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IoD welcomes Education Minister’s decision for school boards to keep governing

Media release
By Institute of Directors
12 Nov 2019

The Institute of Directors (IoD) welcomes the decision by Education Minister Chris Hipkins to empower school boards and keep most of their governance responsibilities, contrary to the original proposal made by the Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce last year to transfer them to regional ‘hubs’.

The IoD made a submission earlier this year raising significant concerns about the evidence and analysis to justify the proposed changes by the taskforce.

IoD chief executive Kirsten Patterson says “It was clear from a survey we did of our members on the Tomorrow’s Schools proposals that the school board governance model is not fundamentally broken and many boards are operating effectively”.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents to the IoD’s survey thought the current school governance model is effective or very effective, and 69% agreed or strongly agreed their school board of trustees has the right capability to govern effectively.

“We acknowledge that there are some boards and schools that are not operating effectively and these situations need to be addressed promptly to ensure the school system promotes equity and excellence,” Mrs Patterson says.

“However, we don’t believe transferring core board responsibilities to education hubs is the answer,” Mrs Patterson adds.

The IoD also called for the government to consider other important measures to improve school boards including:

  • promoting the importance of trustees and their role
  • strengthening the skill base of trustees by providing better training and support
  • bolstering boards where required by providing access to experienced trustees or professional advisers
  • providing better access to professional advice
  • facilitating ways for local school boards to work more collaboratively together (eg. with small and/or rural schools) and learning from the recent introduction of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

“We are pleased to see that the Government has taken most of these recommendations on board,” says Mrs Patterson.

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