The Student Representative Handbook is aimed at student trustees and outlines some of the key points you need to know.
Student Trustee Elections
Boards of state and state integrated schools with students above Year 9 must hold an annual student trustee election in September each year. The only exceptions are if an approved constitution published in the New Zealand Gazette, or a constitution in a state-integration agreement doesn’t specifically include a student trustee. Refer section 98A of the Education Act 1989.
Note: This section replaces section 105A and applies to all alternative constitutions, whenever approved. Details of the process are here.
Any student enrolled full time in Year 9 and above, under the age of 20, is eligible to stand for election and vote in the school election for a student trustee. Student trustees have equal standing, voice, accountabilities and vote as other board members, but they can't be the board chair (and neither can the principal nor staff trustee). They're not just there to be seen and not heard.
Ensuring the students at your school have the opportunity to know what it's all about before they stand and vote is important. If they want to know more about the board of trustees system, or what a trustee does, they should know where to access information, and where to go to place their nomination and their vote.
It is then up to students to make sure they use their democratic right to vote for someone they think would do the job well.
Let students know that their vote counts - if they don't vote, they will miss an opportunity to have a say in the governance of their school.
The Election Process
The election process begins when the board of trustees sets an election date for the student election and appoints a Returning Officer (RO) to manage the election process. Boards must formally appoint an RO at least 37 days before the election date.