School services.

Improving School Governance (ISG) training

  • was developed and is regularly updated by DE to ensure it captures all relevant aspects of school council roles, responsibilities, and functions. 
  • is free – there is no cost to schools or participants. 
  • is delivered virtually at various times throughout the day, including evening, or can be delivered face to face at your school if required. 
  • is delivered by an experienced facilitator, knowledgeable in school operations and governance and with extensive school and education sector experience. 
  • is open to all members of a government school council but can also be delivered to a single school, a group of schools, a network, or particular region. 
ISG training modules have been developed to improve the knowledge, understanding and skills of:
  • School council members
  • School council presidents
  • School principals

Training will commence in term 1 and is available through to the end of term 4 via face to face or virtual (live) sessions. 

Strong school councils – Strong school communities

School councils play an important role in the governance of our state schools. DE provides no cost ISG training to all Victorian state school council members to help them in their role.  

As DE’s ISG training partner, Synergistiq delivers face to face and virtual (live) sessions designed to support the knowledge, understanding and skills of school council members and provide guidance on improving governance. 

There are five training modules as well as specialised student member sessions.

Recommended first module of the year. Governance training provides the foundation for a strong, cohesive school council team. Governance training covers:

  • the key principles underpinning effective governance
  • the different roles & responsibilities of school council and,
  • how school council operates.

Encouraged for all school councils to collectively strengthen the knowledge and understanding of financial responsibilities. The module is especially recommended for treasurers, presidents, principals and finance sub-committee members. This training covers:

  • the role of the finance subcommittee, school council and the school leadership team
  • budgeting, internal controls, and school generated funds, and
  • how to interpret key financial reports.
Recommended for all school councils either prior to, or during a review year, or for members or councils that have not yet undertaken this module. Strategic Planning training covers:
  • the strategic planning process, including School Review, and school council’s roles and responsibilities in this process
  • the annual planning reports – Annual Implementation Plan and Annual Report to the school community; and
  • the type of data available to assist in monitoring the School Strategic Plan and the Annual Implementation Plan.
Essential for presidents, principals and vice-principals and is recommended for any other members or executive support staff who support the president role. The training also functions as a team building, co-learning and role-setting exercise for principals and new presidents. This training covers:
  • the roles and responsibilities of the school council president
  • what makes a school council effective, including the critical partnering between school council president and principal
  • how to lead school council meetings, including managing conflict, and
  • how to engage the school community in the school and its objectives.

Provides dedicated student only sessions for active student voice. Student members may wish to undertake student only sessions however they are invited and encouraged to attend general sessions with their school council.

The benefits of completing ISG training include:

  • strengthening of performance by developing skills, knowledge and contributions through professional development. 
  • team building and cohesion. 
  • an opportunity to review the skills and expertise of members whilst building knowledge and capacity across the group. 
  • Good Governance – enabling the school council to perform efficiently and effectively and respond strategically to changing demands and educational challenges. 
  • strengthened community confidence in the school council. 
At the conclusion of each training module, attendees will receive a certificate of completion.

School council – Training and Good Governance, Department of Education page

To find out more about ISG please visit DE’s Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) School Council Training and Good Governance page which contains useful information and induction videos as well as links to the ISG modules. Information about the School Council Self Assessment Tool (SCSAT) can also be found on the page. The SCSAT provides support to council members in evaluating their effectiveness as a collective and identifying areas for improvement. It is designed to be used by the council as a group to discuss and review self-assessment statements. Principals can access an online version on the School Council Portal (principal or business manager login required).   

For more information, you may visit the following links:

More about Synergistiq