Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Board of Trustees Update

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The Board met on Wednesday 31 January, 2018, here's an update on what was discussed.

Election of Board Chair and Deputy Chair: Every year the Board is required to elect a Chairperson and Deputy Chair. David Waters, Chair for a number of years now, said he was no longer available for that particular role and John Bunting was nominated and elected unopposed. Jennifer Jones was nominated as Deputy Chair and was also elected unopposed.

New School Build: The Board meeting began with an update from Ministry of Education personnel about the school’s need for a new building. However, little new information was provided. The Board was assured that the school was on the priority list for the Wellington region, but that the school’s needs would be considered along with needs of all identified priority areas in New Zealand. We would expect to hear whether funds have been allocated for a new build at Amesbury in the next few months. With a new Government, processes have not yet been fully established.

The Ministry personnel did mention, however, that Wellington has now been identified as a growth area within New Zealand, and that the Ministry is now carrying out a review of the provision of schooling in the Northern Suburbs to find out what will be needed for the future and how to best meet those needs. This will no doubt include a consideration of year 7/8 schooling provision in the Northern corridor.

2017 Student Achievement Data Report: Staff and Board were very pleased with the improvement in the data from previous years. Senior Leadership said they felt several things contributed to the improvement in achievement:

i. Reduced teacher-to-student ratios. Note: Harakeke had a 1:30 ratio in 2016

ii. Improved support for students with ESOL needs

iii. More consistent quality of teaching across the school

Further details will be provided in an article.

Financials: The Board approved the 2018 budget in principle. Some slight revisions may be needed and it will be presented for final approval at the 28 February Board meeting. Of particular note in the budget is $150,000 of additional staffing to maintain reduced teacher-student ratios.

Charter: The Annual Charter was presented for an initial perusal. The Annual Charter is made up of twenty Development Plans, which map out actions, developments and improvements to be carried out over 2018. An article will be published with more details of these. The principal showed how the findings of the 2017 Student Achievement Data Report, the findings of the Student Engagement/Wellbeing Survey and other consultation informed the 2018 Development Plans and these directly informed the budget. Hence, a cohesive and relevant approach to school development is assured.

Pump Track: The pump track has been moved and completed over the Christmas period. Apparently the clay the track is made of is amazing (a big thanks to Guy Callender of Churton Homes for providing it free of charge) and it just needs a bit more rain and a settling period, and then the orange netting will come down and it will be available for use.

Legislation: The Board was presented with reports, which showed that Teacher Registrations and Police Vets of non-teaching staff are all current.



Next meeting: The next meeting will be on 28 February 2018. You can find out more about our Board of Trustees on our website, or contact them at bot@amesbury.school.nz.

By Lesley Murrihy

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