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.
- 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 duck – Principal needs to be calm, confident and on to it – on the surface – and under the surface paddle confidently and energetically.