From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.
For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA
School council membership and elections
School councils comprise parents, the principal, staff and often community members. School council elections are held in February or March each year. All parents or guardians of students enrolled at the school are eligible to vote for parent members, and staff vote for staff members. Community members are coopted by the school council.
School council membership
A school council's constituting Order specifies the total size of the council and the number of members in each category. Most members of a school council stand for election at the school where they are parents or Department of Education and Training (DET) employee members. Other members can be coopted by the council within the limits of the constituting Order. A school council must be between 6 and 15 members in total size and can have up to three categories of membership.
A mandated elected parent category – Because parents have such an important part to play in schools, there is an elected parent member category. Parent members must comprise more than one-third of council's total membership. DET employees are eligible to be parent members at their child's school, as long as they do not work at the particular school.
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. As the Executive Officer, the principal of the school is automatically one of these members.
An optional community member category – Its members are coopted by the decision of the council because of their special skills, interests or experience, for example parent club representative, student representatives, an accountant. DET employees are not eligible to be community members.
Mandated school council positions are:
- President – Parent member (non-DET employee), who is chairperson of school council meetings
- Executive officer – the principal
Other positions may include:
- Vice president - Parent member (non-DET employee) or community member.
Convenor of the finance subcommittee – as elected from council members, preferably a non-DET parent member or a community member.
- The following documents provide further details on school council membership:
Minute taker - can be filled by a non-council member. If this is the case, that person is required to be a silent observer and has no voting rights. Alternatively, the position of minute secretary can be filled by a council member.
Model Constituting Order (pdf - 99.13kb) - sets out in table form the various configurations available
Ministerial Order No 52 - School Council Composition and Elections Order (pdf - 215.17kb)
Terms of Office
School council members are elected (or coopted in the case of community members) for approximately a two year term. Half the membership is elected or co-opted each year creating vacancies for the annual school council election.
The term of office and rights and responsibilities of community (i.e. co-opted) members are the same as those of elected councillors.
Changing the size or configuration of school council
School council can change both the size and the configuration of its membership, within the guidelines provided by the Department, by completing the Schedule 9 form, see.
Schedule 9: Change of Size or Configuration form
Forward the completed form to the School Operations and Governance Unit at:
The principal arranges and conducts the election. Each year, the principal will issue a notice and call for nominations in late February or early March. The election process must be completed by the end of March.
Completed nomination forms should be returned to the principal within the timeframe stated on the notice of election. Those who nominate will receive a nomination form receipt following receipt of the completed nomination. Ask at the school for help if you would like to stand for election and are not sure what to do.
If there are more nominations received than there are vacancies on council, a ballot will be conducted two weeks after the call for nominations has closed.
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 appropriate category:
- if you are a parent, the parent category
- if you are a DET employee working at the school, the DET category.
Raising a concern
Any person with a concern about any matter arising out of the conduct of an election may make a complaint, in writing, to the principal. This complaint must be made within 14 days of the date when the poll was declared.
For more information see: