On this page you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive at the Parents Victoria office.
We hope you find the answer you’re looking for!
If you don’t, you can contact our office with any Parent Club related questions.
What if the school refuses to discuss the spending of Parent-Club-raised funds with the Club?
If the Principal has indicated they are unable to provide the Parent Club with a copy of the CASES21 Variance Report and Transaction Report and/or the school council has indicated they are unable to discuss with the club the spending of the club’s funds, the club can contact the School Operations and Governance Unit on (03) 7022 1346 or via email.
What if a School Council rejects a Parent Club’s request for a proposed fundraiser?
The school council must not reject any proposed fundraising activity until it has considered a recommendation by a committee consisting of:
• the president of the school council or the president’s nominee, who must be the chairperson
• one other representative of the school council elected for the purpose by the school council
• two representatives of the club
See the Fundraising page in the Policy and Advisory Library for more information.
What are the rules around raffles?
If a club plans to raise funds by means of a raffle or bingo or other minor gambling activities, permission and instructions must be obtained from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission. For more information, see Community and Charitable Gaming Application Process on the VGCCC website.
How are schools expected to provide financial reports to Parent Clubs?
Principals and Business Managers are encouraged to work closely with Parent Clubs and on request (usually once per month), provide the club with a copy of the sub-program’s CASES21 Variance Report and Transaction Report. It is recommended that the parents’ club meet with the principal and/or Business Manager to discuss timelines which work for both the school and parents’ club.
See the Policy and Advisory Library for more information.
Do we need a Treasurer, or can we just leave it to the school Business Manager?
Parent Clubs are no longer permitted to operate a bank account. It is mandatory for all Parent Clubs to hold their funds in the school’s financial management system, CASES21. However, under the current Model Constitution, a Parent Club must still have a Treasurer. All Parent Clubs must comply with this requirement.
How much money can be held in a parent club account?
The regulations do not limit the amount of money that can be held in a Parent Club/school account. However, all funds in a Parent Club subprogram must be managed strictly in accordance with the regulations. The Department does not consider it best practice for large unallocated sums of money to sit in a club’s sub-program. If funds are raised for a particular purpose, they should be allocated and expended for that purpose. If funds were raised under Section 58(1)(a) of the Regulations, (“the establishment or augmentation of school funds“), the use of these funds is at the discretion of the council. The Department considers it best practice that the council discuss early on with the club what the funds will be used for, thus allocating the money to a particular project and detailing this as a line item in CASES21. While a Club may have a large balance sitting in its sub-program, the majority of this money should be allocated against the purpose which was agreed upon by both the club and the council (Section 58(1)(b) of the Regulations) and not for any undisclosed and undecided “future project”. For further information, please see regulation 54 (general requirements regarding funds) and regulations 58 and 59 (fundraising).
If we raise in excess of $10,000 per year, do we need to register with Consumer Affairs Victoria?
No. Due to the removal of ‘Option B’ financial arrangement there is no longer a requirement.
Do we need to have our books audited?
No, the club’s finances will be audited along with those of the school.
How should a school allow Parent Club volunteers to access petty cash funds?
The Department notes that there is nothing which precludes the operation of petty cash for a Parent Club. Schools are required to establish and operate a petty cash advance under the conditions outlined in Section 11.10 of the Finance Manual for Victorian Government Schools. The limit on any one payment through petty cash is $200.
For more information on petty cash requirements, see the “Frequently Asked Finance Questions” sheet from the Education Department.
Can a Parent Club have its own bank account?
Under the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017, parent clubs are no longer permitted to operate a bank account. It is mandatory for all Parent Club finances to be managed through CASES21. For more information, see the Policy and Advisory Library.
Management and compliance
Is the Parent Club operation information on the DET website compulsory for schools?
Yes. Schools are required to follow the Department’s policy regarding the establishment, operation and dissolution of Victorian government school Parent Clubs. Schools can find this information in the Policy and Advisory Library.
What if my school is not complying with DET policy re Parent Clubs?
Parent clubs are encouraged to first raise any issues with the school’s Principal.
If the Parent Club is not satisfied that the issues have been resolved, the club is encouraged to contact the School Operations and Governance Unit, Department of Education on (03) 7022 1346 or via email.
Why do Parent Clubs have to be constituted if they are not recognised as a public entity?
Regulation 51 of the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 requires that a Parent Club for a Victorian government school must be formed in accordance with Part 4, Division 7 of the Regulations. This means that a Parent Club can only be formed in accordance with the Regulations. The Model Constitution for Parent Clubs provides a sound governance framework for a Parent Club to operate and function efficiently and effectively, by setting out clear and transparent procedures for matters such as financial management, elections, meetings, record keeping and removing members from office. This plays a valuable role in managing potential issues (such as conflicts or disputes) within the club. It also ensures that funds are dealt with appropriately and transparently. Part 4, Division 7 sets out specific requirements for the establishment of a Parent Club, including the club’s Constitution. In particular, regulation 53(1)(4) requires that the constitution for a Parent Club must be consistent with the model constitution published by the Secretary from time to time.
Can our Parent Club be incorporated?
No, Parent Clubs in Victorian government schools cannot be incorporated. Under regulation 51, a Parent Club at a Victorian government school may only be formed in accordance with the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017. The Regulations do not provide for Parent Clubs to incorporate. In addition, clause 18 of the Model Constitution states, “The Club/Association is not permitted to incorporate.”
Do Parent Clubs need insurance?
From the Education Department’s Policy and Advisory Library:
“Members of parents’ clubs are considered volunteers and are therefore subject to workers’ compensation and WorkCover.
The department’s insurance arrangements cover any liability incurred in the conduct of, or through the activities performed by, parents’ clubs, including any fundraising activities and other volunteer duties. Accordingly, parents’ clubs do not need to obtain their own separate insurance.”
Do club members have to pay a membership fee?
A membership fee is no longer mandatory. The new (2019) Model Constitution requires club members to complete and sign a Registration Form annually, but does not require a membership fee to be paid. A Registration Form template can be found on the last page of the Model Constitution.
Can we set up an online membership form and keep our records online?
No. You need to have a paper form, manually signed by the applicant and stored at the school. You can offer the registration form as a digital download for parents to print, fill in and sign, but it is not permitted to keep membership records online.
With the co-operation of school office staff, you could have a folder in the office or even a collection box in an easily-accessible spot, so that parents can simply drop their completed and signed form at the office or in the box.
Can a former Parent Club member (e.g. past President) chair the election of our office bearers?
The Education Department references a Principal, teacher or SRO chairing the election. Why not a past PC President?
Under regulation 53(4) of the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 , the constitution of a Parent Club must be consistent with the model constitution published by the Secretary from time to time. Section 5 of the Model Constitution sets out requirements for the election of office bearers. It states that
“Elections shall be conducted by an independent person, such as the Principal, a teacher at the school or a senior regional officer of the Department of Education and Training. The person who conducts the election of office bearers must not be a current Club/Association member or nominated for an office in that election.”
The purpose of this requirement is to protect the integrity of the election process, by ensuring that elections are conducted fairly and without the risk of actual or perceived bias. Generally speaking, a past President of a Parent Club would not be an “independent person” as required under the model constitution. This is because a past President would have direct previous involvement with the Parent Club, and may have personal knowledge of or opinions about the members nominated for election, or particular issues affecting the club.
Where can I get more information about the Model Constitution?
The Education Department has published some useful resources and advice about the Model Constitution: