School Boards

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The key role of all school boards is to actively support Catholic education through participation and collaboration at the school level.

The majority of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, whether primary or secondary, have established school boards (or an equivalent body).

In parish primary schools, the board is called a parish education board.

Although the specific functions of boards vary from one school type to another, the key role of all school boards is to actively support Catholic education through participation and collaboration at the school level.

Boards bring together priests, members of religious congregations, principals and parents in a spirit of collaboration to support the school’s Catholic ethos and assist in realising the school’s vision and educational aims.

Board participation is critical for the welfare of a school and achievement of its aims.

Primary school boards

The establishment of school boards coincided with the changes brought about by Vatican II for the laity to take a more active role in the Church and the expansion of the Catholic education sector in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The Archbishop of Melbourne supports the establishment of boards for parish primary schools which encourages partnership and participation of school, parents, parish and the wider community in the life of the school and parish.

While the provision of a school environment that supports the Catholic ethos is largely the responsibility of the parish priest, principal and school staff, boards play a significant role in supporting the spiritual and educational welfare of students.

Parish school education boards provide advice in areas of school development and policy with other functions determined according to the local school context. Becoming a member of a parish school education board is an excellent way for a parent to become involved in the life of the parish or the school and to contribute to realising the educational aims of the parish and school.

Parents wishing to find out more about the parish school education board or find out how they can become a member should contact their local parish priest, school principal or one of the other members of the board.

Secondary college boards

A secondary college board is the peak organisation in which a parent or a friend of the college may seek to be involved. It is responsible for ensuring that the college is faithful to its charter as a Catholic school, developing policies to enable the college to function and overseeing the financial arrangements that underpin the college. In undertaking these responsibilities the board is advisory. For further information contact your secondary college.

College boards are established under various governance models and vary in responsibility and function from advisory to decision making.  

The board’s responsibilities are set down in its constitution.  Boards:

  • are intimately involved in the development and implementation of the mission statement of the college
  • demonstrate a strong commitment to supporting the Catholic ethos of the college
  • support the congregational leaders, canonical administrators, principal and staff in their work of developing the spiritual and intellectual life of their students.

Other Participation

Participation may take a variety of forms including volunteering, supporting, attendance at meetings, parent–teacher interviews and forums, responding to surveys, or discussions, as audience, as experts, and may be undertaken individually or as groups.

Other ways of participating are joining the school's Parents & Friends Association or Parent Auxiliary or the Catholic Schools Parents Victoria.

These groups offer an opportunity for parents to gather and become involved in the life of the school. These groups take many forms and provide support for the school in areas such as:

  • social functions for the school community
  • maintenance of grounds, buildings and equipment
  • fundraising for particular needs in the school
  • voluntary support for educational programs.

Parent groups can also assist in fostering the intellectual, cultural, social and spiritual interests of their members and provide opportunities for the development of community spirit among the staff and parents.