Board of trustees

What is the role of a school board of trustees?

The school’s board of trustees is the Crown entity responsible for the governance and management of the school.

As long as they stay within the laws of New Zealand, the board has complete discretion to govern the school. 

Education Act 1989 schedule 6 sections 4-14 – Legislation website

The school’s board may make any bylaws it thinks necessary or desirable for the school. They must ensure the bylaws do not contravene the national law or the school’s charter.

Education Act 1989 schedule 6 section 18 – Legislation website

Role of the principal

The school’s principal is the board’s chief executive in relation to the school. The principal must comply with the board’s general policy directions, but otherwise has complete discretion to manage the day-to-day administration of the school as he or she sees fit, subject to delegations.

Education Act 1989 section 76 – Legislation website

Advice on effective governance

Effective governance involves working in partnership with others. NZSTA provides advice for boards and principals.

Updated: June 2017

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