WGHS Board – July Report

Joy Bradfield
Presiding Member

Thank you to the 15 candidates who have volunteered to represent our community on the Board.

If you do not receive your emailed voting papers on Wednesday, please contact Marie McKerrow, Principal’s PA/ Board Secretary at [email protected] . Voting will close midday on Wednesday 7 September.

We’ve been fortunate to have a strong, committed Board at Westlake Girls High School. Parent-elected board members give of their skills to ensure we have informed and professional input, providing robust support for Principal Jane Stanley to lead the school with confidence.

Our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan has just been released – you can find it HERE.

Board members are jointly accountable for meeting the requirements of the Education & Training Act 2020, so a good knowledge of the legislation, along with compliance and process requirements is vital. Evaluating student progress and achievement, to ensure that every student is getting the preparation they need to survive and thrive in the world, is an essential part of our role. We support this through setting the strategic direction and targets for the school; curriculum management; employment of staff; responsible financial and property management; robust policies and procedures; effective risk management, and ensuring a healthy & safe environment. A diverse and engaged board means we bring a range of perspectives and experiences to the table, which reflects the Westlake community we represent.

I am seeking re-election along with three current Board members. We invite you to engage in this process to ensure a seamless transition as we welcome new Board members to the table and continue to progress the exciting projects currently underway.

My focus moving forward aims for a rapid recovery from the effects of Covid lockdowns, as we seek to attract international students, increase our income streams, increase the number of Board-funded teachers, and promote ongoing professional development. I will continue to prioritise the recruitment, development, and retention of the very best teachers, to ensure Westlake Girls High School remains at the cutting edge of girls’ education. I am also passionate for us to reconnect as a school community by making full use of our stunning Event Centre. It was an absolute pleasure for me to see this project through from conception to construction, and I look forward to seeing it come to life through showcasing our students, music & art celebrations, exhibitions, breakfasts, dinners, prominent speakers – and so much more! It’s been five years since we lost our hall after a fire, and we’ve missed this opportunity to connect on our home ground.

Here are a few key discussion points from our last Board meeting on 7 July.

Physical Education, Health and Sport Presentation

Head of Faculty for Physical Education, Health and Sport, Leisen Jobe, presented a curriculum review of the Faculty. She was joined by Kathleen Beckett (HOD) and April Ieremia (Director of Sport). The presentation included a graduate profile by the Physical Education, Health and Sport Faculty for each year group, and summarised results, highlights, and initiatives and changes. A snapshot of sports participation at WGHS was presented noting that a total of 1,070 students formally participated in the 45 different sporting codes on offer at the school in 2021. The largest participation sport was netball followed by volleyball, with the biggest growth being in snow sports.

Our people management team – totalling 378 coaches, managers and officials – were made up of teachers, support staff, community and students. A big Thank You to our community – we couldn’t do it without you!

Top 10 sports were netball, volleyball, football, hockey, touch, badminton, rowing, basketball, table tennis and water polo. Emerging sports included skiing, rugby sevens, swimming, orienteering and adventure racing. Participation highlights were noted, along with a run-down of performance and achievements of our top teams, and coverage of our elite sports students who are competing on the national and world stage.

Moving forward, a desired focus is on growing participation through greater awareness and promotion of sports and activities, including more non-competitive opportunities during school time. Encouraging students in all codes to ‘give back’ by coaching or officiating; giving them the tools to deliver to other students confidently; and to reward students with recognition and acknowledgements. In addition to attracting high calibre coaches who will guide our students as they progress up the performance ladder.

Other things of note included:

  • Five potential board candidates attended the meeting.
  • Financial Report noting no observations or recommendations arising from the external audit for the 2021 Annual Report – an impressive result.
  • Mid-year student progress report is scheduled for presentation at the August meeting.
  • Event Centre – opening celebration on 30 June was a wonderful occasion with the former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy addressing students, staff and invited guests, and unveiling the plaque. Visitors commented on the outstanding acoustics. Jane reiterated her thanks to all who have contributed to this project.
  • Cultural Wellbeing: The whānau group met to form a committee to progress fundraising for the Whare Wānanga.
  • Property Report – Final approval awaited from MOE for two weather tightness projects.
  • International Department Report – school taking advantage of marketing opportunities.
  • Open Night success with large numbers at two sessions, despite terrible weather.
  • Operational Policy Review – International students Policy.
  • Staff and Student member reports to the Board.

Ngā mihi nui

Joy Bradfield
Board Chair