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Governance Policy

Introduction

The Governance Policy emphasises strategic leadership rather than administrative detail, makes a clear distinction between governance and staff roles, concentrates on the future rather than the past or present and is pro-active rather than reactive.

All elected, appointed and co-opted trustees come to the board entrusted to ensure effective governance despite the different perspectives they bring to board discussions.

Individuals are neither advocates nor delegates with sectional interests but work for positive outcomes for all concerned.

Board Roles and Responsibilities

The Board's key areas of contribution are to:
  • Set, and as needed, modify, the Vision, Values and Mission
  • Ensure that there is a sensible and feasible Strategic Plan
  • Approve and monitor the Annual Plan
  • Monitor and evaluate student learning outcomes
  • Develop and review the Governance Policy and the Board Operations Policy
  • Appoint, assess the performance of and nurture the principal
  • Act as good employers
  • Provide financial stewardship
  • Approve major policies and programme initiatives
  • Build a broad base of community support
  • Exercise governance in a way that fulfils the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi by valuing and reflecting New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage

Trustees' Code of Ethics

The board is committed to ethical conduct in all areas of its responsibilities and authority.

Trustees shall:
  • Ensure the needs of all students and their achievement is paramount
  • Be loyal to the organisation and its mission
  • Respect the integrity of the principal and staff
  • Observe the confidentiality of non-public information acquired in their roles as trustees and not disclose to any other persons such information that might be harmful to the school
  • Be diligent and attend board meetings prepared for full and appropriate participation
  • Ensure that individual trustees do not act independently of the board’s decisions
  • Speak with one voice through the board’s adopted policies and ensure that any disagreements with the board’s stance are resolved within the board
  • Avoid any conflicts of interest with respect to their financial responsibility
  • Recognise the lack of authority in any individual trustee or subgroup of the board in any interaction with the principal or staff
  • Recognise that only the chairperson can speak for the board
  • Continually self-monitor their individual performance as trustees against the Governance Policy and participate in the annual Board Review

Chairperson’s Role

The chairperson is the leader of the board and carries overall responsibility for the integrity of the board’s processes. The role involves the following responsibilities:
  • Spokesperson for the board on strategic leadership matters
  • Establish and maintain an ongoing working relationship with the principal
  • Build an effective team
  • Ensure that the principal’s Performance Agreement and Appraisal are completed on an annual basis
  • Protected Disclosure Officer
  • Receive correspondence addressed to the board
  • Chair meetings
  • Ensure that meeting discussion content is only concerned with issues that relate to the board’s strategic leadership role
  • Ensure that deliberation is fair, orderly, thorough, limited to time and kept to the point

Secretary’s Role

  • Meetings

    • Prepare the agenda and ensure that the agenda and associated reports are posted on the board site at least three days before a meeting

    • Take meeting minutes and post the unconfirmed minutes on the board site within a week of a meeting

  • Correspondence

    • Ensure that correspondence addressed to the board is presented at board meetings

    • Direct all correspondence that does not relate to the board’s strategic leadership role to the principal

    • Prepare outward correspondence as directed by the board

  • Maintain the board website

Although not a trustee the board secretary is bound by the Trustees' Code of Ethics

Board Meetings

Agenda

  • Meetings will be based on the Annual Agenda
  • Copies of the agenda of the open session, and associated reports, will be forwarded to board members, and be available from the school office, at least two working days before the meeting

Meeting Procedures

Time

  • Regular meetings will commence at 1:30pm and conclude by 3:00pm
  • A resolution for an extension of time not exceeding half an hour may be moved
  • Any business remaining on the agenda at the conclusion of the meeting will be transferred to the following meeting
  • Resolutions
    • All resolutions and amendments moved in debate must be seconded unless moved by the chairperson
    • Resolutions and amendments once proposed and accepted may not be withdrawn without the consent of the meeting
    • No further amendments may be accepted until the first one is disposed of
    • The mover of a resolution has the right of reply
    • A matter already discussed may not be reintroduced at the same meeting in any guise or by way of an amendment

Agenda Order

  • The order of the agenda may be varied by board resolution

Minutes

  • The minutes will only record the resolutions of the board, and reports and other documents adopted by the board
  • The minutes will be distributed prior to the following meeting
  • Copies of the minutes will be available to the public from the school office

Suspension of Meeting Procedures

  • These meeting procedures may be suspended by board resolution

Special meetings

  • A special meeting may be called by delivery of a notice to the chairperson signed by at least one third of the trustees

Meeting Agenda

  • A typical agenda will be as follows, times are approximate guidelines only
  1. Administration Matters 5 mins
    1. Apologies
    2. Confirmation of minutes
  2. Board Correspondence 5-15 mins
  3. Financial Report 5-15 mins
    1. Presentation and analysis of the financial accounts
  4. Policy Report or Curriculum Report (see Annual Agenda) 5-15 mins
  5. Strategic Goals (see Annual Agenda) 30mins
    1. Ongoing summary of progress to date - principal to report
    2. Board discussion
  6. Special issues (see Annual Agenda) 30mins
  7. Meeting Closure 5 mins
    1. Comments on meeting procedures and outcomes
    2. Preparation for next meeting

Board Committees

  • The board may set up committees to help carry out its responsibilities (e.g. staff appointments, discipline).
Board committees:
  • Are to be used sparingly
  • May use non-trustees as sources of advice but only trustees can be part of the decision making process
  • May not speak or act for the board except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes. Such authority will be carefully stated in order not to conflict with authority delegated to the principal
  • Assist the board chiefly by preparing policy alternatives and implications for board deliberation
  • Will have terms of reference that contain information about the following:
    • Purpose
    • Committee members
    • Duties and responsibilities
    • Reporting procedures/schedule
    • Budget (if necessary)

Board Review

Trustees

  • Each trustee will annually evaluate their own contribution to the board and their individual effectiveness. The basis of this review shall be the Governance Policy.

Chairperson

  • The board chairperson will annually evaluate his/her effectiveness and performance in discussion with individual trustees and the principal.

Strategic Plan and Governance Policy

  • The chairperson will co-ordinate an annual review of the effectiveness of the board of trustees and provide a report to the board on the outcomes. The review will be based on the Strategic Plan and the Governance Policy.