Consultative Decision-Making

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

Facilitating family participation in consultation and decision-making as participants in governance and advocacy through parent organisations, school councils, committee and other forums.

Based on research and examples of best practice from schools across Victoria and Australia, the strategies below will assist schools to build on their existing practices and to consider new ways of engaging with families with the aim of improving children and young people’s learning outcomes.

Schools are not required to implement every strategy. Rather Principals, teachers and school staff are encouraged to select strategies appropriate to their school environment and use the case studies and tools to build on and strengthen their family partnerships.

Strategies

1. Consulting with families in the development of the School Strategic Plan

What success looks likeCase study
  • The school strategic plan is available to the school community via the school website or the school office and in community languages where appropriate.
  • Schools gather ideas through discussions with families about future directions for the school.
  • Families are actively engaged in the development and School Council decision-making process of the school strategic plan and are provided with regular update on what progress is being made.

2. Developing school policies in consultation with families

What success looks like

  • Families are informed about proposed changes to key school policies and given an opportunity to respond.
  • Families assist schools in identifying issues and develop policies that address these issues.

3. Ensuring families understand the school and education system

What success looks like

  • Schools publish information on school procedures and processes in appropriate communication medium such as the school website. The information is available in relevant community languages.
  • Schools host parent information and orientation sessions on how the school operates, what its goals are and the role of family engagement in the school with interpreters made available.
  • The school offers forums for family members on how the education system works and how to access information.  These workshops are offered in a variety of locations, with interpreters made available.

4. Encouraging family participation in school governance

What success looks likeTools
  • Schools are able to easily fill the parents and community positions on School Council.
  • Positions on School Council are widely sought after and School Council is believed to be important to the success of the school; School Council elections have a high return rate of votes; sub-committees attract family members who are not already on the School Council.
  • School Councils reflect the diversity of the school community and are a highly respected voice for the school. School Council Annual General Meetings are well publicised, accessible and have interpreters available.