Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
New Zealand School Governance – Giving back to your community
Giving back to your community
Giving back to his community was something Tony Scott is passionate about. When he was asked by the Owhata school principal if he was interested in becoming a trustee, Tony agreed.
“It was very different to what I was expecting. Put it this way, I was not expecting to be a part of the board of trustees, I didn’t even consider this until asked.”
Tony was on three school boards and worked in the wider school community while chairing the Owhata school board. “I have seen growth from a lot of people, from trustees, through to the principal and school staff. Personally, I gained a lot of knowledge about governing the school through the governance model.”
“NZSTA provides professional development for school trustees but there’s always more to learn.”
Boards have the important responsibility of working with principals and school staff, for the combined interests of students and community.
We worked hard as a board to set a clear vision and direction for our school. “We got our board functioning in a way that everyone bought into the vision we had formulated, where we could see our school in the future, and the outcomes for our tamariki were paramount for them and the whānau of our students”.
One of the most rewarding outcomes for Tony from being on a school board was to see the board’s vision come to life. “We visited our marae and showed them our vision which encompassed the history of the hapū, and since then, we have seen involvement by everyone within our school community. We think this has been our greatest and most rewarding outcome.”
Parents, caregivers and people from the wider community can be nominated for election to a school board. It is important the board reflects its community and has a balance of skills and experience.
“From what I have seen over the last 10 years on the board is innovation, collaboration, and sharing of resources and knowledge. Education is in a constant change mode. We have seen the scrapping of national standards and the introduction of Kāhui Ako, so you can imagine being on the board with all the legislative changes happening, you have to be able to adapt at any time.”
“I have always stipulated to our board, that they are leaders in the community and by committing, you are giving back to your community.”
If you want to give back to your community, I would recommend becoming a trustee. There are no personal agendas being on a board. Your role is to govern the school and support your community.”
Anyone who is interested to be on the school board, can find more information on www.trustee-election.co.nz .The call for nominations for school trustees will be happening for most schools between 10 and 24 May.
About the school trustee elections
School trustee elections are one of the most significant democratic processes in New Zealand and are a way that parents, caregivers and communities can make a difference to their local school. The New Zealand School Trustees Association runs the trustee elections on behalf of the Ministry of Education. NZSTA provides election resources and election advice to all schools to help run successful elections.