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Governing council interview panels for principals and directors

In your role on a governing council you might be asked to be part of an interview panel. The department calls this a ‘merit selection panel’.

The merit selection panel

If a school or preschool (site) is appointing a principal or preschool director through a merit selection panel, there should be a representative from the council.

Someone from the department will contact the governing council and ask that you nominate someone to be on the panel.

The role is voluntary, and it can be done by anyone that has been nominated by council. It may be a council member, for example for chairperson, but does not need to be a member. The only requirement is that council agree to nominate the person.

Who you represent

Once the panel has been set up, the person nominated by the council is responsible to the merit selection panel's chairperson.

In your role on a merit selection panel you are not representing the views of the council or any other group. You’re there as a member of the public, looking for the best person for the job.

Who chairs the panel

It’s often an education director, but it can be different depending on who is available and other needs.


Selection training for governing council representatives is provided by the South Australian Association of School Parents Committees. Contact them to arrange for this training.  

Council members can talk to their current principals for more information on this.

Site Governance, Partnerships, Schools and Preschools

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