A school council is a vehicle to support meaningful parental involvement in decisions that affect the school and its operations. School council provides the venue for parents to reflect the wishes of the broader community for the education of its students and to actively participate in giving advice and support to the principal in the operations of the school.
The actual decision-making authority of the school council is limited to:
- setting policies to govern school council activities at the school level, as described in the School Act,
- planning support activities that align with school council‘s purpose and
- choosing which advice to provide the principal and board on areas that specifically fall to them.
A school council should review its mission, vision and goals annually to ensure it reflects the views of the current membership.
Other school council functions may include:
- consulting with the principal so he or she can ensure students have opportunities to meet Ministry standards, fiscal management is sound and the community‘s expectations are taken into consideration during school-based planning.
- being involved in school-based planning
- sharing ideas and information with other school councils and provincial organizations
- communicating information to the school community and other school councils
- setting policies that relate to school council functions, such as:
- location of school council meetings
- mailing address for school council correspondence
- school council orientation and development policy
- financial policy
- fundraising policy
- communications policy
- minutes of school council meetings
- pertinent information unique to the school council.
What School Councils are Not
It is important to be mindful that, as with all partners in education, there are limits to the work that can be done by a school council. Roles that are not to be taken on by a school council include:
- school governance
- employment issues
- school management
- listening to complaints
It is not the primary role of school councils to: