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Your time and commitment on governing councils

Working on any council will involve some sort of commitment of your time. How much time depends on a few things, including if you choose to:

Most councils meet twice a term. You will be expected to attend all of these meetings and do pre-reading before the day (your ‘homework’).

The amount of time needed can also vary because of what’s needed locally. You might get invited to special events, be asked to provide feedback, or represent the school at community events, like at the annual general meeting.

How long you’ll need to be on the council

The time you volunteer on the council is sometimes called a ‘term in office’. There are standard terms, but it is different depending on what type of member you are.

Standard terms of office for governing/school councils
Who Time on council How selected
Site leader (principal/director) No time limit while they are the site leader Status as an ex-officio member (site leader)
Parents Up to 2 years Elected by school parent community
Community members Up to 2 years Appointed by council
Affiliated committee members Up to 2 years Appointed by affiliated committee
Staff Up to 1 year Nominated by the staff of the site
Students Up to 1 year Nominated

If your personal circumstances change you can always withdraw from an election or stop being on the council.

There are different rules for terms of office when setting up a new council. More details about this can be seen in the standard council constitution templates.

After your two years is up, you can be re-elected, re-nominated or re-appointed – as long as you’re eligible to run again.

When your term has run out, you stay a member until your position on the council is declared vacant through the annual general meeting.


You will not be paid for your time. The work you do on a council is as a volunteer. Some out-of-pocket expenses might be covered by the site, but this will depend on the site’s policy.

Site Governance, Partnerships, Schools and Preschools

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