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School Council

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.

Who is on the School Council?
There are three possible categories of membership:

Parents have an important part to play in schools, therefore there is an elected parent member category. Parent members must comprise more than one-third of council’s total membership. Department employees are eligible to be parent members at their child’s school, as long as they do not work at the particular school

Department employees include staff members at the school. Members of this category may make up no more than one third of the total membership of school council. As the executive officer, the principal of the school is automatically one of these members.

  • Members of this category are co-opted by a decision of the Council because of their special skills, interests or experiences. DET employees are not eligible to be Community Members.

School council members are elected (or co-opted in the case of community members) for approximately a two year term. Usually half the membership expires each year creating vacancies for the annual school council election.

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:

(be truthful, open and clear about their motives and declare any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest and duty)

in the best interests of the school (work cooperatively with other councillors and the school community, be reasonable, and make all decisions with the best interests of students foremost in their minds).

  • (consider all relevant facts of an issue before making a decision, seek to have a balanced view, never give special treatment to a person or group and never act from self interest)

(respect confidentiality and use information for the purpose for which it was made available)

Accept responsibility for decisions and do what is best for the school

Not use the position as a councillor to gain an advantage.

Observe all the above principles when making financial decisions

know what legislation and policies are relevant for which decisions and obey the law

set a good example, encourage a culture of accountability, manage risks effectively, exercise care and responsibility to keep the school strong and sustainable.

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.

 Remember

  • 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.

Ian Wren
Principal

School Council Members & Meeting Dates

Kylie Gardiner
Sarvat Khatri (president)
Sinem Ozturk
Chait Edla
Sangamesh Sajjan
Jennifer Lee
Craig Sked
Jana Jayasinghe

Kushi Ashraf (Vice President)
Julia Walters
Ian Wren (Executive officer / Principal)
Brianna Morelli
Heather-May Buzza
Anne Spranger

October 21st
November 25th

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.