The School Committee

The Eelam Tamil Association Tamil School operates in accordance with the requirements of the VCAA and DSE Regulations. In addition to this framework, the school observes the following principles and practices.

The Principles

The learning needs and welfare of the students are the primary consideration in decision-making. Loyalty to the school, its administration and staff and the School Charter paramount in decision-making. Discussions related to members of the school community are strictly confidential. The views of the school are canvassed and considered on policy issues wherever appropriate. The ETA and the School Board develop policy directions related to the operation of the school. The ETA remains accountable to its community. Public comment on Campus Committee is the responsibility of the Campus Committee President. Public comment on the School Board is the responsibility of School Board Chairperson and the President of the ETA. Members of the School Board and the Campus Committee are provided with consultation professional development regarding their responsibilities, current school priorities, the ETA policies and the DSE policies and directions. The School Board members, the Campus Committee members shall declare conflicts of interest at the School Board Meetings and at the Campus committee meetings.

The Practices

The School Board meetings are held on the first Sunday of each month at 9:30am where practical. A copy of the minutes of the School Board meetings is forwarded to the ETA. The School Committee meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month during term time. Meeting and decision making procedures operate in accordance with the ETA, the School Board and Campus Committee standing orders. There shall be a sub-committee of the ETA for Finance and Fund raising. There shall be sub-committees of the School Board for Education and Curriculum Development, Professional and Staff Training, Concerts and Sport. An annual report shall be published and presented at the Annual General Meeting of the ETA.

Code of Conduct for Tamil School Board and its Campuses

Introduction

The Eelam Tamil Association of Victoria (ETA) Tamil school consists of a Tamil school board (the board) and several campuses (schools). The campuses are located in many parts of Victoria for the convenience of parents, teachers and students. The board consists of likeminded people who are united in their dedication and love of Tamil to nurture Tamil language and culture in Australia. As the board deals with public it is necessary to have a code of conduct for transparency and dignity. The Eelam Tamil Association Tamil School operates in accordance with the requirements of the VCAA and DSE Regulations. In addition to this framework, the school observes the following principles and practices. It is also essential that all campuses are managed in a uniform manner to facilitate easy administration, and accountability. This code of conduct strives to have a uniform organisational structure and guidelines for each campus within the ETA School.

Administrative structure of the Tamil School Board

The Tamil School Board operates under the banner of Eelam Tamil Association. Tamil School Board is a non-profit organisation and is governed by the Management Committee. The Management Committee will generally communicate with each other frequently and are expected to continuously explore ways and means of furthering Tamil education and culture in Victoria. The Management Committee is formed from the following office bearers.

a) The President, Eelam Tamil Association
b) Chairman of the Board (Chairperson)
c) Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
d) Secretary
e) Treasurer
f) VCE Coordinator
g) Major Events and Fund Raising Coordinator
h) Training Coordinator

The Management Committee will be assisted by other members of the Tamil school board, who will be mainly consisting of coordinators of campuses, and other experts co-opted into the board. The entire members form the full committee. A committee meeting is held on a regular basis, currently once a month. Teachers and parents can contact the board through the campus coordinator or directly via any board member. They may be asked to attend board meetings on special occasions in relation to their proposals. 11 The responsibilities of the members of the management committee are as follows.

The President, Eelam Tamil Association

The community expects the President of the ETA to administer the School Boards activities and manage the financial and resource planning and distribution. The president is expected to demonstrate leadership, sound managerial skills and to communicate effectively on organisational and educational matters with the School Board and ESAV. Ensure the Schools educational program incorporates current best practice and it recognises learning needs of all students. Implement a Welfare and Discipline policy which ensures the safety and the security of the students. Ensure that sufficient resources are available to manage the schools. Ensure that the ETA school operates efficiently. Provide timely and professional advice to the School Board on relevant issues. Provide adequate support to the School Board. Act as a link between the ETA, the School Board and the ESAV.

Chairman of the Board (Chairperson)

Chairman shall responsible for entire operation of all the Tamil schools and accountable to ETA, Tamil Community and any other government agencies. Shall responsible to deliver a high calibre educational program to children in Victorian Tamil Community. Shall responsible for cost effective and efficient management of all the schools. Shall hold the Fiduciary responsibility for the board, as delegated by ETA. Liaise with the Victorian government in matters relating to funding, Curriculum, and examination issues. Conduct board meetings and provide leadership Represent the board to ETA Represent the board to the Tamil community.

Chief Executive officer (CEO)

The CEO/Principal:

  • Shall primarily responsible for day today running of the Tamil schools board in an effective and efficient manner to Chairman’s and ETAs expectation.
  • Shall be accountable to the Chairman of the board, ETA and Tamil Community of Victoria. Assist the chair person to conduct the affairs of the Tamil school board.
  • Conduct meetings of the Tamil school board in the absence chair person.
  • Liaise with the Victorian government in matters relating to funding, Curriculum, and examination issues.
  • Represent the board to ETA Represent the board to the Tamil community

Secretary

Convene board meetings and events Shall be responsible for documenting, maintaining the minutes of the meetings and make them available to all members Assist the Chairperson and Chief Executive officer to conduct the affairs of the board. Assist the Tamil school board in conducting major events and fund raising events. Maintain any other records of the Tamil school board.
Responsible for production of higher quality major events and fund raising activities on a regular basis. Organise Annual all Schools Kalai Vizah, sports meet and other contests. Ensure that schools conduct the campus Kalai Vizah. Organise and conduct fund raising activities. Assist chairperson and Chief Executive officer in any matters relating to major events.

Treasurer

Responsible for all the financial, accounting books of records and treasury matters to the required standard by the regulatory authorities. Prepare and submit the annual audited financial statements to the board and ETA. Assist the Chairman, CEO, Secretary or any other board members on any grant application. Responsible for Receipt, banking of Grants and any other funds. Liaise with campus treasurers to obtain all the necessary financial and accounting records in order to prepare the consolidated reports to the board and ETA. Liaise with campus coordinators and others to ensure that all teachers are paid on time; rent and any other expenses approved by the Chairman or CEO are reimbursed. The re-imbursement amount is net of total of student fee collected by the school treasurer as specified in 6.4.5.3 Assist the Tamil school board in conducting major events and fund raising events.

VCE Coordinator

Responsible to the board in achieving an increased trend in VCE student enrolments from year to year and overall improvement to the performance of the students. Liaise with VCAA on matters relating to Tamil as a VCE subject. Ensure that the program outline for each calendar year is submitted and approved by VCAA each year. Convince parents on the need for their children to continue learning Tamil towards VCE. Ensure that classes for VCE are held at designated venues and provide assistance to VCE teachers. Assist chairperson and Chief Executive officer in any matters relating to Tamil education.

Exam and Training Coordinator

Responsible for maintaining a higher standard of teachers as expected by the board, ETA and the Tamil Community. Ensure all the teachers are provided with adequate training on a regular basis, as required by the department of education. (LOTE) Organise accredited training for teachers at universities etc. Organise and conduct training for all teaching staff from kinder to higher classes. Assist chairperson and Chief Executive officer in any matters relating to Tamil education. Develop a structured, unified teaching program with appropriate format, examples, materials etc to teachers at all levels.

Campus Management Structure

Coordinator

The Campus Coordinators will be the representative of the CEO/Principal at each campus (school) and will be appointed by the Tamil school board in consultation with the community (where ever possible). The consultation can be in the form of discussion with parents, teachers or by election and approved by the board. The coordinator will function as the CEO of the campus with authority and responsibility to make the campus function smoothly and is answerable to the Tamil schools board. The coordinators primary responsibilities are as follows. Responsible for continuous improvement of the quality of the education program of the school. Organise his / her campus team to effectively manage the school with minimum inputs from the board. Attend monthly board meetings normally held second week of each month. In the event of a coordinator not being able to attend a board meeting, a representative will be appointed to represent the coordinator. The person attending the meeting will bring the issues of the school to the board meeting. The name of this nominee will be informed beforehand to the secretary of the board. Ensure that school fees are collected in accordance with board policies by the treasurer on time. Classes are conducted by teachers in accordance with the policies of VCAA / Tamil school board. Teachers keep records of lesson planning, student attendance, progress etc. The coordinator and class teacher must sign student academic report. Parent-teachers meeting must be held at the end of each term and record of the meeting should be kept in the student file/folder. Student record must be kept in order for inspection. Conduct the annual campus Kalai Vizah either jointly or separately. Act as the board representative for local campus. Announce and hold AGMs each year with audited financial statement and annual report. Accountable to the board and the Community. The coordinator will be assisted by a committee appointed from parents, elected at the Annual General Meeting. Teachers are generally not encouraged to hold administrative responsibilities such as treasurer, secretary etc. in view of the heavy work load from teaching. However, all teachers by default will be members of the committee. If a vacancy arises in the middle of the year it shall be filled in at a special general meeting or in consultation with the parents. Each campus will have the following positions.

  • Secretary elected at the AGM.
  • Treasurer elected at the AGM.
  • Teachers will be members of the campus committee.
  • Three parents to be elected as members at the AGM.
  • Auditor (outside committee, either from parents or well-wishers) will be appointed to audit the financial statement.

The secretary and Treasurer of the campus committee will generally hold office for three consecutive years (subject to be re-elected each year at the AGM). However, this criterion is not binding if there is a desire to continue with the same officers for more than 3 years from the parents and the board.

Secretary

The responsibilities of the secretary are as follows. Prepare minutes of the AGM and other committee meetings. Schedule AGM and other meetings. Organise parent / teachers interviews in consultation with parents and teachers. Assist coordinator in conducting the school affairs efficiently. Responsible for administration of the premises including health, safety and environmental matters. Act as a deputy to the coordinator at all the time. Attend the Board meetings in the absence of the coordinator.

Treasurer

The responsibilities of the Treasurer are as follows. Responsible for all financial, accounting and treasury matters of the school. Collect all school fees and other levies from students on time and provide signed receipts. Prepare financial position statements for AGM and other meetings. Collect revenue from Kalai Vizah ticket sales. Prepare audited accounts for AGM. Prepare the quarterly re-imbursement statement to the board treasurer as specified by the board. Provide the required information to the Board Treasurer to prepare the consolidated accounts to the board and ETA.

Teachers

The responsibilities of the Teachers are as follows. Responsible for providing a high quality education program to the children of Victorian Tamil Community to the expected level by the board. Prepare lesson plans and teaching aids for teaching Tamil. Regularly attend training conducted by the Ethnic Schools Association of Australia. Be pro-active on teaching methods and curriculum issues. Assist coordinators / board in conducting examination, prepare reports, and have parent / teachers interviews. Advise the coordinator about improvements to schools. Disseminate awareness of Tamil education among friends and relatives. Shall carry out any additional reporting requirements by the school coordinator, training coordinator or board. Shall accept with willingness to train the children to participate on school events.

Parents

The responsibilities of the parents serving in campus committee are as follows. Disseminate awareness of Tamil education among friends and relatives. Assist coordinator to run the school efficiently. Help the coordinator and teachers to focus the attention of students on learning Tamil in school (if necessary serve as volunteers in class rooms).

Rights of all parties

The school recognises the individual need and rights of every child. By the same token, students and their families are expected to adhere to the rules and regulation that follow, in order to ensure the effective operation of the school, safety of the students and the provision of the quality educational environment for all. The board recognises that its success is directly related to all parties performance. Maximising the quality contribution of all parties is therefore critical to the boards operation. The board operates under: Non-discriminatory environment Sexual harassment principle The merit principle Ethics principle Environmental principle Compliance principle Community relation Smoke free workplace principle.

Rights of Students

Be respected as individuals. Have their personal property respected. Learn in a safe and enjoyable environment. Be given the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability. Appeal a decision made by the school.

Responsibilities of Students

Abide by all school rules. Respect other people. Respect other people’s property. If the property damage occurs then the students responsible for the damage are expected to make good the loss. Complete all work requirements on time and to the best of their ability. Give others the opportunity to learn to their ability. Attend extracurricular activities organised by the school. Refrain from chewing gum at school. Stay in school premises at all time during school hours Students must be punctual and always well prepared for class Students from Kinder Year 2 must be picked up by the parents from their classroom. Refrain from unacceptable behaviour, which is dangerous to the school community is offensive, abusive or inconsiderate Interferes with the right of teacher to teach and student to learn.

General Rules

Subject to Division Three of the equal Opportunity Act 1995, the school reserves the right to decline a student’s enrolment without expressing any reason for its decision. In accepting an offer of a place for their child, parents enter into a contract with the school whereby they agree to pay all fees and be subject to the business regulation of the school. Parents agree that the admission and continued attendance of a student at the school is conditional upon the observance by the student of the school regulation.

Weekly Homework Schedule

Each week students receive a programme outlining their homework and other tasks. Students who are absent can ring their teacher to obtain their weekly homework. They must provide a note of absence signed by their parents.

School Functions

The attendance of all students at school functions is mandatory. Parents are asked to encourage their children to participate enthusiastically.

School Fees

Every effort is made to keep the fees to a minimum whilst continuing to provide a high quality education programme for our students. The current fee structure is as follows. The fees are due at the beginning of the term.
For one child: $40 per term (kinder – year 6 )
For two children: $75 per term (kinder- year6)
Three or more children: $105 per term (kinder- year 6)
For one child: $50 per term (year 7- year10)
For two children: $90 per term (year 7- year10)
Three or more children: $125 per term (year 7- year10)
For VCE students (unit 1 & 2) 1st student: $60 per term
For VCE students (unit 1 & 2) 2 students or more: $110 per term
For VCE students (unit 3 & 4) 1st student: $85 per term
For VCE students (unit 3 & 4) 2 students or more: $160 per term
An Admission fee of $15 per student will be charged for new students from January 2014. The above fee structure shall subject to change from time to time with the approval by the board.

Miscellaneous issues

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will generally be held in the months of February / March of each year. The parents should be notified in writing at least two weeks prior to the AGM. It is preferred to invite members of the local Tamil community so that the activities of the school can be explained and their support solicited. The Tamil school board should be notified of the AGM a minimum of two weeks before the AGM. Two or more representatives of the Tamil school board will be present at the AGM to assist the proceedings as well as get a direct feedback from the parents. All accounts should be audited and signed in a financial statement to be presented at the AGM for approval. Copy of all minutes of meetings and audited financial statement should be forwarded to the Board. An Annual report should be submitted with a brief on achievements and events held during the year e.g. School Kalai Vizha, Xmas function, Saraswathy Pooja etc. along with proposals and suggestions for the future.

Bank accounts

A bank account should be opened with at least two signatories. All cheques need to be signed by treasurer and one other signatory. All payments should be made by cheques unless there are exceptional circumstances warranting a cash payment.

Examination

A Common exam, across all campuses, will be held twice a year for students from Year-4 and above, for which teachers from each grade should present two questioners to the nominated exam coordinator.

Training for Teachers

It is not acceptable to teach in ETA Tamil School without appropriate teacher training for teaching in Victorian schools. All teachers are expected to attend teacher training organised by the Ethnic Schools Association at University campuses. This training will be supplemented further by local training organised by the board. All teachers are expected to attend, and share their knowledge to assist each other.

6.4.6.5 Campus Kalai Vizha

Each school should have their Annual Kalai Vizha. If the costs are prohibitive to have individual events, two or more schools can have joint Kalai Vizahs. However, the programme is expected to be no more than 3 hours, considering the young children who participate. Each school is expected to table the programme sheet to the board to have a feedback on the schedule. ETA president, Board Chairman and CEO shall be invited to the Kalai Vizah as guests. Coordinators are also expected to provide an item in the agenda providing the opportunity to address the larger audience by a board representative on board policies, educational issues etc.

Events organised by Board

The Tamil schools board will organise sports meets, speech, signing and drama contests, and Kalai Vizah each year. All schools are expected to participate in such events organised by the board.

Teacher Appointments

Teacher appointments are made centrally by the board. The Executive committee should approve all new appointments of teachers. The campus coordinator will state his requirement and suggest possible teacher recruits, which will be considered by the board.

Parents and teachers advisory committee

The board is committed for continuing improvement. Identifying and implementing such improvements are always a challenge. To facilitate this, the board encourages a parents and teachers committee to be formed. This committee will consist of two parents and one teacher from each school and will meet at least once in three months and submit any proposals for improvement to the board. The Management Committee will consider implementing those suggestions where practicable. This committee will elect a person to represent it to the Tamil School Board.

First Aid & Emergency information

There will be at least one teacher from each school who will undertake training in First Aid. The training will be arranged by the Board or the school will provide the name of the qualified First Aid officer to the Board. Each school should also arrange to have a first aid kit in place. Each student folder should have the Telephone no of Emergency service and the nearest Hospital telephone number along with alternate contacts for each child in case of an emergency.