Governance Policy

POL-1

Effective Date: 12 September 2016

1.0 Plateau School Board of Trustees - Governance Policy

1.1 Overall Policy Statement

To ensure effective school performance, the board is committed to maintaining a strong and effective governance framework that incorporates legislative requirements and good practice.

The following documentation outlines the board’s governance framework and is aligned with the school’s Charter and values.

These governance policies outline how the board will operate and set standards and performance expectations that create the basis for the board to monitor and evaluate performance as part of its ongoing monitoring and review cycle.  The Master Copy will be deemed to be the copy uploaded to the school website

The following are the board’s agreed governance and management definitions which form the basis upon which both the working relationship and the board’s governance policies are developed.  

Governance

The board acts in a stewardship role and is entrusted to work on behalf of all stakeholders. It is accountable for the school’s performance, emphasises strategic leadership, sets the vision for the school and ensures compliance with legal and policy requirements.

Board policies are at a governance level and outline clear delegations to the principal. The board and principal form the leadership team with the role of each documented and understood. The principal reports to the board as a whole with committees used sparingly and only when a need is identified in order to contribute to board work.

The board is proactive rather than reactive in its operations and decision making and does not involve itself in the administrative details of the day to day running of the school. The ongoing improvement of student progress and achievement is the board’s focus. 

Management

The board delegates all authority and accountability for the day-to-day operational organisation of the school to the principal who must ensure compliance with both the board’s policy framework and the law of New Zealand

1.2 Policy Review

The Board will meet regularly to write and develop policies and procedures and will maintain an active programme of internal self review of policies to determine whether they are still effective and appropriate.

During the review process the effectiveness of individual policies will be determined and future direction evaluated.  This will also give the Board and principal the opportunity to review their performance in that area.

The Policy review process is based on the following:

  • The school will have an annual schedule for the review and update of; this will be generated or updated during term 1 of each year by the chairperson or other delegated person.
  • New or reviewed policies will be brought to a Board of Trustees meeting for a final review and approval. The Chairperson signs the master copy of all new or reviewed policies to indicate approval.
  • The Board of Trustees will consider all written requests to amend school policies. The Board will decide either to begin the amendment process or decline to proceed. In either case the community will be notified by the Board when a decision is reached.
  • Teaching staff will be responsible for documenting all Teaching and Learning procedural documents.

Review schedule: Triennially


2.0 Board of Trustees (Collective) - Roles & Responsibilities Policy

2.1 Overall Policy Statement

The Board of Trustees of Plateau School is focused on the ongoing improvement of student progress and achievement within an environment that provides inclusive education as stated in the New Zealand Curriculum, the New Zealand Disability Strategy, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

As outlined in s 75(1) of the Education Act the purpose of the board is to perform its functions and exercise its powers in such a way as to ensure that every student at the school is able to attain his or her highest possible standard in educational achievement.

To this the Board will:

  • communicate and consult with the school community and Maori to assist learning and teaching.
  • together with the Principal and teaching staff, ensure students receive a balanced curriculum based on the current New Zealand Curriculum and will monitor and report on student progress.
  • together with the Principal and teaching staff, develop a strategic plan, annual plan, policies and procedures covering the running of the school (including curriculum, assessment and staff professional development).
  • write and develop and review policies via an active programme of internal self review.
  • be a good employer and implement personnel policies that promote high levels of staff performance and effective student learning.
  • implement the National Administration Guidelines related to finance, property and school administration.
  • implement the procedures and maintenance programmes required to ensure that the school is a safe and healthy place.

2.2 Roles & Responsibilities

The Board:

  1. Sets the strategic direction and long-term plans and monitors the board’s progress against them
    1. The board leads the Charter review process
    2. The board sets the strategic aims and approves the annual plan and targets in line with MoE expectations
    3. Regular board meetings include a report on progress towards achieving strategic aims
    4. The Charter is the basis for all board decision making
  2. Monitors financial management of the school and approves the budget
    1. Satisfactory performance of school against budget
    2. Budget approved by the first meeting each year
  3. Monitors and evaluates student progress and achievement
    1. Reports at each regular board meeting from principal on progress against annual plan highlight risk/success
    2. Meet targets in annual plan, implement curriculum policy and satisfactory performance of curriculum education priorities
    3. Board review schedule covering curriculum and student progress and achievement reports are followed
  4. Effectively manages risk
    1. Members attend board meetings having read board papers and reports and ready to discuss them
    2. Board meetings have a quorum
    3. Members remain briefed on internal/external risk environments and take action where necessary
    4. Identify 'trouble spots' in statements of audit and take action if necessary
    5. Ensure that the principal reports on all potential and real risks when appropriate and take appropriate action
  5. Ensures compliance with legal requirements
    1. New members have read and understood: board induction materials; & requirements of board members
    2. New and continuing members have kept aware of any changes in legal and reporting requirements for the school. Board has sought appropriate advice when necessary
    3. Accurate minutes of all board meetings, approved by board and signed by chair
    4. Individual staff/student matters are always discussed in public excluded session
  6. Approves major policies and programme initiatives
    1. Approved and minuted.
  7. Fulfils the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi by valuing and reflecting New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage
    1. The Treaty of Waitangi is obviously considered in board decisions
    2. The board is culturally responsive and inclusive
  8. Approves and monitors personnel policy and procedures and acts as a good employer
    1. Become and remain familiar with employment conditions of school, staff employment agreements and award arrangements
  9. Appoints, assesses the performance of and supports the principal
    1. Principal’s performance management system in place & implemented
  10. Deals with disputes and conflicts referred to the board as per the school’s complaints policy
    1. Successful resolution of any disputes and conflicts referred
  11. Represents the school in a positive, professional manner
    1. Code of behaviour adhered to
  12. Oversees, conserves and enhances the resource base
    1. Property/resources meet the needs of the student achievement aims
  13. Effectively hands over governance to new board/trustees at election time
    1. New trustees provided with induction materials;
    2. New trustees fully briefed and able to participate following attendance at an orientation programme

Board members will be kept informed of relevant issues by access to incoming mail.

2.3 Overall Board Performance

The performance of the board is measured by the outcomes from:

  • the annual report
  • the triennial review programme
  • the ERO report
  • any other means deemed appropriate by the board

2.4 Delegations

The Board shall keep a register of any delegations, either to individuals or sub committees, over and above those listed in the governance policy framework.

2.5 Trustee Register

The Board shall keep a trustee register and this shall be available for public inspection

2.6 Meetings

All board meeting shall be ran in accordance with meeting policy.

The Chairperson shall keep a review schedule to ensure that collectively board meetings cover and meet all its triennial and annual responsibilities.

2.7 The Relationship between the Board and the Principal

The performance of the school depends significantly on the effectiveness of this relationship and as such a positive, productive working relationship must be developed and maintained. The board and the principal form the leadership team and as such clear role definitions have been developed. The Responsibilities of the Principal and Responsibilities of the Board policies along with the board’s agreed Code of Behaviour should be read alongside this policy.

  1. This relationship is based on mutual respect, trust, integrity and ability.
  2. The relationship must be professional.
  3. The principal reports to the board as a whole rather than to individual trustees.
  4.  Day to day relationships between the board and the principal are delegated to the chair.
  5. All reports presented to the board by the staff arrive there with the principal’s approval and the principal is accountable for the contents.
  6. There are clear delegations and accountabilities by the board to the principal through policy.
  7. The two must work as a team and there should be no surprises.
  8. Neither party will deliberately hold back important information.
  9. Neither party will knowingly misinform the other.
  10. The board must maintain a healthy independence from the principal in order to fulfil its role
  11. The principal should be able to share their biggest concerns with the board.

2.8 Co-Opting of Members

The Board is required to adequately reflect the character of the community served by the school and to ensure it has the necessary skills to effectively govern the school.   To do this the board may need co-opt members to allow it to effectively govern the school and to reflect the character of the community it serves.

Co-opted members will fit with the criteria as stated in Section 99, Education Act 1989; that being:

  • To fill an identified skills gap within the Board or a Committee
  • To reflect the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the student body of the school
  • To maintain the balance of male and female trustees
  • To reflect the character of the school and its community

 All co-opted members must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

The term of office for all co-opted members is for a fixed term of no greater than one year except the year preceding the triennial election, where the term can be extended until the election occurs.

The number of co-opted members must not be greater than one less than the number of  elected Board members.

All co-opted members will receive confirmation in writing, and will sign a declaration confirming their eligibility to serve on the Board as per the requirements of the Education Act 1989.

All co-opted members will sign an acknowledgement form confirming they have read, understood and will comply with the Board Member Code of Conduct. All co-opted members are expected to attend all Board meetings and those of Board sub-committees that they are part of. When a member is unable to attend a meeting there is the expectation that the Chairperson will be notified as early as possible of likely absence.

2.9 Media Management  

To ensure that the School is seen in a positive light in all communications with the media:

  • The Chairperson in consultation with the Principal, and with reference to the Board where possible, will deal with all media inquiries.
  • No member of the Board/staff shall be authorised to make any statement on behalf of Plateau School, to the press, radio, TV or any other media unless prior approval of the Principal and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees has been obtained.
  • Statements or comments made as individuals shall also be framed in such a manner as to make it clear that the statement is that of the individual and no reference to the individual’s association with Plateau School is to be included.

Relevant Legislation

Sections 75 and 76, from the Education Act 1989:

s.75 Functions and powers of boards

  1. A school's board must perform its functions and exercise its powers in such a way as to ensure that every student at the school is able to attain his or her highest possible standard in educational achievement.
  2. Except to the extent that any enactment or the general law of New Zealand provides otherwise, a school's board has complete discretion to control the management of the school as it thinks fit.

s.76 Principals –

  1. A school’s principal is the board’s chief executive in relation to the school’s control and management.
  2. Except to the extent that any enactment or the general law of New Zealand provides otherwise, the principal –
    1. Shall comply with the board’s general policy directions; and
    2. Subject to paragraph (1), has complete discretion to manage as the principal thinks fit the school’s day to day administration.

NAGS

NAG 1

Each board of trustees is required to foster student achievement by providing teaching and learning programmes which incorporate The National Curriculum as expressed in The New Zealand Curriculum 2007 or Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Each board, through the principal and staff, is required to:

  1. Develop and implement teaching and learning programmes:
    1. to provide all students in years 1-10 with opportunities to achieve for success in all areas of the National Curriculum;
    2. giving priority to student achievement in literacy and numeracy, especially in years 1-8;
    3. giving priority to regular quality physical activity that develops movement skills for all students, especially in years 1-6.
  2. Through a range of assessment practices, gather information that is sufficiently comprehensive to enable the progress and achievement of students to be evaluated; giving priority first to:
    1. student achievement in literacy and numeracy, especially in years 1-8; and then to
    2. breadth and depth of learning related to the needs, abilities and interests of students, the nature of the school's curriculum, and the scope of The National Curriculum as expressed in The New Zealand Curriculum or Te Marautanga o Aotearoa;
  3. On the basis of good quality assessment information, identify students and groups of students:
    1. who are not achieving;
    2. who are at risk of not achieving;
    3. who have special needs1; and
    4. aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention;
  4. Develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students and aspects of the curriculum identified in (c) above;
  5. In consultation with the school's Maori community, develop and make known to the school's community policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Maori students; and
  6. Provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in year 7 and above, with a particular emphasis on specific career guidance for those students who have been identified by the school as being at risk of leaving school unprepared for the transition to the workplace or further education/training.

NAG 2

Each board of trustees, with the principal and teaching staff, is required to:

  1. develop a strategic plan which documents how they are giving effect to the National Education Guidelines through their policies, plans and programmes, including those for curriculum, National Standards, assessment and staff professional development;
  2. maintain an on-going programme of self-review in relation to the above policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of information on student achievement; and
  3. report to students and their parents on the achievement of individual students, and to the school's community on the achievement of students as a whole and of groups (identified through NAG 1(c) above) including the achievement of Maori students against the plans and targets referred to in 1(e) above.

NAG 2A

Where a school has students enrolled in years 1-8, the board of trustees, with the principal and teaching staff, is required to use National Standards to:

  1. Report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. Reporting to parents in plain language in writing must be at least twice a year;
  2. Report school-level data in the board’s annual report on National Standards under three headings:
    1. school strengths and identified areas for improvement;
    2. the basis for identifying areas for improvement; and
    3. planned actions for lifting achievement.
  3. Report in the board’s annual report on:
    1. the numbers and proportions of students at, above, below or well below the standards, including by Maori, Pasifika and by gender (where this does not breach an individual’s privacy); and
    2. how students are progressing against the standards as well as how they are achieving.

NAG 3

According to the legislation on employment and personnel matters, each board of trustees is required in particular to:

  1. Develop and implement personnel and industrial policies, within policy and procedural frameworks set by the Government from time to time, which promote high levels of staff performance, use educational resources effectively and recognise the needs of students; and
  2. Be a good employer as defined in the State Sector Act 1988 and comply with the conditions contained in employment contracts applying to teaching and non-teaching staff.

NAG 4

According to legislation on financial and property matters, each board of trustees is also required in particular to:

  1. Allocate funds to reflect the school's priorities as stated in the charter;
  2. Monitor and control school expenditure, and ensure that annual accounts are prepared and audited as required by the Public Finance Act 1989 and the Education Act 1989; and
  3. Comply with the negotiated conditions of any current asset management agreement, and implement a maintenance programme to ensure that the school's buildings and facilities provide a safe, healthy learning environment for students.

NAG 5

Each board of trustees is also required to:

  1. Provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students;
  2. Promote healthy food and nutrition for all students; and
  3. Comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees.

NAG 6

Each board of trustees is also expected to comply with all general legislation concerning requirements such as attendance, the length of the school day, and the length of the school year.

Footnote

1 Including gifted and talented students.

Review schedule: Triennially


3.0 – Individual Trustees’  Roles & Responsibilities Policy

3.1. Overall Policy Statement

Trustees shall undertake all endeavours to ensure that the Board meets its responsibilities (as outlined in policies 1 and 2)

3.2 Code of Behaviour

The Board is committed to ethical conduct in all areas of its responsibilities and authority.

The Board will have in place a trustee’s code of behaviour which all trustees will sign upon taking office and be expected to behave in accordance with.  

The Code of behaviour will reflect the principles that Trustees shall:

  1. Maintain and understand the values and goals of the school.
  2. Protect the special character of the school.
  3. Ensure the needs of all students and their achievement is paramount.
  4. Be loyal to the school and its mission.
  5. Publicly represent the school in a positive manner.
  6. Respect the integrity of the principal and staff.
  7. Observe the confidentiality of non-public information acquired in their role as a trustee and not disclose to any other persons such information that might be harmful to the school.
  8. Be diligent and attend board meetings prepared for full and appropriate participation in decision making.
  9. Ensure that individual trustees do not act independently of the board’s decisions.
  10. Speak with one voice through its adopted policies and ensure that any disagreements with the board’s stance are resolved within the board.
  11. Avoid any conflicts of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility.
  12. Recognise the lack of authority in any individual trustee or subgroup of the board in any interaction with the principal or staff.
  13. Recognise that only the chairperson (working within the board’s agreed chairperson role description or delegation) or a delegate working under written delegation, can speak for the board.
  14. Continually self-monitor their individual performance as trustees against policies and any other current board evaluation tools.
  15. Be available to undertake appropriate professional development.

The Code of behaviour will be revised after each triennial election. 

3.3 Trustee Attendance

Trustees are expected to, where possible attend board meetings and takes an active role as a trustee.

The expectation of trustees are as follows:

  • Attendance at 80% of meetings (minimum).
  • No unexplained absences at board meetings (3 consecutive absences without prior leave result in immediate step down) Refer Education Act 1989, s104 (1) (c)
  • Board papers read prior to attending board meetings

3.4 Trustee Conflicts of Interest

The standard of behaviour expected at Plateau School is that all staff and board members effectively manage conflicts of interest between the interests of the school on one hand, and personal, professional, and business interests on the other. This includes managing potential and actual conflicts of interest, as well as perceptions of conflicts of interest.

The purposes of this policy are to protect the integrity of the school decision-making process, to ensure confidence in the school’s integrity, and to protect the integrity and reputations of staff and board members. Upon or before election or appointment, each person will make a full, written disclosure of interests, relationships, and holdings that could potentially result in a conflict of interest. This written disclosure will be kept on file and will be updated as appropriate.

In the course of meetings or activities, board members will disclose any interests in a transaction or decision where their family, and/or partner, employer, or close associates will receive a benefit or gain. After disclosure, the person making the disclosure will be asked to leave the room for the discussion and will not be permitted to vote on the question.

3.5 Trustee Remuneration and Expenses

The board has the right to set the amount that the chairperson and other board members are paid for attendance at board meetings in recognition that these fees cover the expense of attending meetings.

The principal, as a member of the board is entitled to the same payment as all other trustees except the chairperson.

Currently at Plateau school:

  1. The chairperson receives $75.00 per board meeting
  2. Elected board members receive $55.00 per board meetings
  3. There is no payment for working group/committee meetings
  4. Attendance fees are non-taxable within the agreed non-taxable amounts of $605 annually for trustees and $825 for the chairperson
  5. Attendance costs for professional development sessions will be met by the board of trustees. Prior approval must first be sought
  6. All other reimbursements are at the discretion of the board and must be approved prior to any spending occurring

Trustees will receive the year’s meeting fees at the end of each year.

Review schedule: Triennially


4.0 Chairperson – Role and Responsibilities Policy

4.1 Overall Policy Statement

The chairperson of Plateau school safeguards the integrity of the board’s processes and represents the board of trustees to the broader community. The chair ensures that each trustee has a full and fair opportunity to be heard and understood by the other members of the board in order that collective opinion can be developed and a board decision reached. The board’s ability to meet its obligations and the plans and targets it has set are enhanced by the leadership and guidance provided by the chair.

4.2 Role and Delegations

The Chair:

  1. Welcomes new members, ensures that the conflict of interest disclosure is made, the code of behaviour is understood and signed and leads new trustee induction
  2. Assists board members' understanding of their role, responsibilities and accountability including the need to comply with the Trustees’ Code of Behaviour policy
  3. Leads the board members and develops them as a cohesive and effective team
  4. Ensures that the work of the board is completed
  5. Ensures that they act within board policy and delegations at all times and do not act independently of the board
  6. Sets the board's agenda and ensures that all board members have the required information for informed discussion of the agenda items
  7. Ensures that the meeting agenda content is only about those issues which according to board policy clearly belong to the board to decide
  8. Effectively organises and presides over board meetings ensuring that such meetings are conducted in accordance with the Education Act 1989, the relevant sections of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and any relevant board policies
  9. Ensures interactive participation by all board members
  10. Has the casting vote (in addition to his/her deliberative vote) in the case of equality of votes, either in a formal meeting or in discussions between meetings requiring a decision.
  11. Represents the board to external parties such as the media as an official spokesperson for the school except for those matters where this has been delegated to another person/s
  12. Is responsible for promoting effective communication between the board and wider community including communicating appropriate board decisions
  13. Establishes and maintains a productive working relationship with the principal
  14. Ensures that the principal’s performance agreement and appraisal are completed on an annual basis
  15. Ensures that concerns and complaints are dealt with according to the school’s concerns and complaints procedures
  16. Ensures that any potential or real risk to the school or its name is communicated to the board. This includes any concern or complaint
4.3. The Relationship between the Chairperson and the Principal

The chairperson is the leader of the board and works on behalf of the board on a day to day basis with the principal.  This relationship shall be based on the following principles:

  1. A positive, productive working relationship between the principal and the chair is both central and vital to the school.
  2. This relationship is based on mutual trust and respect.
  3. The two must work as a team and there should be no surprises.
  4. The relationship must be professional.
  5. Each must be able to counsel the other on performance concerns.
  6. The chair supports the principal and vice versa when required and appropriate.
  7. There is understanding/acceptance of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  8. Each agree not to undermine the other’s authority.
  9. There is agreement to be honest with each other.
  10. Each agree and accept the need to follow policy and procedures.
  11. Agree not to hold back relevant information.
  12. Agree and understand that the chair has no authority except that granted by the board.
  13. Understand that the chair should act as a sounding board for the principal both supporting and challenging in order to hold the school to account for achieving the goals and targets that have been set.

Review schedule: Annually – following the election of chairperson at first meeting of the year


5.0 Principal – Role and Responsibilities Policy

5.1 Overall Policy Statement

The principal is the professional leader of the school and works in partnership with the board of trustees. As the board’s chief executive the principal shall not cause or allow any practice, activity or decision that is unethical, unlawful, and imprudent or which violates the board’s Charter or expressed values or commonly held professional ethic.

The principal’s key contribution is day-to-day management of the school as per the management definition in the introduction to this governance manual.

5.2 Responsibilities of the Principal

The principal is responsible for overseeing the implementation of board policy including the Charter. Reference in documentation to the school, management and staff is to be read as “principal” for responsibility for implementation. From time to time the chairperson of the board acting within delegated authority may issue discretions in policies of the school, in minutes of the board, or by written delegation.

The responsibilities of the principal are to:

  1.  Meet the requirements of the current job description.
  2.  Meet the requirements of the Principals’ Professional Standards.
  3. Act as the educational leader and day to day manager of the school within the law and in line with board policies.
  4. Develop an annual plan that is aligned with the board’s strategic plan and meets both legislative requirements and any MoE expectations.
  5.  Seek approval from the board each year for the annual plan so that MoE expected dates can be met.
  6.  Implement the annual plan and give priority to the school’s annual targets.
  7. Use resources efficiently and effectively.
  8. Put good employer policies into effect and ensure that there are effective procedures/guidelines in place.
  9.  Approve staff attestation for salary increments.
  10.  Allocate pay units for management positions.
  11. Oversee staff appraisals and staff professional development.
  12. Hire, deploy and terminate relieving and auxiliary staff positions.
  13. Hire teaching staff as per the appointments policy.
  14. Preserve assets (financial and property).
  15. Communicate with the community on operational matters where appropriate.
  16. Limit public statements about the official position of the board on controversial social, political, and/or educational issues to what the board has formally adopted as positions of record.
  17. Keep the board informed of information important to its role.
  18. Report to the board on the compliance or lack of with their policies.
  19. Organise operations within the boundaries of prudence and ethics established in board policies on operations and the Charter.
  20. Act as Protected Disclosures Officer and ensure procedures are in place to meet the requirements of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000.” [see STA Link 2001/01].
  21. Appoint, on behalf of the board, the Privacy Officer and EEO Officer.

Only decisions made by the board acting as a board are binding on the principal. Decisions or instructions by individual board members, committee chairs, or committees are not binding on the principal except in rare circumstances when the board has specifically authorised it.

The relationship is one of trust and support with expectations documented in the relationship policy. Both parties work to ensure “no-surprises”.

The principal is not restricted from using the expert knowledge of individual board members acting as volunteers.

5.3. Reporting to the Board

The principal reports to the board as a whole and keeps it informed of the true and accurate position of the outcomes of curriculum; teaching and learning; financial position; and all matters having real or potential legal considerations and risk for our school. Thus the board is supported in its strategic decision-making and risk management. Therefore, the principal may not fail to:

  1. Inform the board of significant trends, implications of board decisions, issues arising from policy matters or changes in the basic assumptions upon which the board’s strategic aims are based.
  2. At each board meeting submit a principal’s management report and other written report covering management areas such as (as required):
  • Charter and/or Curriculum Progress Report
  •  Personnel Report
  •  Finance Report
  •   Variance Report
  •  Student Progress and Achievement Report
  1. Inform the board in a timely manner of any significant changes in staffing, programmes, plans or processes that are under consideration.
  2. Seek board approval for any requests for discretionary staff leave of longer than 3 days.
  3. Seek board approval for any requests for staff travelling overseas on school business.
  4. Advise the board of any staff absences longer than 3 school days.
  5. Submit any monitoring data required in a timely, accurate and understandable fashion.
  6. Report and explain financial variance against budget in line with the board’s expectations.
  7. Report on the number of stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions on a per meeting basis.
  8. Report and explain roll variance against year levels and reasons on a per meeting basis.
  9. Present information in a suitable form – not too complex or lengthy.
  10. Inform the board when, for any reason, there is non-compliance of a board policy.
  11. Recommend changes in board policies when the need for them becomes known.
  12. Highlight areas of possible bad publicity or community dis-satisfaction.
  13. Coordinate management/staff reports to the board and present to the board under the principal’s authority.
  14. Regularly report on the implementation of the annual plan and progress towards meeting student achievement targets.
  15. Report on any matter requested by the board and within the specified timeframe.

5.4. Key Relationships

The principal shall maintain relationships with the Board and Chairperson in accordance with policies 1.6 and 3.2 respectively.

5.5 Disciplinary Process in Relation to the Principal

In the event the board receives a complaint regarding the principal or determines that policy violation(s) has (have) occurred and the board judges the degree and seriousness of the concern or violation(s) to warrant initiating a disciplinary process, the board shall seek free advice in the first instance from an NZSTA industrial adviser and follow due process.

5.6 Principal Professional Expenses

A budget for professional expenses and for professional development will be established annually and be included in the budget. Spending within budget occurs at the discretion of the principal except in the case of overseas professional development. All overseas trips for professional development must be approved first by the board of trustees at least one term in advance of the event.

 Professional development expenses may include but are not confined to: continuing education, books and periodicals, mentoring, and attendance at professional conferences.

5.7. Principal’s Performance

The appraisal of the Principal is an integral part of the School Performance Management System in that the focus of the appraisal is the improvement of teaching and learning in the school.  The Principal's appraisal reflects the strategic plan for the school. It provides quality assurance and an accountability framework for the school and community.

The overall responsibility for managing the Principal’s appraisal is delegated to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.  The Board Chairperson and the Principal will consult to determine a process for the Principal’s appraisal. This process will be recorded in the performance agreement and implemented annually.

Process

The principal’s performance is appraised on an annual basis with the objective of ensuring high quality educational opportunities for the students of the school. This process will:

  1. Ensure that the principal’s performance will be formally appraised on an annual basis by the board chairperson or delegate(s) and, at the board’s choice, either an independent person(s) with appropriate skill and expertise to contribute to the appraisal process and is able to review the effectiveness of the education provided or other suitable trustee.
  2. Result in a written assessment of the principal’s performance on an annual basis, identifying any training/professional development needs for the principal to undertake.
  3. There will be three informal meetings during the review period between the principal and chairperson or delegate(s) to discuss progress.
  4. The criteria for appraisal will be the objectives set in the performance agreement, the objectives being drawn from the school’s strategic and annual operating plans, the principal’s job description, professional standards and board policies on operations.
  5. If there is any disagreement between the principal and the board as to the objectives, the board, after considering the principal’s input, will amend and confirm the amended objectives or confirm the unchanged objectives.  The board’s decision will be final.
  6. The board chairperson or delegate(s) may seek feedback on the principal’s performance from staff, parents, or any other person/s who are in the position of providing feedback on how the principal has performed.
  7. The chairperson or delegate(s) will report back formally once a year to the board a summary report on the result of the appraisal. This will be discussed in committee with the principal absent.

Confidentiality

Documentation relating to the Principal’s appraisal interview will remain confidential to the Principal and the Board Chairperson, unless the Principal agrees otherwise.  Overall or summary performance appraisal documents will be made available to the Board as confidential documents.

Dispute Resolution

Any dispute related to the Principal’s appraisal process or its results will be referred to an independent person agreed upon by the Principal and the Board Chairperson. (Note that in any dispute, the Board, as employer, has responsibility for the final decision.)

In the event of dispute, the principles of natural justice will apply. The Board will allow each party to seek the advice they desire and provide the evidence they deem relevant. In the end, the Board, as employer, will have responsibility for the final decision.

Review schedule: Triennially


6.0 Staff Trustee – Role and Responsibilities Policy

6.1 Overall Policy Statement

The staff trustee fulfils legislative requirements relating to board composition. The role of the staff trustee is to bring a staff perspective to board decision making.

As a trustee the staff trustee has an obligation to serve the broader interests of the school and its students and has equal voice, vote, standing and accountabilities as all other trustees.

6.2 Responsibilities

In addition the responsibility of other board members, such as abiding by the Code of Behaviour, the following standards apply:

  • The staff trustee is first and foremost a trustee and must act in the best interests of the students at the school at all times
  • It is not expected that the staff trustee act as a union delegate

Review schedule: Triennially


7.0 Board Meetings Policy

7.1 Overall Policy Statement

The board is committed to effective and efficient meetings that are focused at a governance level and provide the information the board needs to be assured that all policies, plans and processes are being implemented and progressing as planned.

Our meetings:

  1. are based on a prepared agenda. The agenda preparation is the responsibility of the chairperson.  The agenda of the open (public) session will be posted on the board of trustees secion of the school website at least 3 days prior to the meeting.
  2. are held with the expectation that trustees have prepared for them and will participate in all discussions at all times within the principles of acceptable behaviour.
  3. have the right, by resolution, to exclude the public and news media from the whole or part of the proceedings in accordance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

7.2 Meeting Rules

Meetings will be held in accordance with the following rules.

(an * denotes legislative requirement)

General:

  • The Board will meet at least twice per term.
  •  Meetings are held as per the annual schedule with dates confirmed at the first meeting of each year.
  •  The quorum shall be more than half the members of the board currently holding office.* and include the Principal or acting Principal
  • Only apologies received from those who cannot be present must be recorded.
  • Trustees who miss three consecutive meetings without the prior leave of the board cease to be members. An apology does not meet the requirement of prior leave. To obtain prior leave a trustee must request leave from the board at a board meeting and the board must make a decision.
  • The chairperson shall be elected at the first meeting of the year except in the general election year where it will be at the first meeting of the newly elected board.*
  •  Voting will be decided by majority.
  • The chairperson may exercise a casting vote in the case of equality of votes, in addition to his/her deliberative vote.*
  • In accordance with policy 2.4 any trustees with a conflict or pecuniary interest in any issue shall not take part in any debate on such issues and may be asked to leave the meeting for the duration of the debate.* A pecuniary interest arises when a trustee may be financially advantaged or disadvantaged as a result of decisions made by the board. E.g. Contracts, pay and conditions etc. A conflict of interest is when an individual trustee could have, or could be thought to have, a personal stake in matters to be considered by the board.
  • Only trustees have automatic speaking rights.
  • Unless he/she is absent board minutes will be unless taken by the board secretary who will be non-trustee paid on a commercial basis on contract.
  • Any business remaining on the agenda at the conclusion of the meeting is transferred to the following meeting.

Special meetings:

  • A special meeting may be called by delivery of notice to the chairperson signed by at least one third of trustees currently holding office.

Public participation:

  • The board meeting is a meeting held in public rather than a public meeting.
  • Public participation is at the discretion of the chairperson.
  • Public attending the meeting are given a notice about their rights regarding attendance at the meeting.

For further rules and guidance refer policy 6.3

Exclusion of the public:

  • At times the Board will discuss sensitive issues. At this time the Chairperson will announce that the Board will be in Committee and all those other than Board members will be excluded. These discussions are confidential to the Board and must remain so.
  • The meeting may, by resolution, exclude the public (going into committee) and news media from the whole or part of the proceedings in accordance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act unless specifically asked to stay. The wording to be used in the motion to exclude the public is found in Schedule 2A of that Act. Excluding the public is most often used to ensure privacy of individuals or financially sensitive issues.*

Motions/amendments:

  • A motion is a formal proposal for consideration. All motions and amendments moved in debate must be seconded unless moved by the chairperson and are then open for discussion.*
  • Motions and amendments once proposed and accepted may not be withdrawn without the consent of the meeting.* 
  • No further amendments may be accepted until the first one is disposed of.*
  • The mover of a motion has right of reply.*
  • A matter already discussed may not be reintroduced at the same meeting in any guise or by way of an amendment.*

Tabling documents:

  • When written information is used in support of a discussion, it should be tabled so that it can be examined by those present. It then forms part of the official record.

Correspondence

  • The board should have access to all correspondence. Correspondence that requires the board to take some action should be photocopied/scanned and distributed prior to the meeting. Other correspondence can be listed and tabled so that trustees can read it if required.
Termination of debate:
  • All decisions are to be taken by open voting by all trustees present.

Lying on the table:

  • When a matter cannot be resolved, or when further information is necessary before a decision can be made, the matter can be left unresolved for future discussion.

Points of order:

  • Points of order are questions directed to the chair which require an answer or a ruling. They are not open to debate and usually relate to the rules for the running of a meeting.

Suspension of meeting procedures:

  • The board’s normal meeting procedures may be suspended by resolution of the meeting.

Agenda:

  • Papers and reports are to be sent to the board at least 3 days before the meeting.
  • Agenda items are to be notified to the chair 3 days prior to the meeting.  The agenda will be finalised at this point and sent to members and published on the Board webpage.
  • Late items after this point will only be accepted with the approval of the board and in rare circumstances where a decision is urgent.
  • The order of the Agenda may be varied by resolution at the meeting.
  • If practical all matters requiring a decision of the board are to be agended as separate meeting items.
  • If practical all items in the agenda are to carry a recommended course of action and where appropriate supplemented by supporting material in the agended documentation.
  • Papers requiring reading and consideration will not normally be accepted if tabled at the meeting.

Minutes:

  • The principal is to ensure that secretarial services are provided to the board.
  • The minutes are to clearly show resolutions and action points and who is to complete the action.
  • A draft set of minutes is to be completed and sent to the chair for approval no later than one week following the board meeting and circulated to members as soon as practical after that (but no later than one week before the next meeting).

7.3 Public Attendance at Board Meetings

Members of the school community are encouraged to take an active interest in the school and its performance and are welcome to attend all board meetings.  However, the board meeting is a meeting held in public rather than a public meeting and public participation is at the discretion of the chairperson.

Members of the public include staff and parents of the school who are not trustees on the board.

The Chairperson of the meeting shall advice any public attending the meeting about the following rights and responsibilities regarding attendance at the meeting.   

  1. Board meetings are not public meetings but meetings held in public.
  2. If the meeting moves to exclude the public (usually this is to protect the privacy of individuals) then the public will be asked to leave the meeting until this aspect of business has been concluded.
  3. Members of the public may request speaking rights on a particular subject that is on the agenda. Preferably this request has been made in advance. Public participation is at the discretion of the board.
  4. If required speakers shall be restricted up to:
    1. a maximum of 5 minutes each per subject, with a time limit of fifteen minutes per interest group.
    2. No more than 3 speakers on any one topic.
  5. Speakers must speak to the topic and shall not be disrespectful, offensive, or make malicious statements or claims.
  6. Unless permission is granted by the chair speakers are not to question the board and Board members will not address questions or statements to speakers.
  7. If the chair believes that any of these have occurred or the speaker has gone over time they will be asked to finish.

Review schedule: Triennially


8.0 Sub Committees Policy

8.1 Overall Policy Statement

The board may, from time and as required, set up committees to assist the board carry out its responsibilities and due process (e.g., staff appointments, finance, property, disciplinary). 

The board must document in the board minutes and in writing to each committee member the precise powers that are delegated to an individual committee. In addition the same delegation motion must name who has delegated authority. For example, the committee can:

  1. Investigate and report their findings to the board.
  2. Investigate and make any recommendations based on those findings to the board.
  3. Investigate, come to conclusions based on what they have discovered and have the power to act upon those conclusions then report to the board what they did.

8.2 Establishment of Sub -Committees

When establishing sub -committees, the board needs to take into account that committees:

  1. Are to be used sparingly to preserve the board functioning as a whole when other methods have been deemed inadequate.
  2. Can consist of non-trustees. Committees must have a minimum number of 2 persons, at least one of whom must be a trustee.
  3. May not speak or act for the board except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes. Such authority will be carefully stated in order not to conflict with authority delegated to the principal or the chair.
  4. Help the board (not the staff) do its work.
  5. Other than the board discipline committee must act through the board and therefore can only recommend courses of action to the board and have no authority to act without the delegated authority of the board.
  6. Assist the board chiefly by preparing policy alternatives and implications for board deliberation. Board committees are not to be created by the board to advise staff.
  7. Have the chair and principal as ex officio members
  8. Are to have terms of reference drawn up as required.  It is suggested that these contain information about the following:
  • purpose
  • committee members
  • delegated authority

Relevant Legislation

Education Act 1989, section 66 gives the board the authority to delegate any of its powers to a special committee except the power to borrow money.

Review schedule: Triennially


9.0 Complaints Policy

9.1 Overall Policy Statement

It is important that both staff and parents see that all complaints are dealt with in an open and fair manner. To ensure this complaints will be managed via the following complaints process:

9.1 Complaints Process

  1. All complaints must be acknowledged.
  2. Complaints should be received in writing where possible.
  3. All complaints shall be referred promptly to the Principal. Where the Principal is the subject of the complaint the complaint shall be referred to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees in the first instance.
  4. If the complaint involves a staff member the said staff member will be informed of the complaint. At this point the Principal may be able to resolve the complaint.
  5. If resolution as above is not achievable both complainant and staff member will have the opportunity to present their sides of the story. Each party will be given the opportunity to question the other party in a controlled situation.
  6. If the complaint is in regards school facility or procedure the Principal may resolve at their discretion.
  7. Where appropriate a committee will be appointed to investigate the complaint (minimum of 2 people – including the Principal and/or Chairperson of the Board of Trustees). Either party may raise an objection to the composition of the committee.
  8. All proceedings and information relating to any complaint will be treated confidentially.
  9. Upon conclusion of an investigation the complaint will be reviewed and appropriate action taken where necessary.
  10. Complainants should be advised of the results of an investigation.

Review schedule: Triennially