Training and Support for School Councillors

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

This page includes training information and resources for school councillors to do their jobs and build their skills.

Roles and responsibilities

Training

You can improve your knowledge, understanding and skills through the Improving school governance training package. It is designed for council members, presidents and principals.

The package consists of five modules:

Face to face training

You can also attend face to face training. The training uses the Improving school governance package and is at no cost to schools. Contact the training providers below to register your interest:

Governance and president modules

Synergistiq can be contacted on:

Strategic planning and finance modules

National Curriculum Services can be contacted on:

Online training

The training modules are also accessible as online training. You can complete the modules at your own pace, in any order and you're able to return to each module as many times as necessary. To access the online training, see: Improving school governance

Support materials

This guide provides an overview of school council roles and processes:

This guide includes the desired skills and expertise required for good school governance:

This tool includes how to evaluate effectiveness as a collective school council and identify areas for improvement:

This document provides information and guidance on the benefits of community co-option and having community members from the wider local community as part of school council, see:

Finance responsibilities

For background information on managing school finances, see:

Strategic planning responsibilities

The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes outlines the process for developing a strategic plan.

For background information on performance, see: Understanding school performance

Policy responsibilities

Legislation requires schools to have certain policies in place:

Investments

The school council’s role, if investing, is to consider and manage any financial risks and to ensure that all legal requirements are met. For more information see: Finance policy

Parent payments

School councils develop and approve a school-level policy on parent payments to be provided to the parents. There are three categories of education or services that school councils can request payments for from parents: essential education items, optional extras and voluntary financial contributions.

Principals and school councils have the responsibility of making sure that no student is disadvantaged if parents are unable to make payments.

For more information see: Parent payments policy

Student engagement

All government schools are required to develop a Student Engagement Policy that explains the expectations and aspirations of the school community on student engagement. This includes strategies to address bullying, school attendance and behaviour. For more information see: Student engagement and inclusion guidance

Visitors to schools

Councils are required to develop a policy so the school can effectively manage visitors to ensure safety and security at the school. For more information see: Visitors in school policy

Volunteer checks

Councils are responsible for developing a policy on which volunteers need to undergo a criminal record check. For more information see:

Other policies

Typically, school councils also develop policies about a small number of other topics common to most schools such as dress code, camps, excursions and outdoor activities, sponsorship, community use of school facilities, canteen and other school food services.

School restructures

School councils play a major role in school mergers. Councils must formally recommend to the Minister for Education that the school will close and merge with another school or group of schools. Councils must also agree on a name or interim name of the merged school in consultation with the other merging schools and agree to the date for the merged school to commence.

For templates to be used for school councils of merged schools and the merger of school councils, see:

For more information on the establishment of new school councils, see:

Legislative requirements

A school council operates under a legislative framework within the Victorian government school system:

  • All school councils operate under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • Each school council is established by an Order of the Minister for Education
  • School councils are regulated by the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017.

For more information, see: Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents for a copy of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017.