Appreciating school trustees’ contribution
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.