Purpose of the School Advisory Council
The Board of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Ltd (MACS) has responsibility for the strategic direction and oversight of the operation and management of MACS schools, including St. Leonard’s Clear lines of authority, reporting and delegation from the MACS Board through the MACS Executive Director delegate the day to day operational management of St. Leonard’s to its principal.
In keeping with the objects of the MACS Constitution, which states “The good work of educating the young, undertaken in the light of the Gospel, is a co-responsible task led by every member of the Catholic school community”, the School Advisory Council provides a crucial point of connection between the wider school community and school leaders. While the School Advisory Council does not have governance responsibility or decision-making authority, it supports the principal and school leadership and provides an important connection to the parish. It is not a governing body but its role is to support the overall governance of the system as it “is to give consideration to, and advice on, important school matters in order to support the principal and the strategic interest of the school.” (Working Together in Mission p.11)
Role of the School Advisory Council
Advisory in nature
The School Advisory Council provides a forum for discussion and discernment, where the
parent/guardian voice and perspective are available to inform and support the decisions made by
the principal and parish priest for the good of school and parish where the wellbeing and outcomes
for students is paramount.
It is important that School Advisory Council members understand that their primary role is to
provide support and advice on important school matters to support the principal in the context of
the MACS governance arrangements. School Advisory Councils do not have a legal identity and do
not become involved in the day-to-day management of the school. The School Advisory Council must
act within the parameters of these Terms of Reference.
MACS provides support to the School Advisory Council, such as policy guidance and templates for
the work of the council. While not immediately responsible for the activities of the council, utilising
the principle of subsidiarity, the principle of solidarity acknowledges that MACS Board, as the
governing body of MACS schools, is responsible for common good of Catholic education in MACS
schools the Archdiocese and thus is ultimately responsible for making any decision about the establishment of a council and its arrangements.
The following are some ways the School Advisory Council supports the school and the principal:
- Articulating and enacting the school’s vision and mission
- Promoting the school’s Catholic ethos and culture
- Promoting faith formation and development
- Implementing school policies as required
- Giving advice to the principal on issues such as enrolments, school improvement plans and enrolment trends
- Engaging in discussion with the principal about the annual school budget and other financial matters
- Giving advice to the principal about the school Master Plan
- Capital resource planning and maintenance support to the principal
The School Advisory Council is not the governing body of a school, and as such does not have a decision-making authority due to it not having a legal identity. While a vital forum for parent and community voice, it is not a forum for individual parent advocacy or special interest representation and does not become involved in the day-to-day management of the school. It does not take on the role of a parent and friends’ group, a fundraising forum or fete organising committee.
- Working Together in Mission: Charter Link to governance information
- School Advisory Council Terms of Reference St Leonard’s Terms of Reference
St. Leonard’s School Advisory Council 2022
Fr. John Dowling (Parish Priest)
Mr Rob Horwood (Principal)
Miss Aimee Gale (Deputy Principal)
Rehan Wijeyesakere (Secretary)
Ruwan Perera (Chair Person)