School operations

School Council – Meetings

Holding remote school council meetings

School councils may use telephone or video conferencing to conduct school council meetings, including the first meeting after the poll to appoint community members and elect office bearers.

For a school council to make a valid decision, the meeting must have a quorum and members must attend either in person or by video or telephone.

Using Webex for off-site school council meetings

Webex is the videoconferencing solution provided by the Department. School councils may use this reliable tool to conduct school council meetings remotely.

Using Webex requires:

  • the principal, as executive officer, or their delegate, to set up school council meetings and send email invites to council members
  • school councillors to download and install the Webex Meetings App on the device of their choice (desktop computer, laptop or mobile device)
  • if a school councillor does not have access to a device, they can dial in to the Webex meeting using a mobile phone or a landline — refer to the section on ‘Joining a Webex meeting’ below

Accessing Webex Meetings

The Webex Meetings app can be installed on computers and mobile devices, allowing easy access to videoconferencing anywhere, anytime. Choose the download option that best suits your needs from the options below to join your scheduled school council meetings.

Option 1: Download Webex Meetings for PC
  1. Download the Webex Meetings app at Link .
  2. Double click the ‘wevexapp.msi’ file you downloaded.
  3. The Webex Meetings set up wizard will launch. Follow the instructions to set up.
  4. Once installed, the app will launch automatically.
  5. To open the app once installed, double click the Webex Meetings icon on your desktop.
Option 2: Download Webex Meetings for iOS
  1. Download the Webex Meetings app at Link .
  2. Open your downloads folder. Double-click the ‘webexapp.dmg’ file.
  3. Drag and drop the Webex Meetings icon into your applications folder.
  4. Open your applications folder and double-click the icon to start using the app.
  5. When you have finished installing the app, drag and drop the app icon into your Dock for easy access.
Option 3: Webex Meetings for mobile devices
  1. Download the Meetings App for your mobile device at Link or from the AppStore or Google Play and follow the instructions to add the app to your device.

Joining a Webex Meeting

You will receive an email with your meeting details, or, if you don’t have an email address, the meeting information can be sent to you via other means, such as a text message. You can join your scheduled Webex Meetings in several ways:

  • Clicking the green ‘Join’ button on the popup reminder from the Meetings app on your desktop or mobile device (Note: the join button will not be available until the host has started the meeting).
  • Entering the 9-digit meeting number and meeting password into the relevant fields when prompted on the Webex Meetings app.
  • If you have been invited by email, joining information is provided at the bottom of the meeting invite. You can join the meeting:
    • via your internet browser using the meeting link contained in the email
    • by accessing and entering the 9-digit meeting number and meeting password into the relevant fields when prompted
    • via phone (audio only) by calling +61 3 9070 6482 and entering the 9-digit meeting number you have been provided with and following the automated joining instructions.

Tips for running online meetings

Online meetings can be difficult to run, especially with people who are not used to participating online. There are a few tips which can help people adapt quickly, feel included and comfortable contributing and feel they have effectively contributed to decision making.

Preparation for the meeting

  • It is important to be clear on the role of the executive officer, the chairperson and other councillors.
  • Be clear on what you have to do to prepare — make sure everyone has the equipment they require, that it is working and that they know how to use it.
  • Formulate an appropriate agenda. Touch base with the participants individually to receive and check agenda items.
  • Where possible, distribute pre-meeting reading at least 5 working days before meetings.

At the meeting

The chairperson needs to be clear on what is to be achieved at the meeting and make sure all voices are heard. Going ‘round the table’, to provide everyone with the opportunity to speak, gives everyone a chance to contribute and can overcome any discomfort with the new format.

Use meeting protocols to facilitate the smooth running of the meeting. They include:

  • Where possible, use a headset.
  • Use mute when you are not speaking.
  • Allow the meeting host to manage the meeting.
  • The host should establish the way in which everyone can participate, some examples are:
    • use visual clues when you want to speak, for example, raise your hand
    • if only using audio, use the chat feature to ask to speak
  • For each agenda item, the host asks participants in sequence to speak and follows up at the end for any further questions.
  • If the quality of the video conference is poor, turn off video and continue with just audio.
  • If the host is recording the meeting, notify all attendees and seek agree prior to commencing the recording.

Follow up

  • Ensure minutes are circulated.
  • Follow up any questions.
  • De-brief with people you feel may not have contributed because they were uncomfortable with the format.


Please contact the School Operations and Governance Unit on 7022 1343 or 7022 1345 if you have any questions about holding school council meetings remotely.

Guidance chapter on the requirements for holding remote school council meetings

Reviewed 21 January 2021

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