What achievement information should the board get?
School leaders should regularly provide reports to the board on students’ achievement and progress:
- in relation to National Standards in literacy and numeracy (primary schools)
- in other curriculum areas you want to focus on
- for all age groups across the school
- for Māori, Pacific, students with additional learning needs or special abilities, and those from other cultures
- in national qualifications at secondary school level.
The reports should contain well-analysed data and comments explaining success and issues that need attention. Most importantly, it should be clear which groups of students are at risk of not achieving and how the principal and teachers intend to support these students to progress.
How often should boards receive this information?
- The board should receive regular achievement reports.
- The frequency may depend on the nature of the information. The board and the principal may decide to focus on a learning area, or may agree to focus on different groups of students at each board meeting.
- If the board is monitoring progress towards meeting targets it is likely to need more regular information to decide if extra resources are required.
- If extra resources have been approved, you and the rest of the board need to know what has changed for students as a result of the spending.
What counts as student achievement?
- As well as The New Zealand Curriculumlearning areas, parents and teachers value different types of achievement. These are often highlighted by boards in their charters.
- As a board, you may prioritise areas such as sports, cultural activities, community service, activities that develop children’s leadership potential etc.
- You may want the principal to report on how many students are taking part in specific programmes. These reports should also tell you how well students achieved or made progress.
Who can help trustees understand achievement reports?
- The principal and senior staff can help you understand their reports on student achievement. Many trustees find it helpful if they are given achievement reports before meetings so they have enough time to read them and think about what the report means.
- You can ask leaders and senior staff to give the board some professional development so you can better understand the assessment terms they use.
- The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) provides useful professional development for trustees through workshops, online modules, and facilitated individual board development and support plans. See www.nzsta.org.nz/professional-development