Avoiding or preventing conflict or conduct issues on school council
The functions and objectives require the individuals on a school council to negotiate and agree on actions.
Therefore, it is not unusual for conflicts to arise.
In an environment where mutual trust and respect prevail, it can be a positive force. It can encourage people to:
- find creative solutions
- clarify an issue
- increase the involvement of members
- encourage growth
- strengthen relationships
However, conflict can also:
- divert energy from the group
- affect morale
- create disharmony
Conflict can often be avoided, and solutions more readily achieved, when positive working relationships exist.
It is important that school council members:
- take the time to get to know each other’s values, beliefs and interests
- develop trust and helpful working relationships
The use of good communication skills will help clarify the council’s discussions and prevent misunderstanding.
Conflict is usually effectively managed if:
- councillors have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities
- the council has a clear set of Standing Orders
- clear expectations for behaviour are established — refer to the as issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner
- meetings are chaired in a firm, positive, constructive manner
- a clear, well set out agenda is established
- discussions at meetings are focused on school council matters
- each councillor’s concerns are considered legitimate
- the council has a regular process of self-reflection
- agreements and new understandings are acknowledged
Reviewed 26 May 2020