Update from the School Board

PPTA Industrial Action – we, as parents and board members, are well aware of the frustration that the industrial action is causing, especially following 3 years of COVID interruptions and this year’s extreme weather events; and we are aware of your concerns regarding your daughters’ education. The PPTA Collective Agreement expired in July 2022 and there has been no agreement reached to date. As a result, this current industrial action is being directed by the PPTA (the Secondary Teachers Union).

Principals and school boards have no influence or control over this. In addition, the PPTA are legally required to give just 3 days’ notice of proposed industrial action. We have a high number of PPTA staff and without staff, the school is unable to support student learning. We value our staff and support their right to take action, however we also hope that this can be resolved quickly, and that staff can continue teaching and learning without distraction. Our teachers are committed to their students’ learning and are planning their programmes so that students will be able to continue tasks on the days they are rostered home. As a school, we are very lucky to be currently fully staffed, many others are not. However, it is also vital that we continue to attract quality teachers for our students – the reduction in the number of quality teachers applying for positions over the last three years is alarming and needs to be addressed urgently. Let’s hope for a resolution soon.

Health and Safety is a key area of responsibility for the school board; and at our last meeting on Tuesday 4th April, the board discussed its role as a PCBU, together with the legislation under the Education & Training Act 2020 regarding governance vs management roles.

Documentation regarding the school’s systems and processes was provided for board members to review; this included the school’s hazard register, asbestos register, year to date risk assessments for day and overnight trips year, and our latest independent audit report completed by Securo in May 2022. Securo noted that WGHS had again achieved Tier Gold level in all 8 sections of the audit. Tier Gold level is the highest level. It requires a high level of commitment amongst all staff to keep all workers and students safe, report all hazards and actively look for improvements. The report acknowledged the huge commitment from key staff to the ongoing implementation of improving the Health and Safety system to minimise potential harm at WGHS, led by DP and Health & Safety Committee Chair, Paul Davis.

ERO – the Education Review Office has been tasked to monitor each school’s progress against the MOE’s student attendance targets i.e. those regularly attending, moderately absent and chronically absent. School attendance figures were tabled in the principal’s report. The board discussed the links between attendance and achievement. The school continues to focus on attendance and achievement through improving student presence, participation and progress.

Property – there are always property projects on the board’s agenda, with weathertightness remediation underway for the G1 and S blocks; and quotes being obtained for upcoming turf repairs.

The Whare Wānanga is progressing with the board approving the shortfall to complete the building. Initial discussions are being sought with mana whenua, Iwi and hapu, with regard to the building and tikanga.  A sample prototype of the internal carvings/artwork is displayed in the reception area of the Admin block, having been undertaken by talented past student and emerging Māori artist, Emma Jane Ormsby. Our whānau committee is leading the fundraising for the carvings and artwork.

Trips – In addition to all day and overnight domestic trips being undertaken, it is exciting to see applications for international trips coming back to the board for approval. It should be noted that these are organised through third party travel companies and not the school directly.

Policy Reviews – four board operational policies pertaining to self-review, student behaviour management, and complaints were ratified. The school’s complaints procedure is on the school website.

Co-opted Board member – we welcome Stephven Kolose, a parent and candidate in the last elections, who was invited to attend the meeting, and who subsequently agreed to be co-opted as a board member to bring not only a valuable Pasifika voice to our board, but also skills including human factors ergonomics, health and safety, data analysis and quantitative research.

Our next board meeting is to be held on Tuesday 23rd May, contact Marie McKerrow, Board Secretary & Principal’s EA, if you would like to attend.