Becoming a school trustee

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New Zealand communities are currently in the midst of one of the largest and most significant democratic processes in New Zealand – School Board of Trustee elections. 

Every state and state integrated school in New Zealand has a Board of Trustees.  The Board employs all of the school staff and decides the school’s strategic direction.  The Board is made up of elected parent representatives, an elected staff representative and the principal.  If the school has students above year 9 the Board also includes a student representative. 

It is very important that the trustees are from across a wide spectrum representing the various groups that make up the school community.  You do not need to be a professional to be a trustee.  You do however need to have common sense, work well in a team, be able to communicate and be prepared to question when you are unsure. 

There are many courses available to assist you should you become elected as a trustee.  These courses are designed to help you understand the Board’s governance role, your obligation to students and the Board’s focus on raising student achievement for all students at your particular school.  If you have never thought about being a trustee, why not give it a go?  It is a great way to contribute to your school and have a positive impact on the direction your school is heading in.

Our thanks to Vanessa Crosby for writing this article