Following is some information about the role of school council.
What is a school council and what does it do?
All government schools in Victoria have a school council. They are legally constituted bodies that are given powers to set the key directions of a school within statewide 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:
1. A mandated elected Parent category - more than one-third of the total members must be from this category. Department of Education and Training (DET) employees can be Parent members at their child's school as long as they are not engaged in work at the school.
2. A mandated elected DET employee category - members of this category may make up no more than one-third of the total membership of school council. The principal of the school is automatically one of these members.
3. An optional Community member category - members are coopted by a decision of the council because of their special skills, interests or experiences. DET employees are not eligible to be Community members.
Generally, the term of office for all members is two years. The term of office of half the members expires each year, creating vacancies for the annual school council elections.
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. This way you have input into who will be representing you.
The other way is to nominate yourself or nominate someone you would like to see on council.