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School Council — Conduct and Conflict of Interest

Code of Conduct

School councils in Victoria are public entities as defined by the Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic).

School councillors must abide by the Code of Conduct for Directors of Victorian Public Entities issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commission.

The Code of Conduct is based on the Victorian Public Sector Values.

In the context of school council’s powers, duties and functions, the Code of Conduct requires councillors to:

  • act with honesty and integrity: 
    • be truthful, open and clear about their motives
    • declare any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest and duty
  • act in good faith in the best interests of the school:
    • work cooperatively with other councillors and the school community
    • be reasonable and make all decisions with the best interests of students foremost in their minds
  • act fairly and impartially:
    • consider all relevant facts of an issue before making a decision
    • seek to have a balanced view
    • never give special treatment to a person or group
    • never act from self-interest
  • use information appropriately:
    • respect confidentiality
    • use information for the purpose for which it was made available
  • use their position appropriately
    • not use their position as a councillor to gain advantage
  • act in a financially responsible manner
    • observe all the above principles when making financial decisions
  • exercise due care, diligence and skill:
    • accept responsibility for decisions
    • do what is best for the school
  • comply with relevant legislation and policies when making decisions
  • demonstrate leadership and stewardship:
    • set a good example, encourage a culture of accountability and child safety
    • manage risks effectively and responsibly, to keep the school strong and sustainable

The Victorian Public Sector Values, set out in the Code of Conduct are:

  • responsiveness
  • integrity
  • impartiality
  • accountability
  • respect
  • leadership
  • human rights

The values underpin the behaviours that the government and community expect of all directors of public entities, including school council members.

All members should act in accordance with these values and use them to guide:

  • information sharing
  • relationship building
  • decision-making
Guidance chapter outlining school councillors' obligations to abide by the Code of Conduct for Directors of Victorian Public Entities

Reviewed 26 May 2020

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