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What governing councils do

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Governing councils are bodies that govern a school or preschool.

 Governing councils work with the site leader (principal or director) to help set and monitor the direction of a site.

A governing council meets regularly to talk about the direction for the site. The timing of meetings can be different for each site, but it’s no less than twice a term.

Meetings are a big part of being on a governing council, but it’s not only that. In your role on the council, you might:

Shared responsibility

You do not work alone when you are on a governing council. You and the site leader have shared responsibilities, but your day-to-day involvement is different.

Some differences between governance and day-to-day management

In your role on a governing council, you work with the site leader to:

  • involve the local community
  • develop and approve local policies
  • set the broad direction and vision of the site
  • monitor and review the site improvement plan 
  • be the employing authority of some services, including OSHC and canteen.

Site leaders work with governing councils to:

  • give educational leadership
  • carry out the site’s policies
  • carry out the site improvement plan.


To quickly see who does what, you can look at the comparison of responsibilities.

Site Governance, Partnerships, Schools and Preschools

Phone: 8226 9617
EmailEducation.sitegovernance [at] sa.gov.au