Being a Board of Trustees Member
Elections for the Board of Trustees is scheduled for early June. Have you considered standing?
Boards of Trustees have had responsibility for the operation of primary and secondary schools across New Zealand. Boards provide governance and oversight and the Principal and staff focus on teaching and learning. Boards of Trustees take responsibility for the big picture. They determine the strategic direction of the school in consultation with the community. They also deal with annual planning, look after property, finance, health and safety and a myriad of other matters. Most importantly, Boards of Trustees are responsible for providing quality learning programmes for students. They do this through the Principal and staff and by providing resources, funds, equipment, encouragement, enthusiasm and planning support.
“Board members are entrusted by the community to ensure the success of our schools and a bright future for our children. We need an education system where all children are expected to succeed and one where we all take shared responsibility in ensuring this happens. As a member of a school
board you can make things happen – you can make a difference.” - Lorraine Kerr, NZSTA President.
What sort of skills do trustees need?
Trustees need a balance of skills and experiences. They need to work well in a team, be able to put plans in place for the school's future, ask challenging questions and have good communications skills. It helps to have an understanding of financial matters and the education sector, and experience in managing people.
I would encourage you to consider standing for the Board. If you have the best educational interests of the children at heart and have a good amount of common sense you will undoubtedly be a successful Trustee. The Board holds a meeting once a month and most Trustees have Board responsibilities that mean they have to complete a couple of hours Board work in-between meetings.
I am more than happy to discuss trusteeship with anyone interested in the role.