New partnership to tackle leadership challenges in private schools

New partnership to tackle leadership challenges in private schools

A new partnership will provide expert governance training to over 250 NSW Independent school board members.

The Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW) announced it is partnering with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) – the largest director membership organisation in the world – to improve governance and maintain confidence and trust within the rapidly growing sector.

Independent schools have accounted for almost three-quarters of new student enrolments in all sectors in NSW since 2018. Figures released in February revealed that the independent school sector is now the second largest in NSW, eclipsing the Catholic sector.

AISNSW executive director, Dr Geoff Newcombe, said AISNSW is working closely with the AICD to assist schools in the increasingly demanding area of governance. 

“Over the years, there’s been a large increase in compliance requirements with significant changes to accountability measures," Dr Newcombe told The Educator.

“School boards, working with their principals, are responsible for matters such as school registration and dealing with industrial relations matters as well as approving large expenditures. We want to assist school board members - who do this work as volunteers - as much as we possibly can.” 

Dr Newcombe said the AICD "is an excellent partner to work with to help deliver these outcomes, given its exceptional reputation for delivering quality governance courses and programs."

AICD Managing Director and CEO, Angus Armour, said AICD was pleased to partner with AISNSW to advance the governance knowledge of hundreds of Independent school directors in NSW.

“The role of schools in society continues to change. Schools are challenged with increased social expectations and tighter regulatory requirements, as well as greater scrutiny,” Armour said.

“This environment elevates the responsibilities and governance expectations of school boards; consequently, the role of a school director is becoming more complex. It is more important than ever that we help these directors invest in the skills necessary to grapple with these challenges.”

Dr Newcombe said both courses will accredit hours to satisfy the NSW Education Standards Authority requirement for professional learning in school governance.

“The AICD agreement has been structured to provide subsidised access to both courses for all AISNSW member schools,” he said.

“This unique partnership will make a significant contribution to the development of school board members and will promote accountability and good governance, which benefits all students.”