This page includes policy information for schools and council members.
If you're a parent, read our easy-to-follow guide on
how to get involved at your school.
School councils play a key role in Victorian government schools. Participating as a school council member is a rewarding and challenging experience. The school council supports the principal to provide the best possible educational outcomes for students.
These web pages support existing and prospective school councillors in their roles and school council processes.
Improving school governance - reference documents for all school councillors and a key training package for councils
Improving school governance, a training package for school councils, has been developed to improve the knowledge, understanding and skills of school council members, school council presidents and school principals.
The package consists of five modules:
Governance, president, strategic planning and finance modules
School councillors are strongly encouraged to attend face-to-face training offered statewide.
The training uses the Improving School Governance (ISG) package, and covers four of the ISG modules:
- strategic planning
- school council president.
Face to face school council training is offered locally and is at no cost to schools.
Schools or school councillors should contact the training provider, Synergistiq, to book or register interest in training in any of the four modules offered.
Synergistiq can be contacted on:
Student members of school council
Student school council members are encouraged to attend face-to-face training offered by the Department, in consultation with the principal. Where training takes place outside school hours at the school at which the student attends, training is to be treated as an incursion.
Where training takes place outside of school grounds, this is to be treated as an excursion. Where the training is outside of school hours or off site, principals are required to obtain informed consent from parents or carers, for their child to participate in face-to-face school council training and to ensure adequate supervision arrangements have been made.
The principal in consultation with the parent/carer is required to have clear arrangements about how a student councillor is travelling to and from training. Where a student member is participating in the training the principal is responsible for providing evidence of parent/guardian permission to the training providers. This must be done by providing the trainers with a copy of an excursion permission form signed by the parent/guardian.
School councillors who wish to access the complete Improving School Governance (ISG) materials online including activities, may do so in PDF and Word formats, via the links above.
School governance support materials
School council induction video
This video provides a summary of the purpose and responsibilities of school councils, as well as the roles and duties of school councillors.
Principals and school council presidents may use the video as general information for school councils, for recruiting prospective councillors, or for the induction new school councillors.
School council governance quick reference guide
The following document provides an overview of school council roles and processes.
School council skills and expertise guide
This guide outlines the desired skills and expertise required for effective school governance. It is designed to be used by school councils to identify the skills and expertise that can support school council operations and effective governance, see:
School council self assessment tool
This tool provides support to school councils in evaluating their effectiveness as a collective school council and identifying areas for improvement, see:
Benefits of co-opting community members to school councils
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:
For further information about school council roles and processes, school council members can email the School Operations and Governance Unit at:
Managing school council conduct
School councillors must abide by the Code of Conduct issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner.
The Code of Conduct is based on the Victorian Public Sector Values and requires councillors to act with honesty and integrity, using their position appropriately and in the best interests of the school. The following document provides information and advice on the Department's values, code of conduct, managing conflict and the conduct of council meetings.
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.
• Ministerial Order No 53 (pdf - 9.87mb)