Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Trustees must make their voice heard in reviews

Trustees must make their voice heard in school reviews

New Zealand schools are going to see more and more empty classrooms, with 35,000 fewer students predicted by 2010 and 73,000 fewer by 2021.

And the New Zealand School Trustees Association says with dropping rolls being a reality, significant numbers of school communities may face changes in their schools, including potential closures or mergers.

Managing falling rolls and how to handle a review of a school’s future is one of the issues on the agenda at the association’s annual conference in Blenheim this weekend, and NZSTA executive member Raewyn Rooney is urging trustees to speak up when the future of their schools is questioned.

She says the school reviews held to date have been a learning process for the boards of trustees involved and NZSTA is taking the opportunity to share what they have learnt with other trustees. There are currently 80 schools around New Zealand under review.

“The first priority for boards of trustees is the education of our children, and what NZSTA is saying to trustees of schools coming under review is that if you believe you are providing a quality education and you have the resources to sustain that level of education into the future, then put the case for your school.”

However, the other important message for trustees was that if they find their school under review, then make sure they involve themselves, Raewyn Rooney says.

“It has been made very clear that if boards of trustees do not take part in the process, they risk losing the chance to influence the final decisions through the reference groups.”

For schools with a falling roll, the first issue was to look at why. If it was due to reasons of poor education performance, then the board may need to look at better planning or more community involvement.

If however, the decline was a result of demographical changes, then the first question a board needed to ask was whether the school was still providing a good education.

“School communities don’t need to wait for a review to happen. They can start the planning themselves and look at alternative solutions to their roll decline.”

Raewyn Rooney says the experience of other schools which have already been reviewed is that there is a lot of information boards of trustees can ask for, such as:

- School transportation – can a school have another bus route and how long will there be guaranteed funding for it;
- What is the difference between closures and mergers and what will each mean for the school community;
- What is the financial impact of each option;
- What is the impact of staff; and
- Are there other schools that have been through the same process that the board can talk to;
- If the school is closing, can the community retain use of the swimming pool or hall?

“Once a review is underway, it becomes a very emotional time for a school community and the more information a board has, the better input to the process it can have.”

With significant numbers of school reviews on the horizons, NZSTA wants boards of trustees to be as fully informed as possible. However, Raewyn Rooney says it is important trustees ask their association for help as they can’t provide support unless invited.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>


New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news