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Purpose of this policy

To ensure fete organisers consider safety and legal liabilities.


Fete organisers must:

  • negotiate a written contract with commercial operators
  • ensure public liability insurance covers any activities undertaken.

Organising fetes

Fetes to raise funds for school purposes can be organised by:

  • school councils, or
  • parent associations or clubs organised under Part 4 Division 2 of the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2007.

It is generally preferable for fetes to be organised by the school council, as they are a legal entity and parent associations or clubs are not.


This table describes issues of legal liability for fete organisers and staff.


Parent association and clubs

If parent clubs and associations are not legal entities then:

  • they cannot enter contracts in their own right
  • technically contracts with commercial operators for the fete would have to be entered with the individual members of the club.

Note: Members of the parents club would be indemnified by the government against any legal liability as volunteers, as long as the activity was for the school's welfare and requested by the principal or school council.

School council

School councils are incorporated bodies with specific powers to enter into contracts.  The Education and Training Reform Act2006 provides a comprehensive statutory indemnity for members of councils.

See: Legal Framework

Volunteers/school staff

Volunteer workers are:

  • protected against personal legal actions on similar terms as teachers when working:
    • for the welfare of the school
    • at the request of the principal or school council.
  • entitled to compensation (as if they were state employees when injured in their course of employment) if they suffer personal injury from:
    • engaging in school work
    • travelling to or from the place where school work is occurring.


  • Personal Liability of School Employees
  • Volunteer Workers

    Commercial operators

    There should always be a written agreement with a commercial contractor setting out the:

    • terms upon which the school council will permit the operator to come onto the school premises and set up their equipment including complying with indemnity and insurance requirements
    • particular service to be provided
    • if there is a specific location for the operator to set up
    • financial arrangements
    • Department's standard indemnity and insurance wording so the school council and the state will not be liable for injuries sustained.

    See: School Councils and Contractors  

    Acceptable activities

    This table describes activities that require careful consideration for inclusion at fetes.


    Amusement rides and equipment

    Amusement structures and rides are regulated by legislation administered by the Victorian WorkCover Authority. Further information may be obtained from the Team Leader, Field Operations, Victorian WorkCover Authority, telephone (03) 9641-1555.

    See: Amusement Rides and Structures


    Seek advice from Consumer Affairs Victoria before undertaking any activities involving the consumption or sale of alcohol.

    See: Alcohol

    Related policies

    Related legislation

    • Education and Training Reform Act 2006
    • Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017
    • Education Regulations 2000