A welcome from School Council
I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you to a new school year on behalf of the PHSC School Council.
I’d particularly like to take this opportunity to welcome those of you who are new to the PHSC community and give you a brief introduction to School Council and its role.
Last year saw some significant commitments by Council, particularly in the area of buildings and grounds. These included major upgrades to the middle school staff room and a complete refurbishment of Science room R302. There was also a commitment to begin the first stages of the Landscape Masterplan in line with the areas designated by the students and parents as the best places to start.
On the other side of the ledger is the change in the contracting of cleaning services. School cleaning is now centralised, with a few large companies contracted by the Department rather than locally sourced. This change has concerned Council and we continue to work through some issues with the new contractors.
One of the regular roles of Council is to approve camps and excursions ensuring they are relevant and run safely. I'm pleased to note a full and diverse range of camps happened last year and they all ran smoothly and safely.
Council was also pleased to support a couple of initiatives that came from the new Student Council. These included a proposal for the provision of a gender-neutral toilet and a vertical garden initiative to enhance and green an area of the building’s façade.
I'm often asked by members of the school community what it involves to be on School Council. With the start of a new year there are quite a large number of students, parents, and carers new to the school, so I’d like to take this general opportunity to explain.
The function of School Council is to establish the broad direction and vision of the school; monitor the school plan; approve the school budget and monitor expenditure; develop review and update school policies; raise funds; maintain the schools grounds and facilities; enter into contracts (for maintenance and construction for example); regulate after-hours use of school grounds and premises; create interest in the school in the wider community; and, report annually to the school community.
The Act governing School Councils ensures a distinction between what is Council’s role and what is the responsibility of the school principal. The principal is responsible for leading curriculum development and implementation; determining teacher, subject and time allocations; managing all matters of student wellbeing, discipline and academic progress; employing and managing teaching and other staff; and, overseeing management of maintenance and monitoring of contracts.
Supporting Council are a number of subcommittees. These subcommittees have an open membership, though you do need to attend the first meeting of the year to be a voting member of the committee. In reality, consensus is the decision making model of these sub-committees and votes are rare, in fact, I can't recall an instance when a decision has come down to a vote. All decisions become recommendations to Council and require Council endorsement.
The four subcommittees are: Buildings & Grounds; Education; Finance; and, Fundraising, Events & Community Connection.
- Buildings & Grounds looks after the physical environment of the school and develops and oversees maintenance, minor capital works and improvements.
- Education considers all issues that relate to the learning program at the school including policy, research and camps.
- Finance reviews the school’s budget and advises on the school’s discretionary expenditure.
- Fundraising, Events & Community Connection looks to ways for the school to work more actively with parents and carers, past students and the wider community.
I strongly encourage you to consider participating on School Council or one of these subcommittees. If you would like to participate, or have further questions, you can email either myself firstname.lastname@example.org or our Principal, Trevor Smith email@example.com