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New online tool to make NZ school boards more accountable

A new online self-assessment tool will measure New Zealand school boards’ governance and identify where they can improve.

The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) has created the tool and says it is based on the NZSTA governance rubric.

The tool will allow Boards to measure where they’re at in terms of their capability in the four key areas that make up effective governance, and will also identify the areas where improvements need to be made.

This will also allow NZSTA to identify overall strengths and weakness in school governance at a national level, and help it to provide better targeted resources, professional development and support.

According to NZSTA, another real benefit of the tool will be that it can also be used by Boards to measure the improvement or ‘value added’ that occurs over any given period at the individual board level.

Boards will be able to take ownership of information relating to their own school, which will remain confidential to them.

It will also allow NZSTA to measure the improvement of value added over time in an aggregated form across a particular geographical area or even nationally.

This will enhance NZSTA’s ability to review resources to better support identified needs.

Lorraine Kerr, NZSTA president, says, “Attempting to measure or benchmark boards’ capability in their key governance role in a really meaningful way is quite a difficult task.

“But NZSTA believes that this tool will do it in a way that will be both credible and extremely useful for boards.

“Being able to provide an aggregate picture of overall governance competence at any particular point in time will also be advantageous.”

NZSTA expects that it will be in a position to offer the assessment tool online by the middle of the year.

This tool is a part of NZSTA’s vision that all Kiwi schools are effectively governed by a board of trustees whose primary focus is every student achieving their highest possible educational potential.