In New Zealand schools, boards of trustees have overall responsibility for the successful performance of their school and for fostering student achievement. Since the implementation of a self-managing model for school governance in 1989, there have been changes to the legislative requirements that set out how schools are governed and managed. These include an increased focus on student achievement and better community engagement to determine priorities and targets to improve student achievement.
The Education Review Office’s (ERO’s) evaluation indicators, note that well-managed and well-led schools will have a clear purpose, use analysed student achievement information to underpin planning and self-review processes, and direct resources towards the desired goals of improving student achievement. The relationship between the indicators of good governance and student achievement is complex and indirect. Good performance against such indicators does not in itself lead to high levels of student achievement. However, poor governance is more likely to correlate with lower than expected levels of achievement.
This report identifies what is working well in terms of governance practices in schools and explores aspects of practice that need strengthening or improvement. It summarises ERO’s findings about governance in the education review reports of 673 schools (545 primary and 128 secondary schools) completed between January 2005 and March 2007.
These earlier reports should be used for historical perspective – many of our more recent reports replace these and are more current and up to date.