School Council Employment

Legal basis of employment

Part 2.3 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 authorises a school council to employ any person to do anything it is authorised to do under that Act.  

The conditions of employment for school council employees are set out in Part 2.3 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, Regulations and Ministerial Orders made under that Act. 

Other relevant legislation includes the Public Administration Act 2004, State Superannuation Act 1988, Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013, Equal Opportunity Act 2010, Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, Working with Children Act 2005 and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Employment of Staff

As school councils are defined as public entities under the Public Administration Act 2004 they are required to comply with the requirements of that Act in respect of public sector employees.  Section 8 of the Public Administration Act 2004 requires the establishment of employment processes that ensure that:

  • Employment decisions are based on merit;
  • Public sector employees are treated fairly and reasonably;
  • Equal employment opportunity is provided; and
  • Employees have a reasonable avenue of redress against unfair or unreasonable treatment.

Under Section 62 of the Public Administration Act 2004 the Public Sector Standards Commissioner has determined that the following standards apply to the merit in employment principle:

  • Employment decisions are to be based on the proper assessment of individuals’ work-related qualities, abilities and potential against the genuine requirements of the employment opportunity;
  • Decisions to appoint new employees or promote existing employees are made on the basis of relative ability. Processes are to be transparent and designed to identify a suitable field of qualified candidates;
  • Decisions to appoint new employees or promote existing employees from a limited field of candidates are only to be made where candidates are identified based on objective criteria;
  • Decisions to assign duties or transfer employees (to roles at an equivalent level) are to be based on proper assessment of the employee against the genuine requirements of the duties or role.

In addition to the obligations under the Public Administration Act 2004 the school council (or the principal if the school council has delegated its employment powers to the principal) is required to comply with Regulation 49 of the Education and Training Reform Act Regulations 2017 in relation to the advertisement of vacancies.

As public bodies, school councils must also adhere to the Victorian Government's Public Sector Industrial Relations Policies which outline the Government's policies on a number of important public sector industrial relations matters, such as redeployment, redundancy and related employee entitlements.

Pre-employment requirements 

It is the responsibility of the school council to ensure that only suitable and eligible persons are employed in the school.  Prior to employing a person, the school council (or the principal if the school council has delegated its employment powers to the principal) must be satisfied that the person:

  • has had a Working with Children Check and an Assessment Notice or, for teaching positions, the person is registered or has permission to teach from the Victorian Institute of Teaching under Part 2.6 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 
  • is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident in Australia under any law of the Commonwealth or entitled to permanent residency in Australia under any law of the Commonwealth or is entitled to be resident in Victoria for sufficient periods to enable the person to undertake the duties of the position
  • is a fit and proper person to be an employee, and is suitable  for child-connected work; and
  • has fulfilled such qualification requirements as are in effect at the time
  • has not received a Voluntary Departure Package payment in the three years immediately prior to employment or any lesser period as authorised by the Voluntary Departure Package
  • meets the pre-employment medical requirements; and
  • does not have any employment or re-employment restrictions issued by the Department of Education and Training.  To ascertain this, a pre-employment check should be done on eduPay.  Any enquiries arising from this check should be made to the Department’s Employee Conduct Branch.

To avoid future disputes it is strongly recommended that selected candidates are provided with a written offer of employment.  Sample letters of offer are available on HRWeb (see Forms below).

Conditions of Employment

The conditions of employment for all school council employees are set out in Ministerial Order 1039, including rates of pay for casual relief teachers and education support class employees.

School councils are responsible for ensuring relevant human resources policies are in place for school council employees on matters such as employment, leave, salaries and allowances.

Generally, the human resources policies that apply to the teaching service which are available on HRWeb, the Department's Human Resources website, can be adopted by the school council to apply to their employees if they choose to do so. 

Any human resources policy developed by a school council must be consistent with the public sector employment principles and standards and the Victorian Public Sector Industrial Relations Policies.

In general school council employees will be employed in one of the employment classifications set out in Ministerial Order 1039(i.e. casual relief teacher or education support class). There may be circumstances where it is not appropriate for a school council to employ in one of those employment classifications.

Where a person is employed in a classification other than those provided for in Ministerial Order 1039, the school council must ensure the employee is paid at least the applicable minimum rate applicable under the appropriate Federal award as follows:

  • Where the employee is engaged to perform duties as part of the operations of the school, at least the minimum rate applicable under the Victorian Government Schools Award 2016.
  • Where the employee is engaged to perform duties as part of the operation of an early childhood service operated by the school council (such as a Kindergarten or pre-school program), at least the minimum rate applicable under the Victorian Government Schools – Early Childhood – Award 2016.

Where the school council is a party to an enterprise agreement the school council must ensure it complies with that enterprise agreement. Where the minimum rates under an applicable Federal award exceed those provided in the enterprise agreement, the school council must ensure employees are paid not less than the minimum rate applicable under that Federal award.

Grievances

School council employees have access to procedures to resolve grievances that may arise. These grievance procedures are set out in Ministerial Order 1039.

Payroll

School council employees are paid through eduPay.

For payroll information regarding school council employees, see: School Local Payroll on eduPay

Record keeping

The provisions relating to the creation and retention of employment records for teaching service employees also apply to school council employees.  In particular, records relating to the details of hours worked must be retained in the school. For information on record keeping requirements see Records Management under Related Topics below.

Other Resources

Procedures & Forms

  • Offer of Ongoing Employment - ESC (WORD)
  • Offer of Fixed Term Employment - ESC  (WORD)
  • Pre-employment Health Declaration - School Council Employees (WORD)

Information sheets for casual employees

Information sheets have been developed for schools to provide to casual employees employed by school councils. It is strongly recommended that the relevant information sheet be provided at least once a year to each person employed on a casual basis by the school council:

  • Information Sheet - Casual Relief Teachers  (WORD
  • Information Sheet - Education Support Class Casual Employees  (WORD
  • Information Sheet - Casual Employees other than Education Support Class 
    (WORD

Legislation

Related Topics

Useful links