Establishing a School Advisory Council
Consultation during the establishment of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) affirmed that the School Advisory Council is a living expression of the principle of subsidiarity in action, and is informed by the theology and vision articulated in the Statement of Mission and Working Together in Mission charter. In this light, School Advisory Councils play such a crucial role in the governance framework of MACS that, by the end of 2021, every MACS school in the Archdiocese will have a functioning council.
The forums helped to articulate the important role that School Advisory Councils play by providing each school community with a critical space for parents and the wider parish to which the school belongs.
Parish priests and principals hold distinctive roles of leadership in their parish and school communities, and therefore it is essential that they work collaboratively to ensure that the relationship between parish and school is central to providing the religious leadership necessary for the success of the mission (Working Together in Mission, p. 1).
A focus on the crucial role principals and priests (parish priests or canonical administrators) have in establishing and nurturing School Advisory Councils will be explored through engagement in a discernment process.
Principals, parish priests and members of an association of canonical administrators are encouraged to meet and work though, at a local level, the key issues in establishing a School Advisory Council as outlined in this list of conversation topics.
The discernment process will take into account the Terms of Reference for School Advisory Councils, which will replace constitutions of the previous school boards/councils in all MACS schools.
These discussions should consider issues such as bringing to a close the current school board and the transition to a School Advisory Council, as well as the impact this will have.
The following document outlines the process for establishing a School Advisory Council by contextualising the Terms of Reference and lists the next steps to take. It also includes resources to read and share with your community.