Membership matter 28 April

Date: 28 April 2020


  • Huge thank you
  • Covid 19 - MOE Advice and Guidance
  • Board/Principal Well being
  • NZSTA Conference 2020
  • Re-setting the Agenda


Huge Thank You

Before I begin to fill your minds with yet more information, I would like to take this moment to say THANK YOU. In this time of much uncertainty, I would like to personally thank you all - our Principals, Board Chairs, Board of Trustee members, teachers, support staff, caretakers and cleaners and all those who play a major role in ensuring teaching and learning continues albeit differently – ‘alone we can do so little, together we can do so much more’.

To the Ministry of Education, thank you for the huge effort being put into ensuring we are receiving the right information at the right time. Please refer to the Ministry of Education Bulletin.

To the staff of NZSTA – your tireless efforts do not go unnoticed and so a huge thank you for continuing business as usual – for answering questions from both Boards and Principals and for giving the reassurances they need in order to consider what the next steps are going into Alert Level 3.

“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy”  –    Martin Luther King.



The government’s announcement this week to reopen all schools for students up to year 10 at Alert Level 3 will create many challenges. 

The challenges of working and thinking differently, the requirements for social distancing, how schools will manage having to operate both in face to face and distance learning modes as well as the health, safety and wellbeing of both staff and students are a couple of things that come to mind.

As Boards of Trustees there is a requirement to work to the government’s expectations they may look like so kia kaha – continue to support your Principal and staff as we prepare to re-open our schools that is different.

The Ministry of Education have been and continue to work with the sector to establish how these might work. Again, please refer to the Ministry of Education Bulletin. 

If you would just like to talk – please don’t forget we have a very efficient Advice and Support Service that is available to guide you in the right direction.

“Leadership is not a position or a title – it is about action and example”


Principal / Board Wellbeing 

Whilst some of us may have anxieties about the unknown, about the rapid changes going on around us in order to ensure we are doing the right thing to do our bit towards eliminating Covid 19 - please do not forget to BREATHE.

Ensure you are in a good space – continue to connect and check in with your Principal. What might you be able to do to support them – the human being! What mechanisms do you have in place to ensure your Principal feels supported by their Board during these unusual times?

“Be gentle with yourself, we do not grow when things are easy, we grow when there are challenges"


NZSTA Conference

At a recent meeting of the NZSTA National Board it was agreed that we postpone our Annual Conference until 2021. 

I am sure I do not need to go into detail about why this decision was made suffice to say safety is paramount alongside our desire to support the advice and guidance being sent out about Covid 19 - stay in your bubble, stay safe.

This decision will also assist each member school to re-focus their energies into re-allocating the funds you usually set aside for conference into other areas.

As a result of postponing Conference 2020 we (NZSTA) are still required to hold an Annual General Meeting so we are exploring a different way of doing this – an opportunity to think and do things differently. Our Constitution binds us to ensuring such an AGM will happen. Watch this space.


Re-setting the Agenda

Why we need each other – these are not normal times, these are not normal circumstances. We need to be the whole village that raises our children.

In our schools the idea of shared, collaborative responsibility for our children is an important one. Boards, Principals, teachers, parents, non-teaching staff and local communities all have their part to play in the quest to ensure we all stay safe, we remain in our bubbles, accept that life as we know it has changed and respect the combined efforts of everyone who are working tirelessly to ensure you are getting the information you all require, given the circumstances, to prepare for our schools re-opening next week. We need our village, the wisdom of our leaders, the aroha of our communities to help us meet this challenge.

Each of us have our part to play. Boards of Trustees are directly responsible for creating the conditions in which the Principal and staff can work as effectively as is possible. Principals and staff are responsible for ensuring that they get the best results from the resources available to the school that parents and whanau are responsible for supporting schools to ensure their children are given the best opportunities to learn and that the community is responsible for supporting parents and whanau and their local schools.

Education is complex under normal circumstances, these are anxious times yet despite that – everybody has a stake in it and it really matters. It goes to the heart of what we want for our children, what kind of world and what kind of society we want them to grow up in.

So, I leave you with this final thought:

“In the midst of chaos lies opportunity”

Where might there be opportunities to do things differently? 
Stay safe
Stay strong
Be kind

If your board is unsure about any of the above, feel free to contact me at Better still contact our advice and service centre

Noho ora mai

Lorraine Kerr MNZM

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. - Albert Einstein

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