Policy last updated
11 July 2023
There is currently a Parliament of Victoria Inquiry into the State Education System in Victoria.
The Legal and Social Issues Committee of the Legislative Council will investigate the Victorian education system across government schools. The inquiry will look at trends in student learning outcomes, disparities associated with geography and socio-economic disadvantage; the state of the teaching profession, including the administrative burden on teachers; and student wellbeing, including measures to address poor mental health, school refusal and student disengagement. The committee will consider best practice models and educational settings used to improve student learning outcomes and wellbeing.
The Department of Education is currently preparing a submission (on behalf of the government school system).
The purpose of this policy is to provide information and support for staff participating in parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions.
- School staff must comply with Victorian Government protocols for participating in parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions.
- Staff preparing a submission must follow the Victorian Government .
- Staff required to appear before or produce documents to parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions must follow the Victorian Government .
- Staff participating in parliamentary inquiries or royal commissions should contact Executive and Ministerial Services in Integrity, Assurance and Executive Services Division for advice and support at .
Parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions seek input from government departments and agencies and the wider community to inform investigations of particular issues. They may also seek input from private individuals, subject matter experts and non-government organisations.
School staff may be asked to participate in a parliamentary inquiry or royal commission if an investigation relates to school-based education and learning, or the health and wellbeing of students. This may be in the capacity of an expert, or in relation to specific incidents or experiences.
Parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions may invite written submissions, require information to be provided, compel school staff to appear and take evidence from witnesses under oath. They can conduct their activities in public hearings and private deliberations. They may also ask for staff and student participation in roundtables and forums, and hold community consultations and school site visits.
If school staff are approached by a committee or commission about participation in an inquiry, they should contact the Director, Executive and Ministerial Services Branch, Integrity, Assurance and Executive Services Division for advice and support via
Participating in inquiries and commissions
School staff must comply with Victorian Government protocols for participating in parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions.
If participating in an inquiry or commission, school staff must:
- provide full and accurate information about factual and technical background to policies and their implementation
- refrain from providing personal opinion, defending or making judgments about government policies
- seek the appropriate approvals for written submissions, which may include ministerial and Cabinet level approval
Protocols are set out in:
Witnesses at parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions have certain protections. For example, their evidence cannot be used against them in legal proceedings and a witness generally cannot be sued (e.g. for defamation or breach of confidence). Evidence rejected for not addressing the terms of reference or for being frivolous or offensive is not covered by these protections.
Support from Integrity, Assurance and Executive Services Division
Integrity, Assurance and Executive Services Division provides guidance and support to school staff participating in parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions. This includes:
- procedural advice about making submissions, appearances, and responding to requests for information and other assistance, such as site visit requests
- co-ordination of briefings
- co-ordination of responses to reports and recommendations
- support for Department officials appearing at hearings, roundtables and consultations, or hosting site visits
- co-ordination and liaison with key program areas and stakeholders, including the Legal Division, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, committee and commission secretariats
For information and advice about participating in parliamentary inquiries or royal commissions, contact Director, Executive and Ministerial Services Branch, Integrity, Assurance and Executive Services Division via
Current parliamentary inquiries and royal commissions
There is no further guidance for this topic. For more information, refer to Resources tab.
Guidance on participating in inquiries
Current royal commissions and parliamentary inquiries
For specific information and support relating to the current Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, refer to:
Reviewed 11 March 2020