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.

Enrolment Scheme

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.

Foreign Students

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.

Student Management

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:

  • Meet within the statutory timeframe to consider the statutory options with respect to a student suspension.
  • Ensure that its meeting process and notification procedure complies with the guidelines and rules of natural justice.
  • If imposing reasonable conditions, then notify those concerned of the conditions including the Principal who must then ensure an appropriate educational programme is provided to the student.
  • Advise the Ministry and parent immediately after it lifts or extends a suspension, excludes or expels a student of the decision and the reasons for the decision.

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.

Health Curriculum

The Board, at least once every two years, must consult then adopt a statement on the delivery of a health curriculum.

Police Vets

The Board must establish internal procedures for dealing with police vets.

School Charter

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.

  • A long term strategic planning section that:
    establishes the Board's aims and purposes;
    establishes for the next 3 to 5 years the Board's aims, objectives, directions and priorities for intended student outcomes, the school's performance, and use of resources; and
    includes any aims or objectives that designate the school's special characteristics or its special character.
  • An annually updated section that:
    establishes for the relevant year the Board's aims, directions, objectives, priorities, and targets relating to intended student outcomes, the school's performance, and the use of resources; and
  • Within the Board's aims, objectives, directions, priorities and targets the school charter must include:
    student achievement;
    the Board's activities aimed at meeting both general Government policy objectives for all schools, being policy objectives set out or referred to in national education guidelines, and specific policy objectives applying to that school;
    the management of the school's and Board's capability, resources, assets and liabilities, including its human resources, finances, property and other ownership matters;
  • Other matters of interest to the public that the Ministry may determine.
    The school charter must contain all annual or long-term plans the Board is required to have or has prepared for its own purposes or contain a summary of each plan or a reference to it.

The school charter must be prepared and updated in accordance with national administration guidelines.

Annual Report

At the end of every year the Board must complete an annual report which is to include:

  • the names of all the Board's elected trustees, appointed trustees and co-opted trustees;
  • the date on which each trustee goes out of office;

Board Constitution

Cambridge High School Board of Trustees Board composition is as follows:

  • 6 x elected parent representatives (According to Education Act 1989, Section 92: a parent refers to a person who is the student’s father, mother, guardian or immediate caregiver)
  • The Principal
  • 1 x staff representative
  • 1 x student representative
  • Co-opted Trustees as determined by the Board – the number cannot exceed the total number of elected representatives.

Reviewed April 2019


There are various limitations on co-option and appointment of trustees, in general;

  • Parent representatives must be the parent of students enrolled at the school at the time of election;
  • A staff representative must be a member of the Board's staff (other than the Principal) elected by members of the Board's staff;
  • A student representative is a student (other than an adult student) enrolled full time at the school and elected by the students enrolled on the day of election;
  • Co-opted and appointed trustees as far as possible should reflect the ethnic and social economic makeup of the student body, gender balance and the character of the school and community that it serves; and
  • The Board should have available from within its membership expertise and experience in management.

Annual Meeting

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:

  • The election for a student representative be fixed in a day in September each year;
  • For remaining positions the Board shall hold one or more elections on election year (being the year divisible by 3); and
  • In the case of election trustees who are parent representatives, the Board is able to adopt a staggered election cycle in which half the number of its parent representatives are elected at an election held mid term and the remainder at an election held in an election year.

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.

Board Meetings

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.

Public Notification

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.
(s 46A Meetings Act)

Agendas must be accompanied by either the associated reports or a notice specifying the places at which the associated reports may be inspected.
(s 46A(2) Meetings Act)

Cambridge High School

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    Private Bag 882, Cambridge 3450

  • Phone:+64 7 827 5415
  • Fax:+64 7 827 5598
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