Grey High board within months

By Viv Logie
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Greymouth High School should be returned to community hands by the start of term four, according to commissioner Christine Nijdam, who says she is looking forward to the handover.
The commissioner was put in charge of the school in 2011 after a critical Education Review Office report, but the latest report confirms it has pulled itself out of the doldrums and is again ready to run its own affairs.
Mrs Nijdam said her role now was to plan to get a new board of trustees in place, and determining an election date with the school advisory group.
She said the school was ready to “self-govern” again.
The new board would be made up of five parent representatives, a staff member, student trustee and the principal.
“All going well, the election will take place toward the end of term three, and I will be gone from the school seven days after the election,” Mrs Nijdam said.
She would leave a robust set of governance documents for the new board “so they can get straight into it”.
The trustees and principal Andy England would continue to receive support from the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Schools Trustees Association to keep them on track, and it was also critical that Mr England received support from the mentoring programme for first-time principals, Mrs Nijdam said.
In the build-up to the parent elections, information would be made available to the community on the role of the board, with a seminar for those interested in standing for election.
“I am confident that it is time for me to leave,” Mrs Nijdam said.
“There will be close support for the board and Andy to keep everyone on track.”
Mr England said the staff and students appreciated everything that Mrs Nijdam had achieved in her time as commissioner.
“We are ready and excited to work with a board,” he said.