Our Services include Governance, Leadership Development and Strategy for schools in New Zealand

By: Governance Matters  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Schools, Professional Development, Mentoring

Boards are generally isolated, and poorly supported, in their critical governance role. The most urgent need boards have is for ‘in-situ’ support, advice, mentoring or professional development to help them do their important work better. Governance Matters offers a range of opportunities for boards to do this.

With schools Governance Matters is totally committed to the belief that boards of trustees, with their parent voice, are critical to the improvement of our children's education. If boards are to do this effectively then they need to invest some time and money in their own development.

Governance Matters will support boards in all areas of governance. Here is a brief outline of some of the key areas supported:

Strategic Plan/Charter Development

Board ownership of this document, appropriate involvement of the board, and connection to the organisations Annual or Operational Plan section are vital for boards to engage and do well. Professional development for boards in this area is an ongoing and vital need. One, if not the most critical of the boards jobs; boards must get this right or it all that follows is at risk. Governance Matters can work alongside boards to produce the documents you want.


The role of board chairs has been sadly ignored. While the chair has little more legal authority than any other board member they are pivotal to successful boards. Just as boards plan the professional growth of their Chief Executive, wise boards should look to develop the leadership of their board. Governance Matters runs regular Chairmanship days and provides mentoring and support for chairs on request.

Policy Development

This has been a poorly done area for years. This is a very important area for schools in particular. The Education Act 1989 is clear in saying principals “Shall comply with the boards general policy directions”… so do it properly, succinctly, precisely. For any organisation’s board, well written policy will focus the board on its core tasks and Governance Matters can assist. A number of organisations’ NZ and a few schools are exploring John Carver’s Policy Governance model. We are one of the only consultancies in NZ currently trained in this model and its application.

Board Monitoring of School Performance

The heart of any board’s work. Boards must connect their Strategic Plan to their Annual Plan and develop a robust and agreed monitoring regime. Governance Matters works regularly in this area. It is also an invaluable part of the board’s work that gives boards a real sense of purpose because it can generate much of the forward strategic thinking all boards need.

Board Self-Review

Identified by chairs and principals as an area needing more work. Governance Matters will work alongside boards to develop simple, clear, robust mechanisms that will make your board much more effective in its work. You have all the material needed to do it, and we can help you pull it together.

Good Meeting Practice

You only have a few meetings a year to govern a complicated organisation. Good process, great debate, total focus, and collective wisdom are needed. Governance Matters will work with you, mentor you, to be a ’great board’. Its not high IQ you need, it’s a will and willingness to develop your collective team.

Keywords: Mentoring, Professional Development, Schools

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