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  6. Governance
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Governance

A registered non-government school must have policies and procedures for the proper governance of the school in place

This requirement provides for policies and procedures for the proper governance of the school to be in place. The ‘responsible persons' for a non-government school, as defined by the Education Act, are accountable for proper governance of the school and for meeting this requirement.

A school's proprietor and, if the proprietor is a corporation, each director or person concerned in the management of the school, members of the school's governing body, the school's principal and any other person or body exercising a function in relation to the management of the school are considered under the Education Act to be ‘responsible persons' for the school.

Proper governance requires the ‘responsible persons' for a school to have in place structures, policies and procedures for governance, leadership, authority, decision making, accountability and transparency.

In general terms, the requisite policies and procedures for proper governance must be consistent with properly accepted community norms for school governance. A number of widely accepted standards and authorities exist in this regard, such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Securities Exchange.

The operate for profit provisions of the Education Act may also be relevant as will, for the vast majority of schools not operating for profit, the requirements of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (‘ACNC').

Whilst there are commonly accepted features of proper governance, the specific governance structures, policies and procedures a particular non-government school has in place for proper governance will vary according to the context and philosophy of the school. The policies and procedures will also vary according to the governance structure of the school and the authority, delegated by the school's proprietor to governing bodies or positions within the school, for example the authority delegated to a school council, school principal and/or school executive. 

Systemic non-government schools are required to have policies and procedures in place for the proper governance of the school that are similar to those required for individual non-government schools.

This requires the proprietor of a systemic non-government school to have and implement policies and procedures for proper governance in relation to matters such as delegated authority, code of conduct for ‘responsible persons’, records of governance decisions, conflict of interest, related party transactions, professional learning and induction of ‘responsible persons’ and independent, external audit of annual financial statements. Details of the required policies and procedures are identified in the evidence of compliance in sections 5.9.3.1 to 5.9.3.6 of the Manual.

Depending on the structure and delegated authority of the proprietor of a systemic non-government school, the policies and procedures for proper governance as identified in 5.9.3.1 to 5.9.3.6 of the Manual may apply to and be exercised by the proprietor, the approved authority for the system, the principal (or equivalent) and/or another identified role or body.

Accordingly, evidence of implementing the proprietor’s policies and procedures for proper governance of a systemic non-government school may be retained by the proprietor, the approved authority for the system, the principal (or equivalent) and/or another identified role or body.

In assessing the compliance of a member school with this requirement, a registration system will need to have regard to the proprietor’s policies and procedures for proper governance of the school and whether the evidence of compliance is retained by the proprietor, the approved authority for the system, the principal (or equivalent) and/or another identified role or body.

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