New Zealand School Trustees Association
From: Rob Gold - General Manager, Operations
Date: 19 October 2017
Another school year almost done and won, from NZSTAs perspective, that has been extremely busy.
Our Advisory & Support Centre has experienced a significant uplift in enquiries which has led to a review of resourcing so that we can continue to provide our high level of service. As a result we are currently recruiting for an Advisory & Support Centre Manager, as well as two additional phone based advisers to provide additional support and hope to have those people in place soon.
We have also upgraded our telephone system to equip our team with the right tools to give you the best possible service. It went live during the last week of the holidays and, like many new things, there have been a few crinkles that we are ironing out. If you do experience an issue with contacting us via the 0800 number, please email you query to us at either email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will respond as soon as possible.
This update follows a similar format to the one that we trialled last term. I’m very conscious of the amount of information that you receive on a daily basis so have saved a number of pieces for this update so as to not bombard you. We’ve also modified things so that you can link quickly to the information that is relevant or of interest to you.
Any and all feedback is appreciated so that we are able to refine this communication into something that is of use to you.
Koinā taku mō tēnei wā
Naku noa, na
General Manager, Operations
In this term 4 update:
Seclusion and restraint
Analysis of Variance
Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako Newsletter
Tackling Bullying - A guide for Board of Trustees
Vodafone email no longer supported
Lominger Leadership Architect
NZSTA is represented on the Holidays Act Reference Group along with the various unions. This has come about because there has been an issue identified with Holidays Act compliance across a number of sectors (not solely education). It is a complex process reconciling wage and time records over multiple years and, so far, education will be the biggest group. It is envisaged that this may be up to a two-year process of identifying areas of non-compliance, reconciling records, calculating remediation payments and deploying solutions to prevent future non-compliance.
The Reference Group is still in its formative stages with a Terms of Reference yet to be agreed but NZSTA's position, on your behalf, is whatever the end solution looks like, individual boards should not carry the liability.
We will keep you informed and seek information from you as the process progresses.
Requests were made, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, for job descriptions for support staff as part of the pay equity claim process. Thank you to everyone that supplied copies of job descriptions; they have been invaluable to the project team. NZSTA has been part of the moderation panel looking at job descriptions after they had been assessed and categorised by the project team. The next phase is interviewing a selection of support staff, principals and any other relevant person with a view to gathering further information. This will be a process run between the Ministry and NZEI. NZSTA will have a moderation type role with this process.
As part of the pay equity process, the job descriptions have highlighted a variance in the standard of support staff job descriptions nationally. Some are very comprehensive, some are very scant on detail while others didn’t accurately reflect the roles that the individual was being employed to undertake.
NZSTA can provided assistance in the form of templates and guidance and you can call us on 0800 782 435 for more information.
As part of the School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ Collective Agreement, it was agreed that the parties would encourage the uptake of the newly developed qualifications for caretakers, cleaners and canteen workers. We are working with E tū and Careerforce to assist in this process and have been asked, on behalf of Careerforce, to gather some job descriptions of caretakers so that they are able to properly match the qualification to the roles. So, in similar vein to the process around teacher aide job descriptions, we would appreciate it if you were able to send us examples of your caretaker job descriptions. We can ensure that they are anonymised before being forwarded onto Careerforce. They can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the ratification of the Support Staff in Schools’ and the Kaiarahi te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants Collective Agreements and some further technical edits that needed to be made, these agreements have been printed and in the process of being distributed. As always, in the meantime, if you need to consult these collectives, they are available on the Ministry website or you can receive advice via our 0800 number.
If necessary, you will by now, be well into your surplus staffing process, and you need to have concluded the process by 27 November 2017. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with this.
You may be approached by the teaching staff at your school to sign PPTA’s Promise to New Teachers. NZSTA has advised that Boards asked to sign this, seek advice from NZSTA before doing so. Here is our advice:
The Promise to New Teachers is only legally enforceable to the extent that Boards signing it are agreeing to abide by laws and contractual agreements that already cover them. These are not obligations that Boards can contract out of, and this document does not set a higher bar than what already exists.
In particular, the areas in the Promise are already covered by the Employment Relations Act, the State Sector Act and the relevant collective agreements.
- Permanent appointments except for legal exceptions
- Entitlements under collective agreements
- Induction and mentoring
- Support for new teachers
- The belief that new teachers should teach in trained learning areas and have own teaching space– not legally binding
Broader than this, the commitments that Boards are making by signing up to the Promise to New Teachers all fall within the ‘good employer’ provisions in these and other regulations.
As the Promise to New Teachers is a signal of the intent of the Board of Trustees to meet its legal obligations and behave as a good employer to new teachers, there are no legal risks with signing it. The commitment of the PPTA members, the principal and the Board to working together to support beginning teachers may be a good example of a productive partnership between employees and the employer.
A recent event where the Defence Force were on school grounds with firearms highlighted a general lack of guidelines for schools on this subject. A wider sector workgroup has been convened, which NZSTA is part of, aimed at addressing the gap that exists. We will report on this further as the workgroup progresses.
With the last term of the year starting, Education Payroll, who manage Novopay, are now preparing for the end of the year. As part of this, they are collating the contact details of each school’s out of hours contact person to whom they can refer pay queries over the holiday break. Without this out of hours contact, Education Payroll may be unable to assist if a payroll problem occurs to an employee at your school over the summer holidays.
If you haven't done so already, please email this information as soon as you can to email@example.com.
All End of Year payroll activities need to be completed in Novopay Online and supporting forms submitted to the Novopay Service Centre by 5pm on Monday, 27 November 2017. Principals can support their payroll administrators by ensuring that they have all the relevant information needed to complete the End of Year activities well before the deadline. Information and instructions on how to complete End of Year can be found on the Novopay website.
We’re pleased to announce that Cleave Hay has reprised his role as Principal Adviser, Governance. Cleave has re-joined NZSTA following the departure of Karen Raitt. He brings with him a wealth of experience and governance subject matter expertise and is an excellent addition to the Governance Team.
Also joining the team is Sue Cotter who has been appointed as the Senior Adviser Governance based at National Office. Sue is well known to many trustees and has most recently been an Adviser within the Advisory & Support Centre.
With the new additions to the Education Act around seclusion and physical restraints, and many enquiries to our Advisory and Support Centre, NZSTA has developed a policy template for boards which is available upon request. We would also encourage trustees to read our factsheet and the Ministry of Education Guide.
Later this term your principal/tumuaki will be presenting the analysis of variance. This is a crucial document for boards to reflect on how the school has performed in attaining the objectives and targets in this year’s annual plan. This report should also be the key indicator of much of what next year’s strategic and annual plans will focus on. An example of an analysis of variance and other annual reporting components can be viewed online.
For the schools that are in the mid-term election cycle, you will have received contact from our elections team and be well underway in the process. We are trialling a process called Votext to assess the viability of using it for the main triennial elections in mid-2019. For more information either email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the trustee election website.
Did you know? According to the most recent figures there are 210 approved Kāhui Ako of whom 108 have appointed their Community Leader.
Frequently asked questions: NZSTA advisers are asked many questions about Kāhui Ako matters and we thought we would share some of these with each edition of this newsletter.
Q: What is a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA)?
A: The Kāhui Ako will establish its organisational structure and processes for working together, and will identify its achievement challenges. These will be documented in a MoA which will be signed by all member boards of trustees. The Ministry of Education have developed a Guide to Writing a Memorandum of Agreement.
Q: How should the Kāhui Ako Stewardship Group be made up?
A: The key role of the stewardship group is having an oversight of the vision and achievement challenges of the Kāhui Ako. We recommend that the Kāhui Ako firstly defines the roles of its Stewardship Group before trying to establish who would be best to belong to it. This should be done by the whole Kāhui Ako and it might be useful to convene a facilitated meeting/discussion. Part of this discussion could be around how stewardship group membership will be determined e.g. by election or volunteering, how long a term of office would be for and who might be involved from the wider community. Membership of the Stewardship Group should be adequate but not too large or cumbersome and drawn from interested parties and stakeholders including education experts, governance representatives and key community members. The size and shape of stewardship groups is likely to be as varied as the number of Kāhui Ako across the country. NZSTA are developing some guidance sheets to assist boards in their development of stewardship groups.
Q: Should the Kāhui Ako Leader be part of the Kāhui Ako Stewardship Group?
A: Potentially, it is to this group that the Community Leader will report on the progress of the whole Kāhui Ako towards its achievement challenges. Ideally the Stewardship Group is a ‘think tank’ and a group to which the Community Leader can refer for guidance or to use as a sounding board. The Kāhui Ako may however prefer for the Community Leader not to be a member of the Stewardship Group but still report to it.
Q: Regarding Across Community Teacher role– does the 0.5 teaching/class-contact component of the role include such things as taking assembly?
A: The Ministry of Education answers: Collective agreements set out the requirements and prerequisites for the Across Community Teacher roles and state a minimum of 0.50 classroom teaching load (primary/area schools - predominantly years 1-6 classes) or a minimum average of 8 timetabled class-contact hours per week (secondary/area schools - predominantly teacher years 7-13 classes). These roles are intended to expand on career opportunities for classroom teachers who want to remain in the classroom.
Check these out:
This is a new guide from the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group to help Boards provide leadership and direction in bullying prevention in their school. It includes the Bullying-Free NZ School Framework, checklists and questions to ask. Download or order hard copies via email@example.com.
Due to Vodafone not supporting the email addresses below from 30 November we would like to advise you that if your email ends in one of these addresses you will need to create a new email address using Gmail or Outlook. Vodafone is providing a free auto forwarding function on these email addresses but it is advised that you migrate all your inward communications to your new email if this affects you.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your email address is listed above so that an update in our database can be made.
As background, SSC holds an all-of-government licence for the Lominger Leadership Architect. In the schedule to the all-of-government licence there is a list of agencies able to access the licence and this list includes School Boards of Trustees. The all-of-government licence will not be renewed from December 2017 and we need to advise the agencies listed in the schedule of this. We have written to agencies in the schedule, and while the likelihood of Boards of Trustees using the Lominger Leadership Architect under the all-of-government licence is low, we would like to advise them of the change.