School Council

The questions below explain the purpose, membership and operation of school councils.

Why is parent membership so important?
Parents on 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.

Do you need special experience?
No! What you need is an interest in your child's school and the skills to work co-operatively with others to help shape its future.

What is a school council and what does it do?
All government schools in Victoria have school councils. They are legally formed bodies that are given powers to set the key directions of a school. In doing so, a school council is able to directly influence the quality of education that the school provides to its students. For example, within guidelines provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development(DEECD), a school council has responsibilities for developing such things as:

  • the school charter which sets out the main goals and priorities of the school for three years
  • the school's budget which shares out the available resources to make sure that the plans of the charter are carried out
  • the general educational policy of the school
  • the physical appearance and maintenance of the school's buildings and grounds
  • the student code of conduct which provides a safe and orderly context for learning
  • an annual report on the school's achievements.

Who is on a school council?
A mixture of parents and DEECD staff.

How can you become involved?
The most obvious way is to vote in the elections which are held in March each year. (Ballots are only held if more people nominate as candidates than there are positions vacant).
You might seriously consider:

  • standing for election as a member of the school council
  • suggesting to another person that they stand for election.

Useful links to further information regarding the purpose and role of School Councils.
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/ : Parent Involvement in Schools Association of School Councils in Victoria (ASCIV).
Victorian Council of School Organisations Inc (VICSSO)