Working together

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15 December 2021

As a child’s ‘first and most important educators’ (John Paul II), parents are essential partners in ensuring our students receive a high-quality Catholic education. By supervising homework, answering questions and guiding the application of new skills, in prayer and with wisdom, through witness and by the example of lifelong learning, parents ensure Catholic schools can give every student the best education possible.

Alongside this important work, parents make contributions to the life of a parish and school community through volunteering, attending school events and working with teachers.

Across the Archdiocese, parents are also putting up their hands to join the new School Advisory Councils that are being created for Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) schools.

School Advisory Councils are advisory bodies that will begin their work in all MACS schools in 2022 as part of the MACS governance framework. Tailored to each unique school community, they will provide a forum for consultation and participation for parish and school communities, ensuring that schools are accountable for the decisions they make.

As Archbishop Peter A Comensoli said, these School Advisory Councils ‘are avenues for parents to contribute to their children’s school and build up one another’.

The important responsibilities that School Advisory Councils will assume include:

  • providing advice to the school principal
  • having representation on principal appointment panels
  • providing advice around school improvement plans, master plans and school budgets
  • working towards the strategy, vision and education aims of the school.

By serving on a School Advisory Council, members of the parish and school communities will be making an important contribution to their school’s strategic, educational, financial and spiritual development.

Given these important responsibilities, MACS has produced a range of supporting materials to help parents thinking of nominating for a School Advisory Council to understand the role and what will be expected.

These documents include the Working Together in Mission charter – developed in partnership with stakeholders – and the School Advisory Council Manual. They are an invaluable guide to making a contribution through participation in a School Advisory Council.

These documents, along with more information on School Advisory Councils, including a video from Archbishop Peter, are available on the website

If you are interested in joining a School Advisory Council, please contact your child’s school.

This article was originally published in the Term 4, 2021 edition of Catholic Education Today.