Relationships With The Board Of Trustees

Shona Oliver – Principal, Ashhurst School, MUCE 11 Sept 2007

Welcome to Principalship – it is a great profession.

Some sharing time with the group regarding what is going well with their Board and what needs some improvement. Ashhurst have a day’s retreat each year involving senior staff, board and principal.

BOT set a budget and principal is empowered to administer. The principal needs to keep the BOT aware – do not assume that the BOT knows. Communicate to inform.

Shona’s tips:

  • no surprises
  • make quality time to meet with the BOT chairperson
  • BOT chair is the critical friend of thePrincipal
  • Principal and Chairperson do not always agree
  • Respect each other
  • Professional –
  • Keep each other informed – courtesy and reporting
  • Principal is given the responsibility to get on with the strategic plan for the school
  • BOT chairperson is a barometer at BOT and other meetings
  • The Principal is a member of the Board
  • Clarify the roll of the staff rep.

From the Board Chairs Point of View

  • The BOT is governor – the Board needs to have clear goals and guidelines.
  • The principal is the manager of the school and tells the Board how policies will be met through procedures.
  • The Board appointed the principal and trusts and respects their professional judgement in the day to day running of the school.
  • Principal’s appraisal needs to be done in a professional manner.
  • Chairperson and Principal need to be united in decisions.
  • Both school staff and BOT members must maintain a life/work balance !
  • Every Board member is publicly accountable for how the budget is spent – for the Board it is about outcomes.
  • BOT members need a general overview of knowledge and more specialised knowledge in their portfolio. List the correspondence so that people can read information when they want.
  • The Chairperson needs to chair the meetings and not dominate.
  • Everyone has their talents !
  • Be aware of the complaints policy.
  • Always ask or think how will this decision or actions affect the learning of the children.

Relationships are the key – confidentiality, collectiveness, common sense, trust, respect, professional relationships have to be worked at, on going.

Shona says – remember the duckThe Duck – Principal needs to be calm, confident and on to it – on the surface – and under the surface paddle confidently and energetically.


Author: nzkoobi

I am Tom.

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