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Roles on school and governing councils

There are always 3 specific roles in councils at schools and preschools. These roles are sometimes called office bearers. Site leaders (principals/directors) are always represented on the council as well.

Key duties of the chairperson, secretary and treasurer (office bearers)


  • chairs the meeting to make sure it runs smoothly
  • reports to the community at the annual general meeting (AGM)
  • prepares the agenda, working with the site leader and secretary 
  • acts as the spokesperson for the council (only for anything about the council).


  • takes minutes of meetings 
  • prepares and distributes the minutes and agenda 
  • keeps records (with help from the site leader)
  • makes sure people are told about the meeting ahead of time
  • makes sure the common seal is kept in a safe place.



If you are interested in volunteering for one of these roles on your site’s council, you’ll need to take a look at the eligibility requirements for the chairperson and treasurer.

Site leaders (ex officio members)

A site leader can be a principal or director. For sites with a school and a preschool, both leaders will be on the council. Site leaders are:

  • responsible for curriculum and discipline
  • ex officio members – because they are a site leader
  • required to be on the finance advisory committee, or have a nominee.

Site leaders (principals and/or directors)

  • present a report to each council meeting, including details about site plans and any other targets set by the council
  • work with the chairperson and secretary on the agenda
  • advise the council of directions and information from the department
  • act as the spokesperson for the site for non-council business.


Governing Councils, Office for Education and Early Childhood

Phone: 8226 9617
Emaildecd.sitegovernance [at] sa.gov.au