School board elections going ahead despite review

Nominations have opened for boards of trustees for schools in the Eastern Bay.

Every three years schools are required to call for parents to serve as trustees.

Elections will take place this year even though the whole board of trustees situation is under government review.

Trident High School Principal Philip Gurney says boards of trustees serve an important function.

"They bring with them a variety of skills from their workplaces, businesses, lawyers, doctors -- they're parents who have a real interest in the school."

Nominations close on the 24th of May, with polls closing in June.

Mr Gurney says boards of trustees work with the school management.

"They are in a position to give direction, they're part of the strategic planning, overall governance, finance and properties.

"At the end of the day they're also responsible for student's discipline, and supporting students at school who fall short of the standards -- the school board has the final say on what happens to them."

He says the nominations will go on despite a government review into school boards which may see them disappear.

Mr Gurney says the government proposals for change are still under discussion.

"It's been put on hold a little longer, the final report is being put out towards the end of June and July. It was due in April but has been put on hold due to the large number of submissions received."

It means elections are still necessary to elect school boards for the next three years.

Philip Gurney says the review group has indicated that change won't happen overnight.

"It has to take time to be well-thought out and thought-through. It may be that these boards are phased out as the review suggested.

"That's all still a work in progress and I believe Board of Trustees, along with parents who put their hand up for these roles should continue to support schools regardless of whether this happens."

Sam Gardner