College councils play a key role in Victorian government schools. Participating as a college council member is a rewarding and challenging experience. The college council supports the principal to provide the best possible educational outcomes for students.
All college councils in Victoria operate under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. Each school council is established by an Order of the Minister for Education, which specifies the council’s membership, size and configuration, its objectives, powers, functions and accountabilities and the role of its executive officer who is the principal. The college council has particular functions in setting and monitoring the school’s direction.
College councils have three main responsibilities:
• Finance – overseeing the development of the school’s annual budget and ensuring proper records are kept of the school’s financial operation.
• Strategic Planning – participating in the development and monitoring of the school strategic plan.
• Policy Development and Review – developing, reviewing and updating policies that reflect a school’s values and support the school’s broad direction outlined in its strategic plan.
Other key functions of college councils include:
• raising funds for school-related purposes
• maintaining school grounds and facilities
• entering into contracts
• reporting annually to the school community and the Department
• representing and taking the views of the community into account
• regulating and facilitating after-hours use of school premises and grounds
• operating a children’s service at the school.
Parent members of council play an integral role in the operation of council. As members of the college community; parents represent the interests of students and the wider community on Council.
Parents and Community representatives are elected for two year terms on Council and may recontest elections at the end of their tenures. Community representatives are often invited to join College Councils to add expertise to Council in areas such as finance or education.
Others who sit on Councils may include DET elected staff representatives, The Principal, who is Executive Officer, and other members of college staff such as Business Manager and Assistant Principal who attend and add expertise but do not vote on Council matters.