School Board

What Does the School Board Do?

West Leederville School Board

Previously known as the School Council, the School Board is a body of people dedicated to helping the School achieve the best educational experience and outcomes for our students.

The Board’s role is to take part in establishing and, from time to time:

  • Reviewing school objectives, priorities and general policy directions and the financial arrangements to fund these;
  • Evaluating school performance in achieving the set objectives and priorities;
  • and Endorsing codes of conduct for students at the school.

It determines the School’s long-term plans and oversees the School’s performance.

The Board also has a role in determining the dress code for students in consultation with the School community and promoting WLPS in the wider community.  From time to time, it also reviews and approves:

  • Charges, responsibility for and contributions towards the provision of certain materials, services and facilities;
  • Extra optional components to support educational programs; and
  • Any agreements or arrangements for advertising/sponsorship in relation to the school.

However, it’s important to point out that the School Board does NOT take part in any day-to-day management of the School or its staff. For example, it cannot:

  • intervene in the control or management of a School;
  • intervene in the educational instruction of students;
  • exercise authority over teaching staff or other persons employed at the School; or
  • intervene in the management or operation of a school fund.

With up to 15 members, the School Board has representatives from the staff, parents and the P&C. We are also able to co-opt members of the local business and community, if their skills or experience are required or would benefit the Board.

We meet twice in each term and members are elected for a three-year term. Positions become available from time to time and a call for nominations for any vacant positions, are advertised through public notice either in the school newsletter or, if it’s a staff position, by announcement at a staff meeting.

Some of the issues that have been on the agenda in the past year have been: achieving our Independent Public School status, monitoring the issue of Shenton College as a feeder school for WLPS students, Strategic planning for the future, a change to school uniform and the school nearing capacity.


If you would like to contact the School Board, you can approach any of our members (listed in the School Board Members section) or email us at:

WLPS Board Parent nominees 2023

Melissa Bowen

After more than 20 years as a journalist and media executive, I now run a media and communication training business, ThinkBox Media.

I work with clients across a wide variety of sectors, including Education, to help them develop and deliver successful media, communication and crisis plans.

My partner Brian and I moved to West Leederville in 2015. We have 3 daughters attending West Leederville Primary, and whilst I have nothing to compare it to, I feel our school community is truly special and I feel lucky that we get to be part of it.

I am passionate about seeing our school thrive, have previous board experience and would love to share any of my skills that could be of value to West Leederville Primary.

Trent Durward

I would like to join the board to give back to the local and school community that has supported my family, including Rafael (Year 2) and Olive (Year 5) since 2017.  I have been an active member of the school community through the FOWLs since 2018 and my wife Elsa has been volunteering through the P&C since 2019.

I am a professional in the development industry, current owner of Method Planning, an urban planning and project management consulting firm.  I have a long history of community work and not-for-profit experience, having chaired Leederville Connect and I currently sit on the Town Team Movement board.

I have skills in urban planning, governance, strategic planning, negotiation, and stakeholder engagement and aim to bring these skills to the Board and Greater West Leederville community.

Please refer to website links below for more information:

Claire McArdle

I am a local West Leederville resident and am the proud parent of two children in Year 3 and 5 who both attend WLPS. I am hoping to leverage my previous board experience and 20+ years commercial and governance experience to contribute to our special school by serving on our school board.

I am an active member of the West Leederville community, being motivated and involved in numerous school and broader community activities and having current experience on the WLPS P&C as Vice Chair.

I have previous Board experience, having been the Vice Chair of the Leederville Early Childhood Centre. Other Board and formal committee appointments include Murdoch University Animal Ethics Research Council and the Economic Regulation Authority of WA, Gas Advisory Board.

I am a commercial and negotiations professional with 20+ year’s experience in the both the private sector, working for various large multinational Energy companies in Perth and overseas, and also with the Federal Government, working in various analyst and governance positions in Canberra. Currently, I work as a Commercial Manager for an Energy company and am responsible for progressing green energy solutions.

I am passionate about our school and our community. I believe in diversity of thought and a collaborative approach to decision making. I would be honoured to be given an opportunity to contribute positively to our wonderful school by serving on the WPLS board.

Stewart Neilson

My daughter Vivienne is in Year 2 and my son William will start Kindy next year. I have over 10 years of experience working in schools.

I am currently the IT Manager at Presbyterian Ladies’ College.

In my role, I am responsible for policies, procedures and compliance tasks relating to students and staff as well significant financial experience.

I know the challenges schools face in cyber and in the classroom and I believe my wealth of knowledge over large facets of the day-to-day running of a school can help contribute to the functioning of the school board.

Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor and I am a registered nurse with a vast range of leadership and advocacy skills. My areas of work have included; paediatric disability, dialysis, palliative care and infection control. Coming from a healthcare background, I am very familiar with the age-old issue of meeting the never-ending list of needs within a very tight budget (a highly transferrable skill to education). I have had the opportunity to work with people from a vast range of cultural and economic backgrounds and love leading diverse teams in my vocation.

In this role, I hope to represent the many fellow neuro-diverse families within our school and ensure that every child is support to meet their unique potential. I am also a member of the P&C and with the enrolment of my youngest child, will be an active West Leedy parent until 2034. I see this role as an opportunity to strengthen and contribute to the community for the next 11 years. Furthermore, I am also married to a teacher and have a vested interest in promoting a happy, supportive and fulfilling workplace for the educators of our children. I believe a school is the heartbeat of the wider local community and fostering happy, healthy, inclusive relationships leads to a lifetime of community spirit and connection.

Overall, I hope to contribute to making West Leedy a happy, inclusive school where every individual feels a sense of belonging and personal value.

Board Members