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East Coast Schools Break New Ground In Governance

East Coast Schools Break New Ground In School Governance

Education Minister Nick Smith, at Kariaka Marae near Ruatoria, today announced
approval for New Zealand's first combined boards of trustees for two groups of
schools on the East Coast. The five schools are part of a joint Ministry of
Education and Ngati Porou initiative to improve the standard of education on the
East Coast.

"This is a first for New Zealand and is very significant. It signals a move
away from the 'one size fits all' approach of Tomorrow's Schools and is
particularly relevant for rural New Zealand and small schools. The
administration and governance requirements for many rural communities are a huge
burden and it makes sense for schools to unite in this way."

One board of trustees will be responsible for three kura kaupapa Maori, while
the second combined board will be formed for two mainstream schools on the East
Coast. The three kura to have a combined board are Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te
Waiu O Ngati Porou, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Mangatuna and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori
O Waipiro, who have a total roll of 155 pupils. The other two schools which
will combine their boards are Te Waha-O-Rerekohu Area School and Whakaangiangi
School, who also have a total roll of 155 pupils. The elections for the
combined boards will take place in October and each school is guaranteed
representation on the new boards. The combined boards will be responsible for
the schools from 1 November this year.

"I congratulate the community on their determination to provide a quality
education for children on the East Coast. They have been proactive in finding
an answer to the difficulties they were having in attracting skilled people to
serve on school boards. This is the first step for the community as part of
Whaia te iti Kahurangi Strengthening Education in Ngati Porou and East Coast
Communities - which is a joint project of the Ministry of Education and Te
Runanga O Ngati Porou."

"This innovation shows the way forward for school governance in rural
communities. Too often small schools struggling with the administrative work of
self management face closure whereas combined boards may provide a better
alternative. The Ministry will be closely monitoring this new model to enable
other communities to learn from their experience."

ENDS

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