The Western Grammar School organised a half day Board Members Governance training on Saturday 23 February at its school premised attended by four of its five Board members.
The training was provided by Mr Chris Duncan, Division Head: Governance from The Association of Independent Schools of NSW Ltd (AIS).
Mr Duncan has long experience as an educationist, where he has been principal of a number of schools, including Jewish, Islamic and other independent schools.
Just like a public officer in a non-profit organisation, The Board of Governors is ultimately responsible for the ultimate management of the school and legally responsible to the government for is successful operations.
During the face to face workshop session, Mr Duncan highlighted two major aspects that the Board is responsible for, namely Risk Management and Strategy.
Risk management does not simply mean avoiding of taking the risk, otherwise, the opportunities to grow are lost.
Risk Management entails the culture, processes and structures that are directed towards the effective management of potential opportunities and adverse effects.
A simple definition of strategy is “its a collection of actions that add value”.
However strategic planning in schools is moving away from traditional business models towards a ‘strategic thinking’ approach.
Mr Duncan emphasised that the school boards should spend at least half their time during board meetings in strategic thinking focussing on long term strategic planning.
He pointed out that the school board members are unpaid volunteers but have a lot of responsibility to obtain the right information from the school management and ensure that the risks are well managed.
Western Grammar School is based in Plumpton, Western Sydney with the vision to provide a well-rounded education suited to the cultural and historical framework of the current living environment in Australia and to empower and equip the future generations to meet the challenges of today’s evolving and highly competitive world.
Starting in March 2012 with only 8 students across Kindergarten to Year 4 and in a very short space of time now boasts a population of more than 300 students with its first batch of Year 12 graduating at the end of 2018.
The School now has a reasonably sound infrastructure with an increasing number of devoted teachers and with a long waiting list of students wishing to enroll but limited by the number of classrooms.
A new building complex is under construction to be completed by the beginning of Term 2 which will give a boost to the school facilities during 2019.