NEWS FROM TAKAPUNA PRIMARY SCHOOL - BOARD
Updated 07 April, 2022
Kia ora koutou. We hope all our TPS families have managed to safely navigate another Covid-19 affected school term! We are very grateful to have such a wonderful and supportive community of families at TPS and the Board would like to thank you for your understanding and support while the school worked through another challenging term.
The Board would like to also acknowledge and thank all the wonderful TPS staff who, in spite of shortages and disruption due to required isolation, have done an incredible job of not only keeping the school running smoothly, but of looking out for our tamariki and supporting them as they continue their learning journey.
There has again been an incredible amount of work in the education space relating to Covid-19 restrictions and legislation. The Board is continuing to meet regularly by virtual means and supporting the school in navigating the Covid-19 landscape as well as continuing with the usual business relating to the governance of the school. We are very much looking forward to being able to connect with each other and more of the staff and school community in person soon!
As you will have seen in an earlier newsletter message from Devika, there has been a drop in expected achievement in core curriculum subjects across all year levels. This was expected after two very disrupted years and is similar to many primary schools across NZ, particularly those in Auckland. The Leadership team has been working on a plan to address this and the Board carefully considered the school’s proposed plan at the end of 2021. The Board agreed to fund additional learning assistant hours, allowing additional focus on particular groups across the school. The Board has been regularly updated on the action plan and is confident that the school plan will aim to address these learning needs, though understandably it will take some time to reach the high levels of achievement seen across the school pre-Covid. As parents you may have noticed some of this plan already in action in Term 1.
Following the farewell of long-term Board member, Scott Duncan, late last year the Board has recently co-opted a new member, Zeenobiyah (Zeenie) McGowan, who will be part of the Board until the elections later this year. Zeenie is mum to two children in years 2 and 4 at TPS, and was formerly a researcher/ lecturer in the areas of Occupational Health and Safety, Human Resource Management and Organisation Studies. Zeenie also founded a charitable organisation and was the chairperson for 5 years, and in more recent years has been running her own company in the hospitality industry. Zeenie’s expertise and experience, as well as her superb organisational “can do” skills, will be essential to the Board in assisting us in what is turning out to be another very busy period!
Below are some of the recent highlights from our Board committees, and for those of you new to the school, a little information on who we are and the role of the Board.
The current TPS Board members are Devika Tagg (Tumuaki or Principal), Melissa Grant (staff-elected member), Leah Goddard (Presiding Member or Chairperson), Candice Murphy (Deputy Presiding Member), Kingi Gilbert, Lauren Sladen, Lewis McClintock, Petra Kent and Zeenobiyah McGowan.
Board Committee updates
We use committees in order to efficiently utilise the time and expertise of our Board members. Board committees carry out work or research on behalf of the Board and often work together when matters overlap. Committees may make recommendations to the Board, but all decisions are made by the full Board, unless there is a specific Board delegation to a committee. Currently the Board has the following committees:
The Personnel Committee is composed of Leah, Petra, Zeenie and Tumuaki Devika. We are responsible for working closely with Senior Leadership with regard to various employment matters, such as staff appointments. Last year the Committee was involved in the process of shortlisting, interviewing, and appointing a new Deputy Principal, as well as several new teaching staff. We feel very privileged to be involved in this process and see Takapuna Primary School continue to attract such high-calibre staff. We look forward to working with our new staff and continuing to support the school in our role as a Board committee.
Te Ao Māori Committee
The Te Ao Māori Committee is composed of Kingi, Petra, and Tumuaki Devika. We assist and guide the leadership team in the development of Te Ao Māori and Te Reo Māori. We are very proud of the commitment TPS has to all things Te Ao Māori, especially the enthusiasm in which staff embrace the language and the commitment shown to using it on a daily basis. We also participate in the Whanau Hui. Recently we have participated in Board training on Te Tiriti o Waitangi from a governance perspective. Committee
The Property Committee is responsible for assisting the Principal with property management and long-term property planning. Members of this team with Devika are Lewis, Leah and Melissa, together with assistance from Associate Principal Sarah OC. Highlights so far this year have been getting air conditioning into most learning spaces which has improved the comfort levels for both teachers and learners. The interior of the hall has been painted and autex installed half way up the walls to give additional warmth and protection.
The MOE required 5 and 10 year plans for property developments is underway with roofing being top of the list. We also have some other areas of the school that require updating, for example, old heat pumps, electrical switchboards, drainage and security systems. After these have been addressed we are looking at refurbishing further classrooms to further enhance the collaborative teaching and learning environments we already have and will also focus on improving outdoor learning spaces.
The last part of the new playground has been continually delayed due Covid-19 issues but we anticipate this will be finished in Term 2. The school pool unfortunately required a new chemical pump and again, due to Covid-19, there has been a delay in securing the appropriate parts and sourcing qualified people who are available for installation. However, this repair is imminent and the pool will be up and running for Term 4.
Health and Safety Committee
The Health and Safety Committee members are Candice, Leah, Zeenie and Tumuaki Devika as well as staff-representative, Associate Principal Denise McConnachie. The Committee is responsible for ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation within our school and for implementing health and safety initiatives to minimise the risk of harm to our tamariki and teachers. We regularly review and update the risk and hazard registers for the school and carry out risk assessments.
Policies and Procedures Committee
The Policies and Procedures Committee consists of Candice and Zeenie. The Committee is responsible for the update and review of our school policies and procedures. Takapuna Primary School uses SchoolDocs for our policy suite. SchoolDocs has a scheduled review programme for all school policies with 3 to 4 policies reviewed and updated each term. If you are interested in reading any of our policies they can be found at www.schooldocs.co.nz (Username: takapunaprimary and Password: deedsnotwords). This committee will also work closely with Tumuaki Devika and Leah, as Presiding Member, on the 2022 Board election process.
The Finance Committee members are Lauren, Leah and Tumuaki Devika. The Board has overall responsibility for the financial management of the School but delegates the day-to-day management of the school’s finances and budget to the principal. The Finance Committee is responsible for providing guidance to the Principal on financial matters. The Committee meets regularly to review the school’s monthly accounts, budget tracking and other financial matters and reports to the Board at every scheduled Board meeting regarding the school’s financial position. Despite the past two years being challenging due to Covid, the Finance Committee has worked together with Tumuaki Devika to ensure the school’s budget works hard in the essential areas for the school including staffing and appropriate resourcing. Looking forward in the coming years, additional income such as school donations, fundraising and hopefully international students will be key to the financial position of the school.