Step Three - Preparing the Electoral Roll, and Supporting Information
It is the responsibility of the returning officer to prepare a roll that contains the name and address of every person entitled to vote in the election. This roll is referred to as the main roll and after it closes a supplementary roll needs to be opened. See below for the actions to be taken, deﬁnitions and an explanation of the eligibility criteria.
þ Advise the school administration staff that you need an electoral roll as soon as possible after your appointment
You need this information to determine who to send nomination forms to, who is eligible to nominate candidates, and who is eligible to vote in both the staff and the parent elections. This roll must be available at the school at any reasonable time throughout the election process.
Updating and checking the names can take some time, so advise the school office staff that you will need:
- a list of all parents and caregivers (refer to deﬁnitions on page 4) of students enrolled full-time at the school, and
- a list of all staff eligible to participate in the staff election (see pages 5-6).
NOTE: Inform staff members who have dual eligibility as parent/staff members (see page 4) that they are required to advise you in writing before the roll closes if they wish to be enrolled on the parent roll instead of the staff roll.
The rolls should be in alphabetical order of surnames. The electoral roll for parent representative elections must include the names of all eligible voters.
þ Have the main roll open for inspection
The roll must be available for inspection at any reasonable time at the school. If you do not work at the school site, it is recommended that you ensure the roll is available for public inspection.
NOTE: When the roll is on display for inspection, no addresses should be visible.
Telephone enquiries are acceptable. A name provided by a caller may be conﬁrmed as being on the roll or not. No address should be disclosed by you or any person authorised to assist you.
þ Close the main roll at noon on
04/05/2016 (or ../../201x)
At noon on this day the parent/staff main roll closes. Do not alter this roll once it has closed. You may have to open a supplementary roll, identical in format. The supplementary roll will contain names and addresses of people who have become eligible to vote, such as the parents of students newly enrolled at the school and staff members newly employed at the school.
þ Have the supplementary roll open for inspection after noon on
04/05/2016 (or ../../201x)
A supplementary roll contains the names and addresses of every person:
- who becomes eligible to vote in the election after the close of the main roll, or
- whose name was wrongly omitted from the main roll.
The returning officer must ensure that any notices relating to the election that have been given to electors on the main roll are also promptly given to electors on the supplementary roll.
þ Establish which staff members have dual eligibility as parent/staff members by noon
18/5/2016 (or ../../201x)
In the event of a staff member not informing you in writing of the roll on which they wish to be, they will remain on the staff roll. (See page 4.)
þ Close the supplementary roll at noon on
18/05/2016 (or ../../201x)
Once the supplementary roll has closed, it forms part of the main roll for the election.
Step Three: Preparing the Electoral Rolls - Supporting Information
Definition of Parent and Caregiver
Section 92 of the Education Act deﬁnes the term “parent”, in relation to any person, as meaning someone who is the person’s father, mother, legal guardian or immediate caregiver.
In this handbook, wherever the word “parent” is used, it is with the understanding that it includes legal guardian or immediate caregiver.
In section 92, an “immediate caregiver”:
- in relation to a student who usually lives in a household that includes the student’s father or mother but not both, but also includes the spouse or partner of the father or mother, means the spouse or partner
- in relation to a student who usually lives in a household that includes the student’s father or mother and no spouse or partner of the father or mother, but also includes a person who has turned 20 and has a day-to-day responsibility for the student clearly greater than that of any other person, means that person, and
- in relation to a student who usually lives in a household that does not include the student’s father or the student’s mother, means any member of the household who has turned 20 and has a day-to-day responsibility for the student clearly greater than that of any other person. Student lives with Mum and partner during the week and with Dad and partner on weekend. Mum, Mum’s partner and Dad (but not his partner) are eligible to vote.
A student is regarded as having no immediate caregiver if they:
- usually live in a household that includes both parents
- spend approximately equal time in two or more households, or
- do not usually live in a household (for instance, they live in a hostel).
A hostel is not deemed to be a household, and hostel employees are not regarded as being immediate caregivers.
A person who has taken up a permanent appointment to a position in the employment of the board
A permanently appointed member of the board staff is ineligible to be a trustee except by being elected as the staff representative (section 103 (3)). This means that such a person is ineligible to be a parent representative.
The nomination form (see Form 1; or Form 2 if the board is opting (at these triennial elections) into the staggered (mid-term) election cycle contains a statement that the candidate declares their eligibility. The ineligibilities are summarised on the back of the nomination form. The details can be found in sections 103 and 103A, which are set out in the legislation chapter of this handbook.
Where a person is eligible to be placed on both a parent and a staff electoral roll
The Education Act provides that no person may participate in more than one election for the same board of trustees.
Staff members who have dual eligibility must advise you in writing if they wish to be enrolled on the parent roll instead of the staff roll.
In the event of a staff member not exercising that choice, that person remains on the staff roll. That decision remains in force until the next triennial election, unless the voter's status as parent/staff member alters. You should inform them of this fact.
You should make it clear that if they choose to go on the parent roll, they can nominate and vote but not stand as a candidate.
You should note that the right to choose which election a person will participate in extends only to a person with dual parent/staff member status in the same school.
Eligibility to vote in an election for parent representatives
Parents of students are eligible to vote if the students are under 20 years of age and are enrolled full-time at the school on the day that the roll or supplementary roll for the election closes. They include parents of foreign fee-paying students regardless of where they live in the world.
Adult students are students who are 20 years of age or older. Adult students are eligible to vote in a parent election if they are enrolled full-time at the school on the day that the roll or the supplementary roll for the election closes.
Parents of adult students are not entitled to vote in a parent election.
- A parent who is also a permanently appointed member of the board staff (i.e. a staff member) and who decides to stand as a staff representative can vote only in the staff election
- A parent who is also a permanently appointed member of the board staff (i.e. a staff member) must choose which election to participate in. This person may not stand as a candidate in the parent election. They may only nominate and vote.
Other examples of eligibility to vote in parent election
a) Parents of students enrolled in year 6 at contributing schools
Parents of students enrolled in year 6 at contributing schools may vote in the school elections. They are also eligible to vote in parent elections at stand-alone intermediate schools at which their children are likely to be enrolled as full-time students in the year after the elections.
NOTE: “Stand-alone intermediate” refers to schools in which only years 7 and 8 students are enrolled.
If an intermediate school has an enrolment scheme, the returning officer should delete the names of parents of year 6 students with addresses outside the enrolment zone.
If the contributing school has concerns regarding privacy, point out that by law an intermediate school board of trustees is elected by parents of students enrolled at the school AND parents of students likely to be enrolled at the intermediate school in the year after the year in which the election is held. Advise also that these details will only be used in these board of trustee elections.
For that second group of parents to vote they must be on the voting roll of the intermediate school to enable the returning officer to send them nomination forms and then voting papers (if required).
If you are the returning officer for an intermediate school, promptly contact the returning officers at the contributing schools and remind them that they must arrange for you to be given the names and addresses of all voters with at least one child in year 6.
If you are the returning officer at a contributing school, ensure that the intermediate school is provided with the names and addresses of voters with students in year 6.
Parents of students in satellite classes of special schools
Parents of students in satellite classes of special schools are eligible to vote in elections for parent representatives at the special schools but not the host schools where the classes are sited.
b) Parents of alternative education students
Parents of alternative education students may vote in parent elections for the schools where the students are enrolled full-time.
c) Parents of students enrolled at special schools
Parents of mainstreamed students (i.e. students enrolled in special schools who regularly attend classes in other schools) are eligible to vote in elections for parent representatives at the special schools.
d) Principals as parents
A principal who is a parent of a student (who is under 20 years of age) enrolled full-time at the school is eligible to nominate and vote in the parent elections, but not stand as a candidate.
Eligibility to participate in the board staff election
Most board staff (other than the principal and those listed as ineligible to stand under section 103 of the Education Act 1989), including staff in alternative education centres attached to the school for administrative purposes, are eligible to nominate, stand and vote in the staff election.
A board staff member is deﬁned as:
- a person who has taken up a permanent appointment to a position in the employment of the board, or
- a person who has been continuously employed in one or more such positions by the board during the period of two months immediately before the day the roll closes. Refer to sections 92(1) and 97(1).
Examples of board staff members include but are not limited to:
- laundry worker
- teacher aide
- speech/language therapist
- ancillary staff
- residential social worker
- A teacher of physics employed for three hours per week is eligible to stand/vote if the appointment is a permanent one, or if it is not permanent but the teacher occupied the position continuously for two months or more before the day the roll closed.
- A night school tutor of computer studies employed by the board, provided they are permanently employed or were employed continuously for a period of two months prior to the day the roll closed, is eligible to stand and to vote.
- Contractors, such as lawn-mowing contractors, bus drivers employed by transport companies and employees of cleaning contractors working at schools, are not regarded as board staff members.
Itinerant, resource and similar teachers
Itinerant, resource and similar teachers, working from base schools, are entitled to vote/stand in the staff representative elections of those base schools, that is, the schools at which the teachers are employed as members of the board staff.