Support for boards

Learn about interventions in schools and kura, and access NZSTA support resources for school boards.

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Inform

  • Boards
  • Proprietors
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau

This guidance details the range of support and resources available to assist boards, to help boards understand their roles and responsibilities, and strengthen their governance capability towards helping their students learn and achieve.

The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) 

NZSTA is contracted by us to support boards in the undertaking of their roles and responsibilities. NZSTA provides practical support, advice, resources and professional development opportunities to help boards govern and manage their schools.

NZSTA and ERO have produced useful guidance for boards:

Interventions in state and state-integrated schools and kura

If boards are unable or unwilling to respond to an issue they have at their school, or are slow to respond, we’ll work with them to assess and manage the risks to the school. When we determine that a board is having difficulties, there is a range of non-statutory assistance or statutory interventions we can initiate to help.

Non-statutory assistance

There is a range of support and resources available from the Ministry of Education and the NZSTA to assist Boards. The NZSTA can help Boards understand their roles and responsibilities and strengthen their governance capability towards helping their students learn and achieve.

Statutory interventions 

Below you’ll find information on statutory interventions in state and state-integrated schools and kura, including when they happen, the types of intervention, and what each type means for a Board.

A statutory intervention is a way we support schools and kura needing help with operational risks, or risk to the welfare or educational performance of their students.

The aim of any intervention is always to return the school to full self-governance as soon as the recommendations and objectives of the intervention have been met. When an intervention is in place, the day-to-day running of the school remains with the principal.

Examples of operational risk or risk to student welfare

Risk to the operation of a school/kura

This could include:

  • financial management issues
  • personnel management and/or asset management
  • poor planning
  • policy setting and reporting to parents
  • poor community relationships
  • not complying with legislation.

Risk to student welfare

This could include:

  • inadequate policies and practices to ensure student welfare, health and safety
  • persistently high truancy rates
  • high suspension, exclusion and expulsion rates.

When a critical incident relating to student welfare and safety occurs at a school, a statutory intervention may be put in place to assist the school with managing the crisis.

Risk to the educational performance of the school's students

This includes:

  • inadequate curriculum management
  • absence of adequate policies and processes for student assessment
  • staffing issues that may influence student performance
  • persistently low student achievement in relation to comparable schools
  • low achievement of particular groups within the school.

When does an intervention happen?

An intervention may happen when a board or proprietor requests help with a particular issue. It could occur after an Education Review Office (ERO) review report, or when a concern has been raised with the Ministry of Education.

When this happens, the Ministry will consider the most appropriate action from a range of options, which could include non-statutory assistance. The Minister of Education or the Secretary for Education has to approve an intervention.

Levels of statutory interventions

There are 9 different statutory interventions under the Education and Training Act 2020 that can be used to support the different situations and issues schools and kura may face. Interventions are outlined in sections 171 to 183 of the Act. 

Reasonable grounds for concern about the operation of the school or the welfare or educational performance of its students  
Type of intervention Link to legislation What this means for the board

Requirement to provide information

Section 172(external link)

The board retains its powers but is required to provide specified information, and may be required to provide analysis of information provided.

Specialist help

Section 173(external link)

The board retains its powers but is required to engage specialist help (specialist advisor), and may be required to report on the specialist help. 

Action Plan

Section 174(external link)

The board is required to prepare and carry out an Action Plan.

Case conference

Section 175(external link)

The board retains its powers but is required to attend a case conference (which may result in the board agreeing or being required to take a particular action/s, and provide a report/s on the action/s).

Specialist Audit

Section 176(external link)

The board retains its powers but is required to engage an appropriately qualified person to undertake a specialist audit of any aspect of the school’s affairs (which may also include reporting requirements by the board on the audit).

Performance notice

Section 177(external link)

The board retains its powers but is required to carry out a specified action by a specified date (the performance notice may also include reporting requirements by the board on the action taken).

 

Reasonable grounds to believe that there is a risk to the operation of the school or to the welfare or educational performance of its students
Type of intervention Link to legislation What this means for the board

Appointment of an additional board member (who may also be presiding board member) by Minister

 Section 178(external link)

The board retains its powers. The appointed board member will have the same rights and responsibilities as the other Board members.  If appointed as the presiding member, the board member will have no special powers other than to preside at meetings. Appointee is only eligible for the same honoraria as other board members.

Appointment of a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) with specified powers

Section 180(external link)

Some of the board powers, functions and duties are temporarily removed and vested in the LSM.  

 

 

Appointment of a Commissioner

 
Section 181(1)(2)(external link)

The board is dissolved and a Commissioner is appointed to replace the board. The Commissioner holds all the functions, powers and duties of the board the Commissioner has replaced.

Section 181(3)(external link)

A Commissioner appointed by the Secretary as there is no functioning board (e.g. owing to election issues or too few members or refusal to meet). The Commissioner holds all the functions, powers and duties of the board the Commissioner has replaced. 

Who pays for an intervention

A board pays for the intervention unless the Secretary decides otherwise. When a school or kura can't meet these costs without putting teaching and learning at risk, the Ministry will consider funding some or all of the costs of an intervention.

Reviewing and ending interventions

We are required to review an intervention at least annually.

An intervention remains in place until the Secretary or Minister considers either that:

  • it is no longer required
  • there is a change in the level of risk and another type of intervention is required.

If a statutory intervention ends or is revoked, then the Ministry will continue to monitor progress and maintain an informal level of support for whatever period is considered necessary to sustain the positive change.

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