About Us

SAASSO Profile 2015

SAASSO is the parent body for public education in South Australia

A volunteer organisation, SAASSO has been supporting the role and right of parents in the education of their children since 1923.

SAASSO is the Governing Council Association for SA’s public schools

SAASSO supports and advocates for parent-led Governing Councils in their role as the governing body in public schools.

The foundation of Local Governance is that the local community – parents, principals, teachers and members of the local community are best equipped to determine the needs of their children and the strategic future of their local school.

SAASSO’s Vision

All schools are different, with different needs. Local Governance is your school community – not the education department – making the decisions at your school, in the best interests of your children. Research shows that Local Governance is superior to bureaucracies, because parents and the local school community:

  • SAASSO Brochure 2015are more committed to their members than a central bureaucracies are to their clients
  • understand their problems better than a bureaucracy
  • are more flexible and creative than large bureaucracies
  • are cheaper than bureaucrats, leaving more dollars for actual services delivery.


The OECD states that the benefits of Local Governance include:

  • increased efficiency
  • improved financial control
  • reduction of bureaucracy
  • increased responsiveness to local communities
  • creative management of human resources
  • improved potential for innovation
  • creation of conditions that improve education quality.

SAASSO’s Mission

Our Education Act theoretically bestows Governing Councils with the authority, autonomy and resources to plan, staff and operate their schools – in practice, however, Governing Councils have limited and declining scope to make decisions to impact on the school. “The Governing Council is more a policy taker, than policy maker”.

Academics describe Governing Councils and principals as being “caught in a power struggle with education departments”. As such, our school system remains highly centralised, with bureaucractic resistance strangling the development of true self-governing schools.

Local Governance is a “Global phenomenon, liberating schools from bureaucractic shackles”. We must – finally – achieve true Local Governance if we are to give our children the quality of educaiton they will need in the 21st century.