School councils play a vital role in Victorian government schools and are established and operate under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic), the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic) and a constituting Order.
Understanding their legislated powers and functions, as well as the functional split between the school council and the principal is critical for the effective functioning of the school council.
The powers and functions specific to each school council are set out in their constituting Order.
School councils are also required to comply with state and federal laws, relevant Ministerial Orders and certain department policies when exercising their powers and functions.
A well-informed and effective school council strengthens community confidence in the school and helps to build and secure the school’s reputation.
Understanding the distinction in roles and responsibilities between school council and the principal supports the effective and efficient operations of the council and the school. School council powers and functions are set out in this policy. Responsibility for all other aspects of running a school rests with the principal, with support from the department and other members of school staff.
A school council’s constituting Order constitutes the school council as a body corporate and specifies the council’s powers, functions and objectives.
Ministerial Order 1280 Constitution of Government School Councils 2020 (DOCX) updates the constituting Order for all school councils with effect from 1 January 2021.
School council functions, powers and objectives
School council functions, powers and objectives are set out in various instruments, including the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017, Ministerial Orders and the school council’s own constituting Order.
Further information on school council powers and functions is available in the Guidance and Resources tabs, including links to other department policies relating to specific school council functions and powers, such as the Child Safe Standards, occupational health and safety and finance.
School council nomination and process for 2024
In term 1 2024, the Principal will call for nominations for membership and office bearers for the coming school year. More information will be shared with the school community in term 1.