Resources to support trustees and principals

The Ministry, NZSTA and other education agencies provide many resources and tools to support trustees in their role as employer. Key resources are described in Appendix 1.

Key findings

  • The education agencies provide detailed resources for boards and trustees about their role as employer.
  • Many schools do not know about these resources or use them.

Approximately 60 percent of board chairpersons and half the principals surveyed had used the Ministry publication Effective Governance: Recruiting and Managing School Staff: A Guide for Boards of Trustees (2012) and the NZSTA Application Form Template as shown in Figures 13 and 14. Boards also used the NZSTA publications about appointing a primary principal (2005 and 2009), and other NZSTA material.[30]

Figure 13: Resources boards found useful for appointing a principal

figure 13 is a bar graph called resources boards found useful for appointing a principal. The x-axis is ranged from 0-100 at intervals of 20.  The y-axis is labelled from top to bottom with seven categories, next to each which is a bar split into four sections called very useful, useful, not useful and not used.  The categories are NZSTA principal appointment guidelines 2005 (for which the respective percentages are 37%, 38%, 0% and 25%), NZSTA/MoE/NZEI appointing a primary school principal, good practice approach 2009 (31%, 33%, 2% and 33%), MoE effective governance recruiting and managing school staff 2012 (26%, 35%, 2% and 37%), NZSTA application form template (24%, 35%, 3% and 38%), NZSTA other material (17%, 29%, 4% and 50%), MoE website circulars (8%, 25%, 7% and 59%), NZEI material (1%, 13%, 6% and 81%).

Other useful sources of information and advice for principals included: NZEI material, NZPF material, and the Catholic Education Office handbook.

Figure 14: Resources principals found useful for appointing staff

figure 14 is a bar graph called resources principals found useful for appointing staff. The x-axis is ranged from 0-100 at intervals of 20. The y-axis is labelled from top to bottom with seven categories next to each of which is a bar split into four sections called very useful, useful, not useful and not used. The categories are MoE effective governance recruiting and managing school staff 2012 (for which the respective percentages are 5%, 47%,1% and 48%), NZEI material (8%, 44%, 2% and 46%), MoE website, ciruclars (3%, 38%, 6% and 52%), NZSTA other material (7%, 38%, 2% and 52%), and NZSTA application form template (10%, 37%.3% and 50%).

A recent study of secondary schools[31] reported that the main sources of advice and support for boards were NZSTA website resources, the principal, NZSTA helpdesk, Ministry website resources, and the NZSTA industrial advisory service. The study also found that only about half the schools could look at archives or records of previous board papers and access information online. This suggests that some boards are not able to access resources online and that resources distributed in earlier years to a previous board may not be readily available.

The following comment illustrates the importance of having easily accessible and identifiable guidelines on good practice.

I think as long as there is a set of documents showing best practice from beginning to end and a checklist then it’s a much safer process. These should be informed by schools that have gone through the process and are able to share do's and don'ts. Some frequently asked questions would also help. We found some good stuff but in more than one document/place. It is a big responsibility, by a group of well meaning volunteers/parents, so some time and effort put into providing a decent handbook would be appreciated. (Secondary school chairperson)