Boards Duties & Responsibilities
The following is a summary of the statutory obligations imposed by the Education Act on Boards, a more detailed review of these undertakings is set out in the section of this guide summarizing the Education Act. There will no doubt be many responsibilities within these headings, such as meeting the objectives and priorities within the school carter, National Education Guidelines and other policy/ministerial objectives.
The Board must implement an enrolment scheme if required to do so by the Ministry. The content and procedural requirements surrounding the establishment, review and publication of an enrolment scheme is set out in Part 2 of the Education Act.
The Board must fix the levels of fees for foreign students and should establish a system to ensure compliance with the code of practice for the recruitment, welfare and support of international students. The statutory provisions relating to the enrolment of foreign students in fixing fees are set out in Part 1 of the Education Act. The code of practice is addressed in the International Student section of this guide.
The Board has separate responsibilities with respect to the suspension, exclusion and expulsion of students to those of the Principal. In the case of the Board, it must:
Review Exclusion on Grounds of Health
Where the Principal excludes on the grounds of cleanliness or health, the Board must look into the Principal's decision and either cancel the exclusion or confirm that the student stay away until the Principal is satisfied the student is clean enough to return to school or, as the case may be, the Board has received a certificate from a doctor stating that the student is well enough to go back to school.
The Board has a responsibility to ensure attendance. This may be achieved by the appointment of an attendance officer and will also involve the Principal who has various obligations in terms of student attendance, exemptions and relevant notification. These matters are summarized in Part 3 of the Education Act.
The Board, at least once every two years, must consult then adopt a statement on the delivery of a health curriculum.
The Board must establish internal procedures for dealing with police vets.
The Board must prepare and maintain a school charter. The school charter must contain the following sections:
A section that includes the aim of developing policies and practices that reflect New Zealand's cultural diversity and the unique position of Maori culture and the aim of ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken to provide instruction in tikanga Maori and te reo Maori for full time students whose parents ask for it.
The school charter must be prepared and updated in accordance with national administration guidelines.
At the end of every year the Board must complete an annual report which is to include:
The composition of school Boards is as follows:
There are various limitations on co-option and appointment of trustees, in general;
The Board must hold an annual meeting in which it tables copies of its annual report together with its financial statements for the year.
Elections of trustees require that:
School Trustees Association
The term of office, persons ineligible to be trustees and financial interests that may disqualify persons from being trustees are set out in the Education Act. The New Zealand School Trustees' Association should be consulted to assist in the Board's establishment, membership, processes and responsibilities.
The conduct of Board meetings is governed by Part VII of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings act 1987 (Meetings Act) as well as provisions in the Sixth Schedule to the Education Act. The purpose of the Meetings Act is to provide for the availability to the public of official information held by Boards and to promote the open and public transaction of business at their meetings.
The applicable parts of the Meeting Act relate to the public notification of meetings, including committee meetings, the availability of agendas, reports and minutes of meetings, the right to charge for copies of documents, the conduct of meetings and the exclusion of the public from those meetings in certain situations.
A meeting of the Board will take place for the purposes of the Meetings Act even if the meeting is a committee of some form or other. The committee must only be empowered to exercise or perform on behalf of a Board any function, duty or power conferred or imposed on it by the Board.
Every Board is obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure that parents of students at the school are able to find out, within a reasonable time before those meetings, where and when the meeting of the Board is to be held. Many schools list forthcoming meetings of the Board in school newsletters.
Availability of Agendas and Reports
Any member of the public may, without a payment of a fee, inspect during normal office hours, within a period of at least two working days before any meeting, all agendas and associated reports circulated to members of the Board and relating to that meeting. Agendas should be available for inspection at the school office.
Agendas must be accompanied by either the associated reports or a notice specifying the places at which the associated reports may be inspected.