Stewardship: working relationships

Published: 04 Sep 2017
Evaluation indicators
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


“It’s not jus stopping because we reached what we need to reach. It is how do we keep going forward with that? How do we keep improving?”

At Invercargill Middle School, the way in which school trustees and leaders work together fosters an appreciative and respectful environment that acknowledges the contributions of everyone in the learning community.

Key messages:

  • Trustees, leaders and teachers have a shared commitment to ongoing improvement of outcomes
  • Expectations, practices and processes are well understood
  • The board, management and staff are clear about their respective roles and responsibilities
  • Communication is frequent within a climate that encourages feedback
  • Acknowledgement of individual contributions is inclusive and well communicated

Things to think about:

  • How do you develop and maintain the constructive and collaborative conditions that support ongoing improvement? 
  • What else might you do together?

The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 1: Stewardship
    • Evaluation Indicators
      • The board scrutinises the effectiveness of the school in achieving valued student outcomes
      • The board actively represents and serves the school and education community in it’s stewardship role
      • The board evaluates how effectively it is fulfilling the stewardship role with which it has been entrusted

This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

The full video series can be found here.

Remote video URL

TESSA HICKMAN: A clear message here is that we can always do better. Yes, there's been a massive increase in how many students are achieving at or above. And that figure has increased massively across maths, reading, and writing. But it's not just stopping because we've reached what we need to reach. It's how do we keep going forward with it? How do we keep improving?

What's probably brought a lot of fuss about is a clear emphasis on routines and on expectations so staff know what's expected of them, students know what's expected of them. They know what to expect of each other. And when those expectations aren't met, there's not solely punitive approach to that, it's how do we support one another to meet the expectations.

I think the relationship between the board and Stan it's hard to distinguish between in the relationship between Stan and his staff. There's not a hierarchical power sense. It's more, these are our roles and our responsibilities. And this is how we work and together. And there's a real culture of openness to feedback. So an emphasis on positive feedback as well.

An example of that is Stan doe weekly staff notes. And they get emailed out each week. It's sort of like a plan if this is what's happening this week. Say, this class is away on camp or this is what's coming up. But there is a specific section that he does each week on a thank you. Thank you to the staff member for leading the group with Stan out. Thank you to this board member for coming in and being part of the policy review on health and safety.

And that sort of appreciation, it's different from just an individual email. It's an acknowledgment to everybody of the work that each person is doing. And I see everybody's names come up in there. And I think that again helps to make sure there's no divide. It joins the staff and the board together and keeps each other in the loop which there wouldn't necessarily be. It's really important.