What is a School Council and what does it do?
All Government schools in Victoria have a School Council. They are legally formed bodies that are given powers to set the key directions of a school within Departmental provided guidelines. In doing this, a School Council is able to directly influence the quality of education that the School provides for its students.
Why is Parent membership so important?
Parents on School Councils provide important viewpoints and have valuable skills that can help shape the direction of the School. Those parents who become active on a School Council find their involvement satisfying in itself and may also find that their children feel a greater sense of belonging.
How can you become involved?
The most obvious way is to vote in the elections, which are held in Term 1 each year. However, ballots are only held if more people nominate as candidates than there are positions vacant. In view of this, you might seriously consider:
Standing for election as a Member of the School Council.
Encouraging another person to stand for election.
Do I need special experience to be on School Council?
No. what you do need is an interest in your child’s school and the desire to work in partnership with others to help shape the School’s future.
Code of conduct for school councillors
School councils in Victoria are public entities as defined by the Public Administration Act 2004. School councillors must abide by the Code of Conduct for Directors of Victorian Public Entities issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commission. The Code of Conduct is based on the Victorian public sector values and requires councillors to:
Indemnity for school council members
School councillors are indemnified against any liability in respect of any loss or damage suffered by the council or any other person in respect of anything necessarily or reasonably done, or omitted to be done by the councillor in good faith in:
a) the exercise of a power or the performance of a function of a councillor, or
b) the reasonable belief that the act or omission was in the exercise of a power or the performance of a function of a council.
In other words, school councillors are not legally liable for any loss or damage suffered by council or others as a result of reasonable actions taken in good faith.
All school councillors will be required to hold a current Working with Children Card and agree to undergo a National Police Check.
What do you need to do to stand for election?
Early in Term 1 of each year, the Principal will issue a notice and call for nominations . All School Council elections must be completed by the end of March.
If you decide to stand for election, you can arrange for someone to nominate you as a candidate or you can nominate yourself in the Parent Category.
DET employees whose child is enrolled in a school in which they are not employed are eligible to nominate as parents for the School Council where their child is enrolled.
Once the nomination form is completed, return it to the Principal within the timeframe stated on the Notice of Election Schedule. You will receive a Nomination Form Receipt following the receipt of your completed nomination.
If there are more nominations received than there are vacancies on Council, a ballot will be conducted during the two weeks after the call for nominations has closed.
Ask the School for help if you would like to stand for election and are not sure what to do.
Consider standing for election to Council
Be sure to vote in the elections.
Please feel free to contact me should you require further information.
School Council Members & Meeting Dates
Sarvat Khatri (president)
Click to view DET’s School Council Induction Video summarising the purpose and responsibilities of school councils and the roles and responsibilities of school councillors.