Governing Council Role


You are invited to share the education of your child - it is through this involvement that you will gain a valuable insight into the demands that school life makes upon your child.

Parents can be involved in many different ways such as: Governing Council, Canteen, Resource Centre, grounds/working bees, camps, excursions, special days, coaching sports teams, helping in the class - listening to reading, cooking, electives etc. 

Volunteers are welcome and valued at Ardtornish. We have policies and procedures in place for the selection, training and management of them. These policies and procedures provide for the safety of our students and our volunteers. Parents who are involved in the school need to comply with our Volunteer Policy and undergo a Criminal History Screening.

See our Volunteer Policy and Volunteer Information booklets. 

Ardtornish Primary School: Who Makes the Decisions? 

Our decision making groups

At Ardtornish, parents play a key role in the way our school is run. The Principal is responsible for leading the staff and managing the school day to day. The Governing Council makes key decisions affecting the school as a whole. We also have a Student Representative Council, FACE (Fundraising and Community Events) group and Education Committee – important groups in their own right. 

What does Governing Council do?

Governing Council discusses significant issues, makes decisions and develops policies for our school within the frameworks set by the Department of Education. Members each have specific roles, but all work together in the best interests of the Ardtornish school community. Council meets regularly (about twice a term). 

Who is on Governing Council?

The Governing Council has 12 members: 9 Parent reps, 2 Staf Reps, and the Principal

· Chairperson - parent

· Secretary - parent

· School Principal

· Junior Primary (R-year2) staff representative

· Primary (years 3-7) staff representative, 

· Seven Parent Representatives who each take responsibility for chairing a Governing Council Portfolio

What is a Portfolio?

A portfolio refers to a different aspect of school life – sports, education, canteen, etc. Each member of Governing Council chairs a portfolio and reports to Governing Council about their activity. Any Council member may raise issues or make suggestions across any portfolio area.

As the name suggests the Portfolio Chair organises meetings and co-ordinates the portfolio. They encourage parents/caregivers to join their portfolio and to develop a goals for the year. Portfolios meet regularly (about twice a term at conveniently agreed times and places).

Why join a portfolio?

For those who are new to the school or may have limited time, being a portfolio member is a great alternative to joining the Governing Council as a parent representative. As a portfolio member you can give your time and energy more flexibly, focussed on an area of particular interest without a two year commitment. Its a great way to start. Everyone is welcome and no prior experience is necessary! Portfolio meetings aim to be very friendly, relaxed and enjoyable. You may like to just attend a meeting or two, to see if it’s for you. 

Why be involved?

There are lots of good reasons to be involved in school decision making:

· Have fun! Everyone wants to enjoy their involvement.

· Be “in the know” and have an input into decisions

· Meet new people and develop friendships

· Discover hidden talents

· Add another line or two to a personal resumè

· Make the school a better place for your child and others

· When all else fails, remember YOU are the “someone else” others think will do it! 

It’s your School – Have your Say! 

So what are the portfolios?


The Sports Portfolio plans and coordinates the sports activities offered out of school hours. This includes being involved in working with the teams, coaches and training. The Portfolio also administers any funds allocated by the Governing Council to Sport.


The Canteen Portfolio is responsible for monitoring operations of the canteen and implementing and reviewing the Canteen Policy. It maintains connections with the school community, while supporting the Canteen Administrator. 


The Finance Portfolio sets the budget for the school and reviews it regularly. As Ardtornish is involved in local school management, this Portfolio has an important role in overseeing school finances, and works closely with the school’s Finance Officer.


This Portfolio oversees the development and improvement of school buildings and grounds. Each year it organises a number of working bees to achieve a better environment for the students. Under local school management, it also has a role in recommending spending priorities for school improvements and planning how school assets are managed.


This Portfolio acts as a liaison between Ardtornish’s Out of School Hours Care, The John Francis Clarke Memorial Kindergarten, the Playgroup and the school. This is the only portfolio made up solely of its Coordinator, who communicates directly with the relevant committees. 


Fundraising and Community Events – To coordinate and continue fundraising and community events that benefit the school. 

Education Committee

The Education Committee provides a parent perspective on educational issues. 

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