The Education Act 2004 (the Act) requires that a school board be established for each public school. The Act describes the functions of school boards, including the composition of school boards, the proceedings of board meetings, the responsibilities associated with financial and reporting requirements, and the board’s role in principal selection,
The board is responsible for overseeing the school's strategic direction. Operational matters are the responsibility of the principal.
School boards must observe Directorate directions and ACT Government priorities and all legislative obligations.
The School Board Handbooks provide principals, school board members, assistant returning officers, and business managers with information and guidance about school boards and their functions. The School Board Handbooks are available at:
- School Board Handbook - Essentials (241kb)
School Board Handbook - Essentials (431kb)
- School Board Handbook - Operations (300kb)
School Board Handbook - Operations (591Kb)
- School Board Handbook - Selection and appointment of board members (241kb)
School Board Handbook - Selection and appointment of board members (466Kb)
An overview of the key requirements of the Act and the School Board Handbooks is available at:
A list of information sources that may assist school board members is available at:
The Education Directorate is seeking expressions of interest from people to fill the position of Appointed Member on ACT public school boards. The appointed member is usually someone from outside the immediate school community, who is interested in and committed to public education. The following form is used for Appointed member nominations:
Information about the roles and responsibilities of board members and the assistant returning officer is available in the following fact sheets.
- Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities – Board Member (721kb)
Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities – Board Member (853kb)
- Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities – Chairperson (835kb)
Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities – Chairperson (824kb)
- Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities – Principal (720kb)
Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities – Principal (827kb)
- Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities - Representative Member (829kb)
Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities - Representative Member (843kb)
- Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities - Assistant Returning Officer (719kb)
Fact sheet – Roles and Responsibilities - Assistant Returning Officer (823kb)
The operational requirements of the school board are set out in the School Board Handbook. Any queries should be directed to the school principal in the first instance. Governance and Community Liaison Branch is available to assist principals and boards with operational issues. Contact details are provided below.
A calendar of key dates is available at:
The code of conduct requires board members to declare and disclose any real or perceived conflict with the interests of the school or education system. Further information about conflicts of interest is available at:
- Conflict of Interest - Additional Information (716kb)
Conflict of Interest - Additional Information (346kb)
An annual disclosure of interest statement that identifies conflicts of interest that have been declared by board members throughout the financial year must be submitted by all board chairpersons by mid July. A form is available at:
School board members are protected from liability under section 49A of the Act if they perform their functions honestly.
The Directorate is guided in decision- making by a range of legislation which sets out the need for efficient administration, transparency, accountability and recognises the expectations and rights of students, parents and carers, and community members. Legislation includes that relating to privacy, freedom of information, financial accountability, ethical conduct and human rights.
Board members should seek advice from the principal of their school if they have any queries about these matters. The Principal may then seek advice from the relevant area of the Directorate.
For information about training for school board members please contact the Governance and Community Liaison Branch.
The Governance and Community Liaison Branch is frequently asked how often and when does a school board meet? How long is a term of appointment on the school board?
Answers to these questions and more are on our Frequently Asked Questions.
Key processes for school boards are presented in the following process maps:
- Process map – Election and appointment of board members (523kb)
- Process map – Election of chairperson and deputy chairperson (291kb)
- Process map – Resignation of board member (308kb)
Forms to assist Assistant Returning Officers to manage the school board election process can be found on the School Board Elections page.