School councils in government schools

Expected to be tabled in July 2018

Overview

Objective To determine whether school councils in Victoria’s government schools are meeting their objectives under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (ETR Act).

Issues In Victoria, government schools are responsible for their own operation and performance. Under the ETR Act, the objectives of school councils include assisting in the efficient governance of the school, considering the best interests of students when making decisions, enhancing the educational opportunities for students, and ensuring the school complies with policy and legislative requirements.

School councils rely heavily on volunteers. The membership of school councils typically includes registered parents, community members and staff from the Department of Education and Training (DET). School council members’ educational and professional backgrounds vary, and previous survey results indicate that council members do not always understand their responsibilities.

Following recent governance failures within school councils—including financial and operational mismanagement, and noncompliance with obligations—DET has introduced reforms for the way school councils operate.

This audit will assess whether school councils are meeting their legislative responsibilities.

Proposed agencies DET, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) and a selection of government schools.

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