Transition of Schools to District Schools
Collaborative mission in Schools has been a key Initiative in articulated our LCAVD Strategy and continues in the 2021-24 Strategic Directions of DCC. In recent years it was acknowledged that our Schools and System operate in a heavily regulated environment and are under ever increasing pressure to show effective governance, compliance with Government funding conditions, and compliance with Not-for-Profit requirements.
In August 2019, DCC resolved to comply with the Victorian Funding Guideline for Services to Children and provided ‘in principle support’ for the need to transition the remaining non-District schools to being Schools of the District, including reviewing land titles held in the name of the District in Trust for each school.
Incorporation of Lutheran Education Victoria New South Wales Tasmania (& ACT)
In 2019 a review of the governance and compliance arrangements was undertaken of LEVNT within the following agreed principles:
– The ministry connection between church, schools and ELCs is protected and strengthened.
– The spiritual authority of the Church within and over schools is protected.
– Any changes to structure must be compliant with all Government requirements.
– Board members are appropriately skilled and gifted.
– Alternate structure allows for the ongoing management of risk for individual schools, LEVNT and the District.
– Provide clarity on the employment of staff in schools.
The outcomes of that review together with additional external advice and the work of a collaborative LEVNT-DCC Working group over many meetings led to in August-2020 the in-principle decision to support the Incorporation of the LEVNT as a Company of Limited Guarantee, with LCAVD as the sole member.
This was seen as the best arrangement to: protect and strengthen the ministry connection between church and schools; ensure the Church maintains spiritual authority over schools; be compliant with all Government requirements (particularly around school funding); further allow for and encourage Board members who are appropriately skilled and gifted; allow for the ongoing management of risk for individual schools, LEVNT and the District; simplify management and operations for schools; provide clarity on the employment of staff in schools.
The in-principle decision was subject to an acceptable agreed Constitution and Governance Charter. Similarly, the DCC also provided in-principle support for each Victorian District school to become Company Limited by Guarantee with the newly incorporated LEVNT as the sole member. Subject to the same principles as the agreed DCC/LEVNT Constitution and Governance Charter.
The LEVNT-DCC Working group continued to meet regularly to finalise these documents for DCC, GCB and Constitution Committee consultation. These documents clearly articulate the Principal Purpose “to advance Christian Education in accordance with Lutheran Confessions” and to “promote the mission of the LCA Districts”. These documents also define the powers and reserve powers of the DCC as the sole member.
In February 2021, the final versions of these LEVNT Ltd Constitution and Governance Charter were adopted by DCC and the incorporated body of LEVNT Ltd was formed.
In March 2021, the DCC appointed the inaugural Directors to the Board for LEVNT. In April 2021, the LCAVD signed an MoU with the NSW and ACT District. This Memorandum of Understanding sets forth the basis on which the Victoria–Tasmania District and NSW and ACT District will work together to advance Christian education, in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions, in our respective districts under the new Governance structure.
(Extract from District Church Council report to District Convention of Synod 2020, pages 27 – 28)