Governance Facilitator for school merger task list

Posted on: No Comments

The Board of the continuing school (appointed board) has two main roles:

  • To govern the continuing school through to the date of merger
  • To ensure that the merger process is well planned and implemented.

The Governance Facilitator is appointed to support the appointed board and ensure the merged school is in a good position to hand over to the elected board – elections must be held within 3 months of the date of the new school starting. The Governance Facilitator guides and supports the board of the continuing school (and its sub committees) in all aspects of its roles.

While there are parts of this process that are the same as for establishing a new school, there are other parts that are different from that process.

Note: In some cases the governance facilitator and the change manager could be the same person undertaking both roles.

Output 1:        Development of a Project Plan

Purpose  Ensure an overview of the tasks for both roles of the Board are developed and that these include timelines and priorities.
Outcomes  The members of the Board of the continuing school and the Ministry are aware of the tasks to be completed and the timelines within which they are needed to be achieved (for the effective governance of the continuing school through to the date of merger and for the merged school to be operational for term 1, 2014).
Governance Facilitator’s Target participants  Board of the continuing school (appointed board).Board of the merging school, change manager, residual agent and Ministry to be informed.
Governance Facilitator’s Volume of work  Prepare for, attend and follow-up for meetings with:

  • The Ministry (Christchurch Office)
  • The Board of the continuing school
  • The change manager
  • The residual agent

To determine the details of the plan.

Output 2:        Assist the Board of the continuing school to become an effective governance body

Purpose  Ensure the Board of the continuing school knows what is required to have effective systems and processes in place to govern the continuing school through to the date of merger and to develop an effective merged school. The development of the merged school is an opportunity to build on the best practices from both schools involved in the merger (and other best practices) and ensure they are part of the merged school. 

This includes being clear about the role of the Board, the support they can access, the role of STA, teachers unions etc.


Outcomes  There are effective processes and practices in place for the governance of the continuing school up to the date of merger, and the development of and governance of the merged school. 

This includes:

Governance of the Continuing School

  • Ensure there are processes in place for the Board to undertake effective governance of the continuing school (it may be that the Board ask some/all members of the outgoing elected Board to be on a committee of the appointed Board to undertake this role).
  • Ensure there are effective reporting systems in place for the Board of the continuing school to undertake its governance role effectively.
  • Ensure that the Board is a good employer of all its staff during this period of transition.
  • Ensure that the community of the continuing school are kept informed of the changes during this time of transition.
  • Ensure that the Board engages with the change manager, residual agent and the Board of the merging school during this time of transition to make the change as smooth as possible for employees, students and the community.


Development and Governance of the merged school

Governance Processes

  • There is an efficient Board operation for the merged school, with suitable governance/ management interface, appropriate structures and delegations.
  • A set of key policies has been developed and there is a programme to responsiveness to national priorities, including the NZ Curriculum.
  • A process is in place for other policies to be developed as they are needed in the school’s first months of operation.
  • Strategic planning and reporting is initiated, and the process for self-review.
  • There is a school management structure.
  • There is a financial management system, including budgeting, accounting and auditing policies and procedures, and draft budget.
  • There are performance management systems for principal and staff;


Staff appointment processes and professional development etc

  • The staff appointments are made (to be worked through with support from organisations listed above).[1]  This process needs to be made a priority so that the staff are appointed in good time for the merger to be implemented effectively.
  • There is an induction process for new staff.
  • There is a shared understanding of the pedagogical approach amongst school leadership and staff.


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


Communication with community

  • There is continued communication with community, staff and students about the development / operation of the merged school.


Vision for the school

  • There is a vision developed for the merged school (note this is likely to include consultation with the local community / iwi and may result in a change of school name, motto, logo etc),


Operation of the school

  • There is a school curriculum, schemes of work.
  • There is a school timetable.
  • There is a student management system.
  • There is a programme of student achievement, assessment and reporting to parents.
  • There is training for the staff in Novopay and ENROL  (if required)
  • There are systems for ensuring the health and safety of staff and students.
  • There are communications between the school and other schools in the merged school’s learning community cluster.  The planning for the merged school reflects the learning community cluster education plan.


Property, enrolment scheme etc

  • The Board meets with the Ministry (Property) to discuss the plans for the location of the merged school (especially when it is on a split site). The Board keeps the community informed.
  • There is a management plan for the operation and maintenance of the school premises.
  • The Board discusses the school’s proposed enrolment scheme with the Ministry then implements an enrolment scheme and other enrolment procedures.


Governance Facilitator’s  Target participants  The Board (and through the Board its staff, students and community in the continuing school before the merger and after the merger, the Board of the merging school, local schools in the learning community cluster), the Ministry. 
Governance Facilitator’s Volume of work  Board meetings, supporting the principal and other staff in their roles etc

Output 3:        The Board of the continuing school is ready to move to an Elected Board

Purpose  Ensure completion of the tasks identified in the project plan that will see the board effectively transition from an appointed board to an elected board. 
  • The systems at the school are suitable for a state school
  • The members of the board are ready to move to an elected board
  • Staff and students (and school community) are aware of the move to an elected board.
  • The ERO Readiness Review process is planned or completed.


Governance Facilitator’s Target participants  Board members, staff, school community and Ministry 
Volumes  Board meetings, meetings with Ministry, and perhaps with ERO.



[1] Note in a merger the principal’s position is always advertised nationally. The process for other staff appointments is detailed in the appropriate Collective Agreement.

Comments are closed.