All clubs need an approved Constitution
All Parent Clubs must ensure they have a Ministerially approved constitution, which is consistent with the current Education Regulations .
Old Constitions are no longer valid
If your Constitution has not been updated since 2019, then it is no longer valid.
We know that there are thriving and well-organised Parent Clubs that are not formally recognised by the Education Department because they have not updated their Constitution since 2019 – see below.
If you’re not sure whether your Club has an approved constitution, contact the Department’s School Operations and Governance Unit on (03) 7022 1346 or via email, or contact the Parents Victoria office.
Why does it matter?
There are many benefits of formal recognition as a Parent Club by the Education Department. See our Toolkit for full details.
2019 Model Constitution
All clubs must adopt the Department’s Model Constitution. A new Model Constitution was published in Term 2, 2019 and supersedes the previous Constitution.
You can download the 2019 Model Constitution from the Education Department website.
The Model Constitution details the aims and objectives of the club, who can be members, when the AGM is held, how many members are needed for a quorum, how the finances will be managed, which office bearers need to be elected and many other rules that govern how your Parent Club is managed.
Elements of the Model Constitution
This is a summary of some of the elements found in the Model Parents Club Constitution provided by the Education Department.
A Parent Club has no formally prescribed powers or duties. In determining its objectives, interim committee members should note that such objectives cannot be inconsistent with the powers accorded to and duties of a school council. Within this context, a parents’ club complements the role of the school council and its subcommittee arrangements.
All parents and guardians of students at the school, and other interested individuals of the immediate school community, are eligible to become members of the Parent Club.
Membership is on a registration basis, a membership fee is not mandatory.
The secretary should maintain a register of the names and addresses of members.
The Model Constituion provides that a club will have as a minimum number of office bearers a president, secretary and treasurer.
It also sets out:
- Who is eligible to stand for an office bearer position
- The procedure for election of office bearers at the club’s AGM
- How to fill a casual vacancy
- The procedure for removal of an office bearer
The Model Constitution provides for monthly general meetings of the club, but also states that members can vote to change that schedule.
It also sets out:
- Rules for notifying members of meetings
- Rules for voting at meetings.
- Quorum requirements
- Requirements for the Annual General Meeting
- Requirements for calling an Extraordinary Meeting
Conflict of interest
What to do if a member has a conflict of interest relating to club activities under discussion at a meeting.
Finances and fundraising
Rules relating to financial record keeping and fundraising activities.
The Model Constitution provides that all minute books, correspondence, annual financial statements, expenditure vouchers and other documents of the club will be the property of the Minister, and will be made available to officers authorised by the Secretary of the Education Department. All such records not in current use will be filed in the school building with other school records.
There are a number of changes to the new Model Constitution introduced in 2019, which aim to support the improved operations of Parent Clubs. These include:
- A change in the method of membership of the Parent Club. The previous Constitution required parents to become Financial Members of the Club. Financial Membership has now been changed to ‘Registered Membership’. The Registration Form is at Schedule 1 of the Constitution
- An additional section addressing Parent Club values. These are in line with the Department’s values
- The requirement for a quorum is now prescribed as ‘a minimum of 3 members’
- Clubs are encouraged to devise their own standing orders, dispute resolution process or code of conduct
- The stipulation that Parent Clubs are not permitted to incorporate.
Guide to the Constitution
The Department has also provided a Guide to the Constitution and an Instruction Sheet to select the relevant options.
The Model Constitution, Guide and Instruction Sheet can be dowloaded from the
Policy and Advisory Library.
How to set up or change your Constitution
See the relevant Policy and Advisory Library pages for information on how to set up or change your Constitution:
- Forming a Parent Club (new Constitution)
- Operational Requirements (updating the Constitution)
Changes to a Constitution are limited
The only permitted changes to your Constitution are:
- If your club changes its name, you can update the Constition to reflect that change
(a vote to change the club’s name can be taken at a General Meeting).
- If your club changes the month of its AGM, you can update the Constition to reflect that change
(a vote to change the AGM month can be taken at a General Meeting).
- If a new Model Constitution is published by the Education Department, all clubs are required to adopt the new version.
Parent Clubs are encouraged to review their Constitution annually, and when required, to update their Constitution to ensure consistency with the current Model.
Changes to an approved constitution, as specified above:
- may be made at a Club’s AGM or regular (i.e. monthly) General Meeting
- must be circulated to all registered members at least one month prior to the AGM or General Meeting that the changes will be voted on
- must be submitted to the Education Department for ministerial approval.
At the AGM or General Meeting, changes to the constitution must be voted on and accepted or rejected as written – no amendments are permitted.
Clubs may choose to create their own standing orders and meeting procedures unique to their club. However, they must not conflict with the Model Constitution. Standing orders may include, for example, a dispute resolution process or a code of conduct.