Change Manager for school merger task list

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The Change Manager reports to the Manager of the Schools Change Project. There are several tasks that need to be attended to that will to result in the transition of the school from being fully functional as a school to being ready for merger.


To work with the Principal, Boards of Trustees and the Ministry to implement the Minister’s decision. The Change Manager is required to provide updates on progress against the scheduled tasks to the Board but their primary relationship in the school is with the Principal.


Upon Appointment



  • Meet with Manager of Schools Change Project to formalise role outcomes for allocated school(s)
  • Meet with Specialist Senior Advisor, Senior Financial Advisor, and Residual Agent to discuss roles and responsibilities, timelines, reporting requirements, etc.
  • Meet with the Boards of the merging school and the continuing school (the Appointed Board) to become familiar with how they work, their issues and concerns etc. They should already be familiar with the change manager’s role.
  • Meet with the change manager/s working with other schools  involved in the merger if it/they are not the same person



Before School Merger



  • Ensure that all significant matters are planned (including timelines) by or with the Principal/Boards such as:

–        ensuring support for parents and students

–        ensuring targeted support for priority groups

–        supporting staff during the pre-merger period but this does not include giving employment advice

–        understand and document context of school in terms of additional programmes and student support and work with appropriate people to transition these services

–        drafting a timeline of activities needing to be completed and corresponding deadlines (e.g. processes for appointing staff to the merged school etc) as dictated by the Collective Agreements (CAs), Individual Employment Agreements (IEAs) and ensuring the Board is aware of other relevant industrial relations regulations (in conjunction with NZSTA).

–        identifying the role of each Board in the merger process and the tasks each Board needs to complete

–        ensuring the Board briefs that staff on the process for identification of surplus staffing options for staff that do not win positions at the merged working with the Appointed Board to ensure  the wider school community is informed of the decision (key messages developed) if this hasn’t already happened

–        student enrolments in the merged school or other schools

–        helping to organise any ‘merging’ ceremony for staff and students

–        work with client technology schools (if relevant) to ensure they are informed about technology provision post-merger

–        provision of NAG 2A data for the merging school to the Ministry

–        finalising and signing the EDI Memorandum of Agreement

–        negotiating with the Board secretarial support, if any, for the change manager


Parents, children and whānau

  • Support the Principal/Board to communicate with families/students by explaining processes, time-lines etc.
  • Work with the Principal/Boards to ensure the families of all students are aware of the schools that they can enrol at and have taken steps to be enrolled at them (this may be the merged school or in other schools).
  • Work with the Education Wellbeing Response team to implement agreed support plan and ensure that comprehensive support plans for each school community are implemented.
  • Liaise with NGO resources which are required to support families in the school community
  • Work with school / RTLB / special education to ensure transition plans are developed for students which are comprehensive and include all aspects of care for the child and their family.
  • Consider access to mental health services and other social services such as Right Services Right Time as necessary.



  • Support the Principal/ Boards  to ensure the merging school and the continuing school have accurate and current employment documentation for their staff including:

–        years of service

–        current salary

–        annual leave entitlement

–        other entitlements or potential liabilities.


  • Support the Boards, NZSTA, NZEI, PPTA, and/ or other relevant organisations to ensure all employment processes are properly followed and all deadlines are met in order to minimise risk of employment-related disputes.

–        Obtain copies of each of the relevant Collective Agreements for the school’s teaching and non-teaching staff at both the continuing and merging schools.

–        Ensure that the timelines for the process for advertising and appointing staff to the merged school are known by staff at the merging and continuing schools, so they can engage with it appropriately.

–        Complete all relevant forms/ letters to staff (e.g. staff notices, etc.) pertaining to the employees of the school

–        Staff are aware of the  surplus staffing options as appropriate

–        Ensure documentation is made available on behalf of the employer to support employees’ preferred surplus staffing options, where they do not win positions in the merged school but avoid giving employment advice.

–        Where there are surplus staffing positions ensure Resourcing Division of the Ministry is provided with evidence of the teachers and principal’s preferred staffing option(s).

–        Ensure Ministry of Education’s Education Service Payroll Unit is advised of any pending payroll costs prior to merger and within timelines set out in each Collective.

–        Liaise with the Financial Service Provider/ Residual Agent as required to:

a)       Ensure access to information relevant to the employees of the school.

b)       Share information regarding all payroll liabilities.

c)       Ensure there are sufficient cash balances to meet payroll obligations.


  • If appropriate, on behalf of the Board, support individual employees to identify and apply for a suitable alternative permanent position


  • NZSTA staff are available to provide the relevant industrial employment advice about the change process.  You will be expected to follow this advice.


Change Managers should not provide industrial advice of any kind to staff or Board


Enrolment of learners

  • Work with the Specialist Senior Adviser and Principal/Boards to ensure the families of all students are aware of the schools that they can enrol at and have taken steps to be enrolled at them (this may be the merged school or in other schools).
  • Survey parents about their intentions for enrolment in this school year, and for the year in which the school merges.
  • Get current roll at date of announcement, and compile a list of siblings and addresses of students enrolled at that date.


Property/ Assets

  • Identify outstanding property issues (e.g. painting, repairs, health and safety concerns, etc.)


  • Work with Residual Agent(s) of the merging school and the Boards of both schools to ensure that each school’s asset register is up to date (including any school monuments, time capsules, plaques, furniture and fixtures, etc)

–        take photos of capital assets of high value and include this in the updated asset register.


  • When the asset register of the merging school and the continuing school are complete, provide a copy of each to the Residual Agent(s) and the board of the continuing school (appointed board).


  • Work with both Boards to:

–        agree, in writing, on which assets will be transferred to the continuing school (this could include physically viewing all of the merging school’s assets with the Board of the continuing school).

–        agree, in writing, the date that the transfer will occur


  • For any assets that are not to be transferred t the continuing school, work with Board of merging school to decide on disposal (e.g. sale, donation to local group etc)


  • After the transfer date, update the asset register of the continuing school.


  • Provide a copy of the asset registers and the agreed asset transfers to the Board of the continuing school (appointed board) and the Residual Agent.


  • Where a site is no longer being used after the merger date, work with Residual Agent to ensure

–        final waster / utility readings are scheduled as at the merger date.

–        sufficient funds are available for payment of future mowing / gardening / maintenance / security contracts until day of merger, as required.


Progress Reporting

  • Meet regularly with the Boards to discuss progress, identify concerns and issues.


Meet as required with the Project Manager, Specialist Senior Advisor and Regional Financial Advisor to discuss progress, identify concerns and issues.



Day of School Merger



In coordination with the Residual Agent, ensure:

  • Where the merging school site is being used by the merged school, a set of keys from the merging school is provided to the nominated person from the Board of the continuing school.
  • Where the merging schools site is no longer being used, the set of keys is provided to the Ministry.
  • Contact details of all key-holders are left with the local/ regional Ministry office.



In coordination with the Residual Agent, ensure:

  • That all assets are safe and secure.
  • Assets are moved from the merging school to the continuing school as necessary.
  • If the site of the merging school is no longer being used, check that the school pool(s) is/ are empty and the area is secure (gate is locked with a new padlock if required), walls are stripped of student work, posters etc and the school is reasonably clean and tidy. Whiteboards and blackboards cleaned etc.



In coordination with the Residual Agent, ensure:

  • mail is redirected to the Residual Agent or the Board of the continuing school, as appropriate.



Action after Merger



In coordination with the Residual Agent, ensure all of the activities listed below are completed. Depending on the circumstances, the tasks could be split. This list should be reviewed at the introductory meeting with the Senior Financial Advisor and the Senior Advisor.


  • Ensure all items in the EDI Memorandum of Agreement are addressed (distribution of assets, relocation of playground equipment, etc)
  • If the merging school’s property is to be used for the merged school, work with the Ministry and the Board of the continuing school to determine any tasks to be undertaken so this can happen effectively.


  • If the property is not being used by the continuing school and is being put into the disposal process, work with Ministry to ensure tasks for disposal are completed.  These may include ensuring:

–        The mowing contract is in place for grass.

–        Gardens are maintained.

–        New locks are fitted to doors where appropriate.

–        The water supply is turned off unless it is vital for school house.

–        Power is turned off and switchboard rewired for security lighting and water pump.

–        Phone is disconnected.

–        Floors swept/ mopped and carpets are vacuumed.

–        All furniture and chattels removed.

–        Bins emptied and secured and incinerator is emptied.


Other tasks

  • Any items not required by the merged school are distributed to other local schools, and schools in the wider community or Ministry (as per EDI Memorandum of Agreement). Those not required by any schools are disposed of.


–        Ensure funds generated from any sales are forwarded to the Residual Agent.


  • Work with providers of SMS systems to ensure data can be and is transferred to the system that is to be used in the newly merged school


  • Work with the Ministry to ensure all students are taken off ENROL and check they are enrolled in another school (which will enter them onto ENROL).


  • School documentation, files and records are sorted, labelled and transferred to the newly merged school or, if not required, relocated (as per the School Records Retention and Disposal Schedule).


  • Disable any school website.


  • AA sign is removed from roadsides as appropriate (they may be needed for a period after the day of merger).


  • If a site is not being used, the school gates there are secured.


  • Ensure school email accounts are updated, and the appropriate accounts are discontinued.




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