NZSTA Study Award winner, Steff Cresswell, has submitted an insightful and in-depth analysis on the unique challenges of rural school governance.
Ms Cresswell, who has an extensive background in governance, agriculture and education, says rural school boards need to be trained as rural school boards to be successful. She says organisations like NZSTA have an opportunity to lead transformational change for the benefit of rural children, schools and communities.
“A healthy school contributes positively to creating a healthy community,” says Ms Cresswell.
“Local schools should provide children with accessible, relevant and quality education, which connects children to their place, people and history – and rural schools are no exception.
“Every child should have access to quality education. However, in rural areas alternative schools are not easy to find, so that one school has to be good!”
Ms Cresswell says rural school boards need to be better prepared for the unique challenges they face. These can include inexperienced principals, inadequate national funding models that overlook the resourcing needs of their schools, isolation, staff and student attrition and more.
“The goal is to build the confidence and competence of current and future board members so they’re able to positively contribute to creating successful schools, which support healthy communities.”
Ms Cresswell’s report was submitted after an extended timeframe due to COVID-19 and is now available to NZSTA members on our website. Click here.
The NZSTA Board Member Study Awards are about shining a light on new or little-known issues that matter for school governance in Aotearoa. With the support of our sponsors, Crombie Lockwood and Vero Liability, NZSTA commits $20,000 of funding across five study categories each year. All board members who currently serve on an NZSTA member board are eligible to apply.