Having a say - statutory consultations about schools

Your say matters. Sharing your views and listening to each other’s ideas, suggestions and feedback helps ensure the network of schools is in the best shape to be able to offer quality education opportunities for our children and young people.

As a parent or caregiver, you can talk to your school’s principal or Board of Trustees at any time. Conversations about education are always happening in schools and communities, but under the Education and Training Act 2020, in some circumstances Boards of Trustees or the Minister of Education are required to formally consult with school communities when specific changes to a school are proposed. This is called the statutory consultation process.

When a change to a school in your community is proposed and the statutory consultation process is initiated, you’ll want to know when and how you can have a say. You’ll want to be confident you have the right information to inform your views.

Formal consultations allow Boards of Trustees and the Ministry to hear and understand the range of views on a proposal from the school’s community.

There’s no one-size-fits-all for formal consultation. It’s about sharing, listening, discovering and considering everyone’s views, based on everyone having:

  • the same opportunities to contribute
  • the right information to form their views
  • enough time to prepare their feedback
  • their feedback heard and considered.

What consultation is and isn’t

Consultation isConsultation isn’t
A genuine invitation to anyone who might be impacted by a proposed change to provide feedback on what’s proposed, and an assurance that we will listen to and consider all feedback before determining an outcome. An intention to negotiate or agree – we don’t have to reach consensus or agreement with those we’re consulting with.
Transparent, timely, informative and objective. About the popularity of the proposed change – but it is about highlighting the arguments for and against what’s proposed.
Providing timely, relevant, factual information, and any other additional information that might be requested, so everyone has the material they need to provide informed advice. A marketing or public relations exercise – drumming up support for a proposal will not override the value of open-minded consultation and sound decision making.

Consultation roles and responsibilities

Everyone in the community can contribute to conversations about changes in schools by participating in consultations led by their Board of Trustees.

We provide support to Boards when they are undertaking their engagement and consultation responsibilities to ensure they have the help they need, and that processes are fair, transparent, consistent and objective.

Have a say in a consultation near you

To offer the best quality education, and ensure balance between enrolments and the space available across all schools, the network has to be responsive, resilient, sustainable and inclusive. Our schools are continuously adapting as our population grows and the needs of our communities change.

If a change is needed, the feedback gathered from communities by Boards of Trustees through engagement and consultation helps inform decisions.

Whatever the issue or response, when making decisions, the Ministry and the Minister always want what’s best for all local students, and all local schools. Consideration of all current and future students is central to decision making.

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