Tomorrow's Future Today: Principals on Parade: Today's Schools Share Much with Business: Both Have a Board for Governance and an Appointed Chief Executive for Management. but Schools Face Unique Challenges: Not Least, the Incredibly Diverse Role of the Principal and the Need to Educate Volunteer Board Members from All Sectors of the Community. So How Are Our Schools Doing?

By Young, Simon | New Zealand Management, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Tomorrow's Future Today: Principals on Parade: Today's Schools Share Much with Business: Both Have a Board for Governance and an Appointed Chief Executive for Management. but Schools Face Unique Challenges: Not Least, the Incredibly Diverse Role of the Principal and the Need to Educate Volunteer Board Members from All Sectors of the Community. So How Are Our Schools Doing?


Young, Simon, New Zealand Management


Back in February this year, the Ministry of Education noted that 51 schools in New Zealand were under the governance of a limited statutory manager (LSM) and 28 schools under a commissioner appointed by the Ministry. That's 79 out of a total of 2579 schools in the country.

Some say 79 is still too high a number and a sign of weaknesses in the system. Others see that 2500 schools are being very ably run by their boards.

New Zealand is extraordinary for the degree of community participation that goes into its school boards. Chris France, former president of the New Zealand Schools Trustees Association (NZSTA) says, "It's part of the New Zealand psyche. We have a deep abiding love of education and of the care of our children, and we think we can do something by sitting on a board."

Since leaving NZSTA, France has consulted to schools and non-profit organisations with his company Governance Matters. "In four years of travelling and meeting boards all over New Zealand, I'm always absolutely amazed at the quality of people around the board table at nine o'clock on a Wednesday night."

Mike Hollings, acting chief review officer of the Education Review Office (ERO), says most boards meet the high standards of performance, accountability and behaviour set for them. "Of the 900 or so reviews in schools it carried out last year," says Hollings, "ERO returned for a follow-up review in about 17 percent." Follow-up reviews result from failure by a board to carry out its responsibilities. Reasons behind board failures varied, but one key ingredient for disaster was a misunderstanding by the board of the nature of governance.

Good governance, according to Ian King, group CEO of Auckland Colleges Group (ACG), starts with an understanding of the difference between governance and management. Add to that "a willingness to be involved in policy-setting and avoiding interfering in day-to-day management".

Sounds simple, but it's an issue many boards struggle with, according to France, who last year with professor Carol Cardno researched the perceptions of approximately 1000 principals and 800 board chairs around the country. "Trustees do an amazing job," says France. "What they miss is adequate focus and direction from the key bureaucracies to ensure what they do is govern, rather than get caught up in management."

This confusion over roles not only undermines principals, it also overloads board members who are trying to spend their few hours per week solving problems best left in the hands of a good principal.

"When I go into schools I'm finding huge policy documents that are actually operational policies about sunhats and no smoking and so on," says France. "Those are things that really apply to what the principal does day to day." He says the board doesn't need to know about these things in great detail, just that they are in place and being applied. Instead, the time can be devoted to strategy and forward planning. France says board members are often visibly relieved when they discover their true role.

Rosemary Whyte, chair of the board of governors at Rangi Ruru Girls' School in Canterbury, says good governance is planning for the future. "Often you do that in consultation with the community," she says. "We send surveys to students and parents and work with staff and the management team to plan for the future."

John Shewan, chair of both PricewaterhouseCoopers and Samuel Marsden Collegiate, says the most important aspect of governance is that the board has a very clear forward view for the school. "Boards need to have a very clear vision of where they want their school to be in five, even 10 years' time," he says.

Independent schools like Samuel Marsden and Rangi Ruru appoint board members, usually based on skills, while state schools have elected board members. Sally Dalzell, who until recently was second principal at state school Epsom Girls' Grammar and now heads independent Corran School, says state schools risk losing institutional memory because of high turnover on elected boards. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Tomorrow's Future Today: Principals on Parade: Today's Schools Share Much with Business: Both Have a Board for Governance and an Appointed Chief Executive for Management. but Schools Face Unique Challenges: Not Least, the Incredibly Diverse Role of the Principal and the Need to Educate Volunteer Board Members from All Sectors of the Community. So How Are Our Schools Doing?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.