St Leonard’s School Advisory Council

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.

Documents relating to the School Advisory Council can be found on the School Policies page of this website under Governance.

School Policies

St. Leonard’s School Advisory Council 2024

Ex-Officio Members:

Fr. John Dowling (Parish Priest)

Mr Rob Horwood (Principal)

Miss Aimee Gale (Deputy Principal)

Parent Representatives:

 Rehan Wijeyesakere (Secretary)        







Leanne Udayaratna






Parish Representatives:

Ruwan Perera (Chair Person)  







Tina Giacco