School Councils comprise parents, the Principal, staff and community members. School council elections are held in February or March each year.
Office bearers are elected at the Annual General Meeting each year.
Characteristics of an effective school council
An effective school council is one that:
• focuses on improving student learning outcomes
• leads school community conversations about key issues and challenges in education
• is actively involved in the development of the school strategic plan
• promotes meaningful parent and community participation and actively seeks the views of its school community
• has a clear understanding of its role and responsibilities
• includes members who represent the diverse views of the school community
• has clear and consistent processes for decision-making
• maintains high ethical standards
• has members who have developed mutual trust and respect for one another
• evaluates and communicates with the school community about its activities.
School council members can support the development of strategic partnerships to help the school achieve the goals set out in the strategic plan; for example, by
discussing opportunities to work with organisations outside of the school.
Role of the Principal
The principal has the overall responsibility for the education provided to the students and for the management of the school within Department guidelines and government policies. The principal leads the development of the broad direction, vision and strategic plan of the school. The school council is actively involved in this process. The principal has a leadership role and a clear set of accountabilities in relation to the operation of the school.
As executive officer of school council, the principal is responsible for:
• providing the school council with timely advice about educational and other matters
• reporting annually to the school council on the school’s performance against its strategic plan
• making sure that whatever council decides is acted upon
• providing adequate support and resources for the conduct of council meetings
• communicating with the school council president about council business
• being an ex-officio member of all school council committees. This means that because of his/her official position, the principal may be a member of all committees.
Role of School Council President
The role of the school council president is to:
• chair school council meetings
• ensure that at meetings everyone has a say and decisions are properly understood and well recorded
• be a signatory to accounts, contracts and the school strategic plan
• ensure council stays focused on improving student learning outcomes
• encourage participation in the work of the council and its sub-committees
• ensure that new council members receive appropriate induction
• act with the principal as the council’s spokesperson and official representative on public occasions.
The school council president may also participate as an ex-officio member of all sub-committees established by school council. This means that because of his/her official position, the school council president is a member of all committees.
A Department employee may not be a school council president. This includes staff members of the school and any parent representatives who work for the Department.
In science class we are studying Light and Sound. To help enhance our understanding of this subject, we do lessons of theory and practicals. One of the practicals I have completed is the dissection of a cow’s eye to learn about all the parts of the eye and where they are located. For this, I worked in a group of three and we all had to work together to perform the dissection correctly and in order. While it was strange to touch and dissect the eye, I’m glad I took park in this practical. Participating in the eye dissection has benefited my life in science because it has helped me to better understand how the eye works, will help me in my future studies and was a really interesting experience.