School Associations Who and What Are They?
All Tasmanian public schools legally must have a School Association (SA). The SA is made up of:
- Significant Adults listed on student’s enrolment forms.
- ALL staff at the school.
- Community members who have applied for and been accepted as members of the School Association and are listed on a register including the date on which they became a member.
Each school must have a School Association Committee (SAC) made up of representatives of the school association, the exact number of members and breakdown can be found in you SA’s constitution which is available on the DoE website. https://documentcentre.education.tas.gov.au/Pages/schoolassociations/a-z.aspx
The creation and adoption of the model constitution by all school associations with only minor changes and the register of all constitutions on the DoE website, means it is easier for parents and staff if they change schools and that a current version of the constitution is always publicly available to everyone. It is very helpful to us here at TASSO also, giving us the ability to give more informed advice to individual SA’s than ever before.
There have been 2 major changes to SA membership.
- Community members now need to apply. Their nomination will not be accepted unless:
- Students are no longer members of the school association. However, they can be appointed as student representatives by the principal. They will not receive voting power or count towards quorum. Students have the right to attend meetings as an observer.
- They are nominated by 2 existing members of the School Association.
- The nomination is in writing. It is best practice for the nominee to submit their reasons for wanting to be a member of the Association in writing with the nomination.
- The Committee is satisfied that the person has genuine reasons for wanting to become a Community Member of the School Association.
If all these needs are met the SAC will vote on the application, if it is successful the community member must be added to the register of SA members including the date the nomination is confirmed. This Registration will last 3 years. It is important to remember that this is membership to the SA not the SAC.
Community Members wanting to be on the committee will need to be nominated when nominations are called for or to fill a casual vacancy. The same as other SAC Rep’s they only serve a two year term or the remainder of the casual vacancy they filled. A Community Representative can be nominated to the 2 Committee by either staff, parents or registered community members or any combination of the three groups.
Most School Association’s will hold their Annual General Meeting’s (AGM) soon, if they haven’t already, with the default end of SA year being the 31st of March (you can check this in your SA’s constitution). The AGM needs to be held as close to that date as practicable. The process for AGM is clearly set in the checklist which follows later in this newsletter. When calling for nominations it can be a good idea to ask the candidates for a small bio about themselves, it saves time and makes the process if you need to hold a ballot due to more nominations than positions vacant.