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School Trustees give tick to ERO report

Media Release
The NZ School Trustees Association - NZSTA

School Trustees give tick to
ERO report on school system

The School Trustees Association says the Education Review Office’s annual report just tabled in Parliament is spot on, and it wants all trustees to have a read of it.

“ERO is well known for not pulling any punches when evaluating schools, and it has been just as blunt in its global assessment of the community run system,” says NZSTA General Manager Ray Newport.

He says ERO is absolutely right in pointing out the perceived accountability and typically high level of responsiveness of school boards to their local parent electors. And it’s true that 99.75 percent of boards have worked as independent entities, which is an enviable record for lay, voluntary trustees. Ministerially-appointed Commissioners have been appointed to replace board for poor performance in only one-quarter-of-one-percent over the past 10 years.

“One of the most remarkable features of the hundreds of school boards is how differently they have behaved compared with other Crown entities such as the NZ Tourism Board, the NZ Qualifications Authority and the NZ Lotteries Commission,” says the ERO report.

School Trustees work hard for the good of all children, not just their own, and they do it for very little financial compensation. In fact they often are putting their own money into the school rather than taking any out for themselves, says Ray Newport.

The NZSTA has often touted the new skills and professionalism individuals gain once they have had experience as a trustees. Many trustees are able to start new jobs or open their own business with the experience and knowledge they learn while sitting on boards.

“We agree with ERO that a lot of the larger corporate boards like Tourism and Lotteries could be looking at experienced school trustees to fill their boards of director’s chairs.

The NZSTA also agrees with ERO that one “wicked problem” still to be combated is the serious incidents of bullying and playground violence in schools.

“This is why we devoted so much of our last year’s annual conference to ways of eliminating bullying. We continue to generate possible solutions and feed in support to those boards that are willing to do something about it,” says Ray Newport.

The ERO overall review of the trustee system is appropriately timed for this month, which marks exactly ten years since the start of “Tomorrow’s Schools”

And trustees will be delighted that their efforts have been recognised in this way.

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