The council or board of a public school works with the school community to achieve the best outcomes for students.
It plays an important role in contributing to good school governance so that school resources are used efficiently, and community expectations and the school’s priorities reflect the needs of students.
There are two types of school councils or boards: incorporated and unincorporated. Most schools have an unincorporated council or board.
An unincorporated council or board uses approved terms of reference to define its way of working and to meet the requirements of the legislation. The information pack includes advice on the roles and responsibilities of a school council and board, membership, induction and procedures for conducting elections and meetings.
An incorporated council or board must have a constitution which defines its rules and way of working. The constitution meets legislative requirements and includes advice on the roles of office bearers, meetings and proceedings, management of finances, disputes and mediation, legal responsibilities, induction and requirement to obtain insurance.
The functions of councils and boards are covered by legislation and include both approval and advisory roles. Some of the matters councils and boards may make decisions on include fees and charges, book lists, sponsorship and dress codes. Councils and boards make these decisions with the principal and others who ensure the decisions adhere to legislative and policy requirements.
Principals may also seek the advice of councils or boards to inform themselves before making management decisions. Council and board members have the right to understand the principals’ decisions (except where they involve confidential information and decisions about people or families.)
The council or board does not intervene in the control or management of the school. This is the role of the principal.