School Boards

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 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 Manual is a tool for principals, school board members, assistant returning officers, and business managers providing information about school boards and their functions. The School Board Manual is available at:

An overview of the key requirements of the Act and the School Board Manual is available at:

A list of information sources that may assist school board members is available at:

The school board is a formal mechanism for parents, carers, staff and students to participate in school decision-making. The following document details the functions of the school board and who is eligible to be on a school board.

Information about the roles and responsibilities of board members and the assistant returning officer is available in the following fact sheets.

Expressions of interest for the position of Appointed member on a school board are sought from a wide range of private and public sector organisations for allocation to school boards. The following form is used for Appointed member nominations:

The operational requirements of the school board are set out in the School Board Manual. 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:

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.

Contact details for school board matters in the Education Directorate are:

Governance and Community Liaison Branch
Education Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone (02) 6207 6846

Email: EDUSchoolBoards@act.gov.au

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