The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) is developing an online self-assessment tool that will allow individual boards of trustees to measure where they are at in terms of the governance of their school, NZSTA President Lorraine Kerr says.
The tool, which is based on the NZSTA governance rubric, will not only allow boards to measure or benchmark where they are at in terms of their capability in the four key areas that make up effective governance, but 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, thus enabling resources, professional development and support to be better targeted by 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.
Ms Kerr says attempting to measure or benchmark boards’ capability in their key governance role in a really meaningful way is quite difficult, but NZSTA believes 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 to be in a position to offer the assessment tool online by the mid-year. This is a further step towards fulfilling NZSTA’s vision that all schools are effectively governed by a board of trustees whose primary focus is every student achieving their highest-possible educational potential.