Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Parents volunteer for their children's Board Of Trustees with the best of intentions. However the reality is, especially in rural schools that the job boards are tasked with is often time consuming and over their heads. The reality is when boards have to deal with employment issues, Health and Safety and any legal issues they become out of their depth and resort to engaging employment consultants and lawyers to sort out the mess that usually eventuates. It is common to see schools under 'statutory management' after an employment issue which has cost the school from anywhere between $50 000 to $100 000 and usually more. However the impacts are not just financial, usually morale plummets and its reputation is damaged which has a knock on effect on the roll numbers which in turn affects funding. Yes the board has insurance however this is capped and often money is diverted from the bulk funding to pay consultancy and legal costs. Have a look at your boards financial accounts to see what your board is spending on consultancy and legal costs. If it is small then your school will probably have very few issues. If the figures are high then your school is probably forking out for lawyers and employment consultants and paying out confidential settlement agreements to make people shut up and go away. Your BOT have to provide the financial accounts which will probably be hidden on their website or the secretary's office! Bullying of employees especially teachers is a huge issue in schools and it is usually senior managers (the bosses) that are the culprits. Unfortunately Boards are not made up of independent individuals (and more often than not are 'chums' with the Principal) and will usually actively cover up the bullying and bullying culture of the school by throwing your tax payer money that is supposed to be for the education of the students to make the problem go away. Bali Haque proposals which recommend that "teachers and principals should be employed by regional education “hubs”, rather than individual school boards" is spot on. Principals hate this idea because they can't manipulate the running of the school and will be held more accountable for their actions.