LYONS EARLY CHILDHOOD SCHOOL BOARD
The Education Act 2004 (the Act) commenced on 1 January 2005. The Act replaces four previous Acts relating to education in the ACT. The Act provides a strong foundation for contemporary education in the ACT. The Act details that each public school is required to have a School Board as a way of sharing authority and responsibility with the local school community. School boards are based on two principles:
- School communities should have decision-making responsibilities and should be able to determine their own educational policies.
- Decision making at the school level should effectively involve teachers, parents/carers, students and the Department.
Section 39(1) of the Act details the functions of a Board of a public school:
- to establish strategic direction and priorities for the school
- to monitor and review school performance and to report on it to the Chief
Executive, parents of students at the school and staff
- to develop, maintain and review curriculum for the school
- to develop and review education policies at the school
- to establish budgetary policies for the school and approve the school budget
- to establish policies for the efficient and effective use of school assets and the management of financial risk
- to develop relationships between the school and the community and between the school and community organisations
- to make recommendations to the Chief Executive on issues affecting the school and to give effect to the Chief Executive’s directions
- to encourage parent participation in their children’s learning
- to exercise any other function given to the board under the Act or any other Territory law.
There is a balance of responsibility between School Boards and the Department. The Board role is an oversight role rather than an operational role. Operational matters are the responsibility of the Principal
The Department provides guidelines within which each Board determines its own policies. Further, Boards are required to implement ACT and Commonwealth Government policy and comply with legislation
One of the strengths of the ACT education system is that parents, teachers and students participate in school decision-making through the School Board. The Board provides a formal mechanism for parents, staff and students to have their views taken into account when decisions are made.
As our school is a learning and development centre for children (birth to eight) and their families, our School Board will be adapted from the School Board model as set out in the Act. It will include representatives of staff, families and government and community agencies.
School board reports
Lyons ECS Annual Board Report 2010 (696 kb)
LYONS EARLY CHILDHOOD SCHOOL P&C
The role of the P&C association at Lyons Early Childhood School (as in all ACT government schools) is to promote parent participation in our work and to provide strong positive community support for the school by encouraging parents and community members to be involved in various ways.
The P&C can encourage parents to do this by:
- seeking effective home/school communication, determining parent needs about reporting on children’s progress, and encouraging active community participation in the life of our school;
- encouraging parents to participate in decision-making and school policy development by providing forums for parent discussion of problems and issues, ensuring that interested parents stand for election to the School Board and being involved in School Development;
- supporting parent involvement in learning and development at home with information to help parents assist learning and development at home, and by organizing workshops for parents;
- encouraging volunteers in the classroom and for excursions and school community events;
- operating school support services such as a school clothing pool;
- establishing a parent and community presence in the school.
The Principal is an ex officio member of the P&C, that is, she is a member because of holding the position of Principal. At a P&C meeting the Principal is a member like any other member present.
The Principal is included in the quorum and has the right to move motions, second motions, speak for or against motions, and to vote (unless the P&C constitution specifies that the Principal is a nonvoting member). Like any other member the Principal is obliged to take direction from the Chair and should speak through the Chair during discussions. The Principal is not entitled to be on the Executive of the P&C Association nor any of its Subcommittees.
An alternative practice is for the P&C constitution to specify the Principal as a non-voting member to emphasize the advisory role that he/she plays in relation to the P&C. Whichever practice is specified in the constitution a P&C uses, it is appropriate for the Principal to facilitate and encourage active participation and decision-making by the parents of the committee.
Once the P&C has been established at Lyons, we will work together to decide on an appropriate title (i.e. ‘P&C’ or other) and processes that comply with the constitution and also work for our specific school community.
(adapted from P&C Council Information Sheet 2)