Governing councils are a vital link between a school or preschool and its community.
Anne-Marie Packer, chair of The Lady George Kindergarten governing council, explains what’s involved and why it’s great to be on a governing council.
“Schools and preschools are close-knit communities and they work best when parents are actively and positively engaged," she says.
“It’s all about working with and supporting the principal or director to make the school or preschool a safe and inclusive learning environment for kids to explore and develop.
“While it’s important to remember that curriculum delivery, managing all areas of child and student wellbeing and discipline and the management of all Department for Education staff are the responsibility of the principal or director, there is still enormous scope to help shape the culture and environment.
“In essence you have a joint responsibility to provide governance of the site. That includes helping to set strategic direction, determining local polices, having input into deciding which facilities and programs will further support and develop children’s curiosity and learning outcomes. There’s also a vital role to play in reviewing, monitoring and approving annual budgets and finances and reporting annually to the preschool or school’s community.
“From a personal perspective, it’s really rewarding to know that I am contributing to a child’s learning journey and it will have long-term benefits that will outlast my own child’s time at the school or preschool.”
Parent member positions on governing councils are voted on at the school or preschool’s AGM, which is held once a year. Contact your child’s site if you’d like to get involved. If the AGM is still a way off, there are plenty of ways you can get involved in the meantime, just contact your governing council chair or visit our volunteer’s page.
The Governing councils page of the website has all the information on how they work and how to get involved.