Becoming a Trustee
Trustees are active leaders in our schools. They have an important role of supporting strong professional leadership and ensuring effective teaching for all students through informed governance.
Parents/caregivers and people in the wider community can be school trustees. School boards need to represent the diversity of their school communities to ensure a bright future for all our children.
The trustee elections are the opportunity to vote for candidates who will make a positive difference for children’s education. We need more people willing to use their skills and experiences for the benefit of students!
"Board members are entrusted by the community to ensure the success of our schools and a bright future for our children. We need an education system where all children are expected to succeed and one where we all take shared responsibility in ensuring this happens. As a member of a school board you can make things happen - you can make a difference."
- Lorraine Kerr, NZSTA President
Our communities need great boards to help build great schools
School trustees share their experience on what it's like to be on the board. Check out the videos to hear about their experience.
What sort of skills do trustees need?
Every trustee brings their own unique set of skills and experiences to the board.
As a trustee, you will need to work well in a team and have good communication skills. It helps to have an understanding of the education sector. You may have financial skills and experience in managing people.
Every trustee can access NZSTA online professional development to learn about governance and upskill in areas of interest.
Kōrari is a set of introduction online courses that provides an overview of school governance for people who’ve never been trustees. Register for the Kōrari programme here.
What is a school board of trustees?
Most schools in New Zealand have a board of trustees. Boards bring families, communities and schools together to work for a quality education for our children.
The board of trustees is a Crown entity. It is the employer of all school staff and sets the school's overall strategic direction. The school's principal is the board's chief executive and manages the school operations in line with the board's policies.
Membership of the school board includes elected parent representatives, an elected staff representative and the principal. If the school has students above Year 9, the board also includes a student representative. A board can also include co-opted and appointed trustees.
The role of a school board
The board of trustees has an important role in making sure every child at their school can reach their highest possible standard in educational achievement. If you want to know more about the role of the board, view here.
Some areas of responsibilities include:
- Working with the principal and consult with staff, students and the community
- Setting the educational goals and strategic direction of the school
- Monitoring progress and inform parents on how the school is progressing against its annual targets and on the development of the students
- Deciding how the school's funding will be spent
- Selecting the school's principal and support the development of all staff
- Ensuring the school is a physically and emotionally safe place for all students and staff, and is inclusive of and caters for students with differing needs
- Overseeing the management of staff, property, finances, curriculum and administration.
How do I become a trustee?
Contact your local school for information on who is on the school board. Ask the board chair about going along to a board meeting to see how it works. Take the opportunity to ask the board members questions about the trustee role and the board’s work.
Contact your school for a nomination form.