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Setting up or winding down a committee of council

In your role on a governing council you might find that the local school or preschool (site) needs a separate or smaller group of people to work together.

There are a couple of ways to formalise this sort of group. One way is with a committee of council, sometimes called a subcommittee.

Setting up

Why set up a committee of council

Often the reasons for setting up a committee of council are similar to the reasons for an affiliated committee, and that’s all about getting the local community involved. However, some committees are required.

Other types of committees can help you manage a specific service, project or event. These committees can help with the governing council’s workload and allow you to stay focused on governance.

How to set up and what’s required

Every committee of council must have at least 3 people, and at least 1 must be a member of the council.

Before a committee can start meeting and working together, your council will need to set out the terms of reference.  You can use the suggested terms of reference template as a starting point.

For smaller tasks you might only need 4 or 5 people to help out. Larger or longer term projects will need more people. The number of people and mix of skills can change flexibly over time to match a project’s need.

Winding down

Sometimes the reason for a committee to continue is no longer there. Some reasons might be:

  • a service, like an OSHC, needs to close because the community’s needs have changed
  • a project is completed
  • the terms of reference included a closing date
  • the committee or governing council decide there’s no longer any need or that things aren’t working out.

A committee of council needs to be wound down so that it’s officially closed.

How to wind down and close

  • It must be noted in the council’s and committee’s minutes that the committee has closed.
  • All documents about the committee’s work need to be returned to the governing council’s secretary.
  • It’s also a good idea to:
    • put something in the site’s newsletter
    • have the governing council’s chairperson write and thank members of the committee.


Governing Councils, Office for Education and Early Childhood

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