and safety legislation, insurance requirements and income tax/PRSI obligation.  The Department of Education has provided a guideline.

May teachers use school buildings for after school hours activities, independent of the school?

Yes, but they should apply to the board of management in writing seeking permission to use the school property in the same way as any other group would apply. If the activity is organised by teachers, in most cases the board puts them through payroll and manages the activity themselves. From a teacher’s viewpoint, it shouldn’t make a difference as they will be liable for the same amount of tax regardless of the employer.

Use of school grounds necessitates compliance with the following DE Guideline:

The external body must provide proof of insurance cover. (By agreement with the board of management the school’s insurers may supply cover to the organisers on payment of an additional fee).

At the Board’s discretion, all additional costs such as heating, lighting, security, and rental costs should be covered by the organisers.

The board of management must be satisfied that the supervision of students is adequate and that all health and safety issues are covered.

Where non-teachers are employed as supervisors, care must be taken to ensure that Child Protection guidelines are followed.

Agreement should be reached as to how breaches of discipline which may occur during the supervised study sessions are to be dealt with.

Communication with students and parents is done by the organisers. In particular, school letterhead paper should not be used.

May school buildings be used by third parties during school hours?