School councils can be established in Queensland state schools to enable greater involvement of the school community and other stakeholders, such as industry, in setting the strategic direction for the school.
The school council plays a role in monitoring and informing the school's strategic direction in a way that achieves the best learning outcomes for the school's students.
The functions of a school council under s.81 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (the Act) are to:
- monitor the school's strategic direction
- approve school plans and policies of a strategic nature, or other documents affecting strategic matters including the annual estimate of revenue and expenditure for the school
- monitor the implementation of the plans, policies and other documents mentioned above
- advise the school's principal about strategic matters.
The range of plans and strategies that a school council must consider when carrying out its functions are listed in Schedule 1 of the Model Constitution.
A school council may not, under the Act:
- interfere with management by the school's principal of day-to-day operations of the school and its curriculum (s.81(3)(a))
- make operational decisions about the use of teaching or learning resources at the school (s.81(3)(b))
- make decisions about the individual teaching style used, or to be used, at the school (s.81(3)(b))
- make a decision that is contrary to law or a written policy of the department (s.81(3)(d))
- have control of funds (s.82(a))
- enter into contracts (s.82(b))
- acquire, hold, dispose of or deal with property (s.82(c))
- sue or be sued (s.82(d))
- establish a committee or subcommittee (s.114).
The size of the school will determine representation of parents, staff and students on the school council. School councils will comprise of at least 6, but not more than 15 members. A school council must include at least one elected parent member and one elected staff member. The number of elected parent members and elected staff members must be equal.
A school council may include 2
appointed members and at least one (but not more than two) elected student members. Elected student members can only be students from Years 10, 11 or 12 at the school. A school council may appoint a co-opted student from Year 6 in primary schools, however these students are unable to vote.
School council members who are not parents, teachers or students under 18 years of age, must hold a Blue Card before they can participate in school council activities (see Frequently Asked Questions at Blue Card Services).
The establishment of a school council will not impact on the functions and powers of a P&C. The P&C president will be included on the school council to represent the views of the P&C Association.
School councils have responsibility to approve documents that set the strategic direction of the school, but are not involved in daily operational aspects.
Schools should ensure that appropriate processes are followed to establish and maintain a school council. A range of supporting fact sheets are available:
Forms and templates