School Governance

AISSA recognises that effective governance arrangements are crucial to independent schools.
AISSA can provide expert advice to boards and principals on different governance models for schools, reviewing governance arrangements and resolving governance issues.
Governance issues in schools usually focus on the roles and responsibilities of the Board and the roles and responsibilities of the Principal.
Key topics associated with school governance include:
  • Trends in board governance;
  • Strategic direction of the school;
  • Management and governance;
  • Board member training;
  • Meeting education, legal and financial obligations;
  • Appraisal of the Principal;
  • Monitoring and reporting financial matters; and
  • Evaluation of board performance
There is no “correct” governance model, as schools should establish arrangements suitable for their circumstances. Often the most appropriate arrangements for a school change as circumstances change; e.g. the experience and skills of the principal increase or a board's role changes as the school is more established.
Often governance issues are associated with different perceptions of the role of the Board or the role of the Principal or if expectations or needs have changed.
AISSA has been involved in many situations where governance issues have impacted on the relationships between:
  • The Board and the Principal;
  • The Board and the school community; or
  • The Board or Principal and organisations linked to the school.
AISSA holds seminars and workshops on governance matters for governors and principals.

There have been substantial developments in governance theory in recent years and suggested references on governance can be obtained from AISSA.

To discuss any governance issues, please contact Carolyn Grantskalns

AISSA 2016 Governance Conference

Saturday 28 May 2016, 9am - 4pm

The AISSA 2016 Governance Conference was held on 28 May 2016 at Immanuel College - Conference Centre Function Room, Morphett Road, Novar Gardens.

This conference was designed to inform and challenge School Boards about the strategic environment in which they operate. Governors need to understand and respond to the external threats and opportunities all schools currently confront.

A range of outstanding keynote speakers provided insight into the local, national and global contexts which impact on independent schools. In particular, we welcomed back Professor Yong Zhao to Adelaide to elaborate on the challenges presented during the 2015 conference. He further explored the changes he believes schools should make in order to remain relevant to our students’ futures. Mr Tony Harrison, Chief Executive, Department for Education & Child Development (DECD) summarised the improvement agenda in South Australian Government schools and Colette Colman, Executive Director, Independent Schools Council Australia, provided a national picture.

A panel discussion focusing on the ways schools might be responsive to the changing educational and economic landscape was another program highlight. Panel members include Ms Carolyn Hewson, AO, Dr Leoni Degenhardt, Dean of Leadership AISNSW and Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia.

The conference was facilitated by Mr Tony MacKay, CEO of the Melbourne-based Centre for Strategic Education, Co-Director of the Global Education Leaders Programme (GELP) and Chair of the Innovation Unit Ltd, England.

To enable school leaders to reflect on and respond to the ideas presented by each speaker, each keynote session was followed by a reflection and discussion time. 

Please click to see details of the full program.

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AISSA Governance Conference - Saturday 2 May 2015

The AISSA Governance Conference was held on Saturday 2 May at Walford Anglican School for Girls, Unley Road, Hyde Park.

Keynote speakers included the internationally renowned Dr Yong Zhao, Mr Rob Ball, Director Ball Public Relations and Mrs Carolyn Grantskalns, Chief Executive AISSA.

The conference had a range of options to cater for both new and experienced Board members.

The Governance Essentials strand was designed for those relatively new to Boards and focused on finance and performance indicators, compliance and risk management.

The Contemporary Approaches to Governance strand was for experienced Board members keen to connect to innovative approaches to Board structure, composition and management.

To view the presentation by Carolyn Grantskalns, Issues for Independent Schools, please click here.

To view the presentation by Dr Yong Zhao, Educating for First World Economies Part 1, click here.

To view Part 2 of Dr Yong Zhao's presentation, click here.

To view Part 3 of Dr Yong Zhao's presentation, click here.

To view the presentation by Mr Rob Ball, Managing Your School's Reputation, click here.

To view Part 2 of Mr Rob Ball's presentation, click here.

 Governance Conference May 2 2015 Carolyn Grantskalns
 Managing Your School's Reputation - Rob Ball
 Compliance Obligations Presentation - R Batt
 Risk Management Presentaton - S Daw
 AISSA 2015 Governance Conference Booklet

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School governing bodies play a critical role in the school improvement process. A great school not only requires quality leadership and teachers but high quality governance.

This conference provided your Board with the most current thinking in relation to best practice governance, risk assessment, compliance, boardroom dynamics and master planning. 

Below are presentations from Keynote speakers and workshop facilitators on the day.

To view the Keynote presentation by Carolyn Grantskalns, The Independent Schools' Landscape, click here.

To view the Keynote presentation by Prof Geoff Masters, Who Does What in School Improvement, click here
The film by Prof Masters is not to be used for commercial purposes and ACER at all times retains the copyright in the materials presented.

To view the Keynote presentation Part 1 by Garry Le Duff, Building Effective School Boards, click here.

To view Part 2 of Building Effective School Boards, click here.


 Who Does What in School Improvement Keynote - Geoff Masters 2014
 AISSA Governance Conference Keynote Address - Garry Le Duff 2014
 The Independent Schools’ Landscape - Carolyn Grantskalns 2014
 Boardroom Dynamics - Michelle Bentley 2014
 Is Your Board at Risk - Garry Le Duff 2014
 Master Planning - Susan Phillips 2014
 What Gets Measured Gets Done - Scott Way 2014

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