Local School Reference Groups
All Connected Communities schools have a Local School Reference Group chaired by the President of the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. Membership includes a representative from the school's P&C, parents, Aboriginal Elders and/or Aboriginal community members and the Executive Principal.
Purpose and function
The School Reference Group advises the Executive Principal on the implementation of the Connected Communities strategy.
The School Reference Group will work collaboratively with the Executive Principal in the development, planning and shared decision making of each school’s Connected Communities strategy.
The School Reference Group operates within an overall governance structure for the Connected Communities strategy.
The School Reference Group also operates as a broader Department of Education governance structure committed to improving the educational, social and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in NSW.
The School Reference Group’s core membership, as per the Terms of Reference, is as follows:
- Local AECG President (Chair)
- P&C representative (Vice Chair) – where a P&C Association operate
- two parents
- two Elders and/or Aboriginal community members
- Executive Principal
- Senior Leader, Community Engagement or Leader Community Engagement (provides executive support only).
The Executive Principal is responsible for leading the establishment of the School Reference Group.
The School Reference Group will be chaired by the Local AECG President or the nominated Local AECG representative. The Vice Chair will be the P&C representative, where a P&C Association operates.
If no P&C operates in your school then the School Reference Group will need to choose who will become Vice Chair.
The Chair should undertake additional duties such as represent and act on behalf of the School Reference Group between meetings, set meeting dates and agendas (previously agreed by the School Reference Group) and table correspondence at the next available meeting.
The Executive Principal and the Chair should meet on an agreed regular basis to discuss issues and actions arising from meetings and matters that may impact on the implementation of the strategy.
The Chair and Vice Chair will also ensure the School Reference Group is promoting the progress of the School Reference Group and the broader Connected Communities strategy accurately.
Conflict of interests
Where a conflict of interest may arise, eg. a member may be employed within the school, the relevant group should nominate another representative once the level of conflict is determined.
Adding other members
Once the core membership of the School Reference Group is established further membership can be investigated.
The core membership will need to discuss, and then agree on accepting new membership at a formal meeting and ensure the decision is minuted.
Additional organisation and inter-agency representatives may be invited to participate in the activities of the School Reference Group on a temporary basis if full time membership is not appropriate.
This would be effective if the School Reference Group needs specialised advice from time to time.
Support for the School Reference Groups
The school will be responsible for resourcing the School Reference Group such as meeting expenses and feasibility studies undertaken.
The Senior Leader Community Engagement or Leader Community Engagement will be responsible for the coordination and support of the School Reference Group.
This may include documenting meeting discussions and outcomes, coordinating information amongst the group and the preparation of proposals for consideration.
Governance training is offered to members of the School Reference Group for their professional development.