Around the table

Update from Titirangi School's Board of Trustees

Welcome

Every three years our community re-elects its board of trustees. It's a great chance to take stock of where we are at as a school, especially when it comes to the behind the scenes governance work that the community doesn't usually see. This relates to aspects such as balancing the budget, envisaging how the school will look in the future, and how we want to shape learning outcomes.


As a board, our job is to govern: we guide, shape and form a vision of where we want to head. The support of a strong senior leadership team and Principal - who oversees implementation of the Board's Policies and strategic priorities and is responsible for managing the day-to-day running of the school - is absolutely essential in getting there, and just as much are the team of teachers and support staff that make up our school.


We are particularly proud of significant leaps forward in writing achievement, seeing us compare very well with other similar Decile 10 schools, continuing excellence in reading, maths, and creating children that reflect our school values. We are also proud of the work that has gone in to shaping a strong policy framework, a strategic property vision, and a solid financial position.


Our school is in a great position to make its next steps, and as a board of elected parent trustees, we are here to give you the best we can as we shape the coming years at Titirangi Primary School. With an election on the horizon, we hope that you will give thought to joining us to sit around the table.


Thank you,


Zoe Hawkins

Chair

Titirangi School Board of Trustees

2016 elections: could you be a school trustee?

The Ministry of Education entrusts the Board of Trustees with the overall governance of the school. The Board is a Crown entity that employs all staff in the school, set the school’s strategic direction, and ensures that the school provides a quality environment and education for our learners. As a board, we are responsible for overseeing the management of personnel, curriculum, property, finance and administration.


Being a Trustee of Titirangi School is not a job to be taken lightly and it is also highly rewarding, and a great opportunity for professional development.


In our minds, what makes a good trustee?


  • First and foremost it's important that the right people are on the board - people with the interests of our learners at heart.
  • We need a mix of the right skills: finance, property, law, HR, education, technology, communications are important. It's ideal to have at least one person (ideally more) who is at school regularly, has the flexibility to call in and out, and who can make connections with school groups, such as the PTA, and get to know the school community closely.
  • We need people with time to put in: the commitment includes monthly board meetings, sub committee meetings (usually no more than monthly) and email based correspondence or research. There will also likely be one half day or evening training session soon after the election, and one weekend daytime strategic planning session in late September, that you will need to be at.
  • Trustees can be elected but also co-opted - so as a board we can introduce people to fill in the skill sets that we need.


Based on experience at Titirangi in the last three years, we estimate that the time commitment is, on average, between one and two working weeks spread across the year.


The NZ School Trustees Association has prepared a website for prospective trustees here - take a look.

Our work in 2015-16

Last time we wrote to you, we noted our areas of focus for 2015. They were; achieving financial sustainability; creating a robust and compliant school policy framework that would position our school as a leader; creating a master plan for our buildings and land; enhancing outdoor spaces; connecting with a community of learning; integrating technology as learning tools and investment in infrastructure.


The development of the strategic property plan spanning 2016-2026, which will be launched to the school soon, details seven key stages that will ensure our school is fit for purpose for the current and future generations, respecting our environment and our heritage, and maintaining a high standard of learning opportunities via our buildings and land.


Our renewed charter has also been published on the school website. Titirangi School’s Charter is essentially an agreement between the board and the Ministry of Education that sets out our strategic goals, our vision, and details of plans that are in place to support these. In short, it sets out the role of the school principal for the coming year, and forecasts the three years ahead. We review and update it each year in a process that takes several months. It is the responsibility of the board to ensure that we do what we say we are going to do, and to explain any variations in results.


The Charter comes about through consultation with the school community, which we input both as elected parent trustees, by consultation with students, parents, teachers and staff, and other methods of direct consultation.


We are also nearly at the end of a very comprehensive policy review. In light of the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in April 2016, changing responsibilities for vulnerable children, and recent employment legislation changes, it has been crucial to ensure the school's principal and leadership team are supported by robust policies.

Why be a Trustee?

Here is what some of our current Trustees have to say about the role.

NZSTA - Becoming a Trustee

NZSTA - Becoming a school trustee

Does this sound like you?

The next election is in May 2016. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please reply to this email with your details, so that we can have a chat about what's involved. You are very welcome to attend a meeting and find out what it's like - please let us know if you'd like to do so.
Big image