Board of Trustee’s FAQs

What is a school board of trustees?

Every state and state-integrated school in New Zealand has a board of trustees.

School board membership includes elected parent representatives, an elected staff representative and the principal. If the school has students above year 9, the board also includes a student representative:

What do trustees do?

First and foremost a board is accountable for student progress and achievement to its parents and community. The board has the overall responsibility for the school. This includes legal obligations covering curriculum, property, personnel, finance and health and safety.

Here are some specific things the board does:

  • Sets the strategic direction and long-term plans for the school and monitors the board’s progress against them.
  • Monitors and evaluates student progress and achievement.
  • Oversees the management of staff, property, finances, curriculum and administration.
  • Ensures that the educational needs and aspirations of Māori learners, Pasifika learners and learners with special education needs are identified, planned for and met.
  • Fulfils the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi by valuing and reflecting New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage.
  • Appoints and supports the principal and assesses their performance.

What skills do trustees need?

Trustees are active leaders in their schools and need to work well in a team, ask challenging questions and have good communications skills. Boards need a balance of skills and experiences to ensure effective processes for planning, monitoring, reporting and reviewing the school’s performance are in place.

Check out for more information regarding trusteeship

Who can become a trustee?

Parents, caregivers and people from the wider community can be nominated for election to a school board. Your school will be happy to help you find out more about standing for election or nominating someone else.

How is a board elected?

The school staff and parents elect boards of trustees every three years.
All parents of students who are enrolled full-time in a state or state-integrated school can and should vote in the elections for parent representatives.

Where can I get more information?

For more information check out this easy-to-understand parent guide on the role of the board of trustees: