Policy development helpful hints school councils
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Policy Development – Helpful Hints School Councils. What is a policy?. A policy is a guiding principle designed to influence decisions and actions Typically, a policy outlines in writing a required process or procedure within the school

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What is a policy l.jpg
What is a policy?

  • A policy is a guiding principle designed to influence decisions and actions

  • Typically, a policy outlines in writing a required process or procedure within the school

  • A policy should only be established to achieve some purpose which reflects a set of beliefs or values on the issue concerned

  • Not all issues require a policy; many routine matters can be dealt with by developing simple procedures


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A good school policy would…

  • be based on a clear statement of a belief or purpose and arises from goals which have been adopted for the school

  • contain guidelines that provide a framework for achieving clearly stated purposes on an important issue

  • tell what is wanted of individuals or groups in the school

  • tell why certain things are wanted of individuals or groups within the school

  • provide a clear basis for the preparation and implementation of rules and procedures

Source: NSW Department of Education & Training


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A good school policy would…

  • provide positive direction for councillors and staff

  • permit staff to make interpretations in such a way as to adjust for changing conditions without making any basic changes in policy

  • be evaluated on a regular basis

  • be a statement on a single issue

  • be written in a style which is readily understood by all members of the school community

Source: NSW Department of Education & Training


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Examples of policies

  • Uniform

  • Camp, excursions & outdoor activities

  • Homework

  • Welfare

  • Sun smart

  • Parent engagement

  • Use of school facilities

  • Sponsorship

  • Curriculum

  • Complaints - Conflict resolution


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A few tips on writing policies

  • Clear, concise, simple language means polices will be understood

    • Avoid the use of acronyms

    • Use everyday words

    • Use short sentences.

  • If action is compulsory, use ‘must’

  • If the action is recommended, use ‘should’

  • Policy must be practical and able to be implemented


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A sample policy template

  • Policy name and date

  • Rationale or purpose

  • Policy statement

  • Implementation

  • Evaluation and review

  • Definitions

  • References

  • Ratified and dated


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Benefits of policies

  • Demonstrate that the school is being operated in an efficient manner

  • Ensure that there will be uniformity and consistency in decisions and in operational procedures

  • Are consistent with those for the education system as a whole and with the various laws with which the school needs to comply

  • Ensure that meetings are orderly. Valuable time can be saved when a new problem can be handled quickly and effectively because of its relationship to an existing policy

Source: NSW Department of Education & Training


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Benefits of policies

  • Maintain the direction of the school even during change of principals and teachers

  • Provide a framework for school planning

  • Assist in the assessment of performance and in establishing accountability

  • Clarify functions and responsibilities

Source: NSW Department of Education & Training


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For more information

  • http://www.education.vic.gov.au/management/governance/schoolcouncils/default.htm


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