Ap­pre­ci­at­ing school trus­tees’ con­tri­bu­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

School boards are an un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated and of­ten un­der-used re­source, ac­cord­ing to one longserv­ing trustee, Chris Toa.

Those who put up their hands to gov­ern schools come from all walks of life, of­ten with no prior gov­er­nance ex­pe­ri­ence or skills.

They are each paid an hon­o­rar­ium of $55 to at­tend one meet­ing per month, to cover babysit­ting costs, or $ 75 for the chair­per­son. Each of Welling­ton’s 212 schools has five trus­tees who each give about 10 hours a month of their time, for 10 months each year – a to­tal of 106,000 hours.

‘‘That is a lot of so­cial cap­i­tal that peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties are de­vot­ing to our schools, and there­fore our chil­dren,’’ said Mr Toa, who has been a trustee for 20 years and is the chair­man of the Mana Col­lege board of trus­tees.

Most trus­tees served for three years, while their chil­dren were at the school, Mr Toa said. By the time they fin­ished, they had learned gov­er­nance skills, which then of­ten went to waste.

Mayor Nick Leggett will recog­nise the ef­forts of Porirua’s school trus­tees at a func­tion at Pataka on Mon­day, July 15.

Mr Toa said rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Vol­un­teer Porirua would at­tend to talk about op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­tinue us­ing their skills.

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