Horowhenua College

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Board of Trustees


December 2017

Kia ora koutou katoa 

Our final board report for the year for 2017!   As you may be aware we had two board of trustees positions up for nomination and election.   No new nominations were received by the closing date of 17th November, so we are delighted that our current trustees who were nominated for the positions (Mr Garry Good and Mrs Nikki Simpson-Tukapua) will be able to continue their service on the board.  The next Board of Trustees election will be held mid 2019 and all five trustee positions will come up for election then as the Board returns to the standard three year election cycle.

At our last meeting our Librarian, Carole Brunger and Careers Advisor, Whaea Pani Kerehoma came and presented reports on the library and Gateway programmes respectively.  The Board has really enjoyed meeting many of the school staff this year.  Having staff report on progress at the beginning of our Board meetings gives trustees an opportunity to meet staff, ask questions and find out about the learning opportunities in the school.  It also enables staff to bring their insights and perspectives and provides a foundation for discussions on how we can best support the different faculties and learning programmes in the school.  We shall continue to do this in 2018.  

At the meeting, Mr Congdon presented a draft of the school charter which has been created with input from the parent surveys administered at parent interviews, the online school survey and in consultation with staff.  When the charter is finalised we will put this up on the website.   Each year the Board, in conjunction with management produce annual goals which derive from the broader strategic goals contained in the charter. It is these annual goals that form the basis for reporting on progress at each board meeting as the school year progresses.  Thanks to Leanne Phillips the school’s executive officer and the Board’s finance committee, the formulation of the 2018 budget is also well underway.  At our final meeting of 2017 we will pass the budget and also ratify the draft of the school charter we have been developing.    The charter and strategic goals help specify funding priorities which it is why will be good to have both signed off and ready to go for the New Year before we break for Christmas.

As a board we realise the significant contributions that parents and caregivers make in giving practical, emotional and financial support to our students.  Thank you for partnering with us again this year to grow successful young men and women.   We look forward to our learning journey together as a school in 2018, and wish all our staff, students and whanau a happy and blessed Christmas and New Year. 

Ka kite anō 

Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)



November 2017

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Term 4 is always such a busy term in the life of the school.  It has been wonderful these last couple of weeks to attend the first of our celebrations of student achievement through the Sports and Cultural awards.  We will soon be having our Gateway graduation, Service Academy Prize giving, and our junior and senior academic prize givings.  I so enjoy being a part of these events- it is great to acknowledge all the successful young men and women who exemplify the NUA way across multiple facets of school life.

At our last Board of Trustees meeting we farewelled our outgoing student representative Toni Baker.  Toni has made a significant contribution during her time as a student trustee these last two years, and we will miss her!  We so appreciate all that she has given, not only to the board, but to school life in general and wish her every success in her future as she leaves Horowhenua College at the end of 2017.  We also had opportunity to welcome our new trustee Brooke Antonsen.  Thank you Brooke for putting your name forward for election – we hope your time on the board will be an enjoyable and productive learning experience!! This week our parents and caregivers will be receiving forms regarding the nomination and election of two trustees.  After consulting the School Trustees Association and recognising the continuity required for our Board work plan, the board has decided to move back to the standard tri-annual election cycle, hence the appointments for this election will be for an 18 month term.  The trustee positions to be filled are those currently held by Mr Garry Good and Ms Nikki Simpson-Tukapua.  Garry and Nikki have done an outstanding job on the Board, Garry bringing huge experience in governance and with a background in education (having been a school principal himself) and Nikki with expertise in youth justice and now involved in care and protection of young people through Oranga Tamariki.  You will find more about them on the voting forms when they are sent to you.  Please do vote in these elections, it is your chance to have a say in who you would like to represent you for these next 18 months. 

During our last meeting we examined our NCEA credit performance relative to previous years at this time.  We were also encouraged to see the mentoring programmes which have been implemented for students at risk of not achieving.   As a board we monitor academic progress against the achievement targets set out in the annual plan and look towards continuous improvements in learning and teaching.  One of the key foci for next year is likely to be in the area of Information and Communication Technologies.  At the meeting Mr Jason White and Mr Luke Stevens presented the ICT plan for the Boards consideration. The Board will use this information to make strategic decisions as it ratifies the budget for 2017. Mr White also presented a review of the PE faculty. In addition to acknowledging the hard work that has been done by staff, these faculty reviews help the board to think about where and how it should prioritise school resources to best facilitate teaching and learning. 

Thank you to all our whanau for supporting our young people through the last few weeks of term.  We realise this can be a stressful and tiring time, but we wish you and all our students every success as they complete course work and sit final exams.  
Ngā mihi

Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)



September 2017

Kia ora tātou

Only a week to go till school holidays!  I do hope all our college staff and students have a good break over the vacation.  Thank you to the more than 40 parents and caregivers who have responded to our school charter survey – we so appreciate the time you have given to do this. In Term 4 we will be working on our new charter goals and your comments will help us produce the key aspects of these goals. 

In our August board meeting we spent the bulk of the evening meeting with the Heads of Faculties (HOFs). Earlier in the year we had a meeting where we identified priorities for 2017 and the focus of our evening meeting was reporting back on how these priorities were being addressed, and on the identification of the enabling and limiting factors for increasing student achievement. Going forward into 2018 we will be looking more specifically at attendance, curriculum design and ICT device management and utilisation.  It was really encouraging to see the work being put into helping our students succeed, and as a Board we really value effort the HOFs put into leading their areas of speciality.  Ms Moerkerk has also been extremely busy producing statistics for us on NCEA credits, and it was great to see that overall we are improved on last year’s credit totals for students at the same point in the academic year. 

During our meeting time the Board also approved our revised complaints procedure and a new flow chart which should simplify the processes involved in making and resolving complaints for both parents and staff.   We discussed the forthcoming student elections and our next BOT election which will be held in November.  We agreed to move back to a triannual cycle for elections as this enables us to develop the board as a team with consistency through a three year work plan. 

This month’s featured trustee is Mr Bob Slade. Bob was selected onto the Board earlier this year because of his expertise in finances. A chartered accountant for many years, Bob continues to be involved in consultancy work and has previously had experience of being on a school board.  We are enjoying having Bob on the board and we appreciate the questions he brings each month.  Bob also serves on the finance sub-committee of the board and his skills in this area are put to good use!  Here are Bob’s thoughts on being a trustee: 

I have had a long career as a Charted Accountant, mainly acting for small to medium size businesses.  I was appointed to the Board of Trustees six months ago and also serve on the Board’s Finance Committee.  I am very impressed with the high standard of governance, teaching and facilities at Horowhenua College. The College, very well lead by Principal Grant Congdon, offers the opportunity for students, willing to apply themselves, to aspire to their full potential.

I look forward to communicating with you again next term. Have a safe and happy holidays.

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)



August 2017

Kia ora tātou

It seems like the months are flying by – we are now well into term 3, and already looking toward to 2018 with our focus on charter review and the recent Open evening and day for prospective year 9 students.  In preparation for our last board meeting we received summaries of all the feedback from parents and caregivers obtained from the questionnaires administered by our trustees at parent interviews and Open night. We are interested in what is working well for you and your child, what might be improved and what parents would like to see as part of their young people’s education.  It was suggested that we also place the survey we administered on-line, so expect to see this in the next couple of weeks.  We want to hear from you and would really encourage you to write down your thoughts and ideas, whether you have spoken to us already or not!

At the start of the last meeting we moved into committee (the publicly excluded section of the meeting which is used to discuss matters pertaining to personnel, discipline, and other matters which warrant privacy for the individuals/organisations) as we had our external Principal Appraiser come and talk to us about how Mr Congdon’s appraisal process was going, and to gather our opinions for his appraisal report.   Staff appraisal is an important process within a school as it provides guidance on what is working well and it identifies next steps for professional development.  Mr Congdon is responsible each year for ensuring the appraisals of all staff in the College, and the Board is accountable for the appraisal of the principal.  While as a Board we know (and see evidence) that our tumuaki is doing a wonderful job, it great to have evidence of this and to gather information about how best we can support our principal going forward. 

At our last meeting we also reviewed our new Theft and Fraud prevention procedure.  Having revised our all our policies, we continue to work through a raft of procedures.  This process will be ongoing through the rest of 2017, but is great to feel we are making progress and that when completed we will have a clear and comprehensive governance framework which provides a foundation for good decision making and the sound implementation of practices within the school.

Mr Congdon presented an NCEA credit report at the meeting, and we spent some time reflecting on it.  It is at this time of year that the Board and teaching Staff are now able to get an overview of how our students are tracking towards NCEA.  This is the point at which teaching staff are able to recognise areas (and students) who might be in need of more support and to develop interventions to help lift student achievement.    As a Board it is fantastic to see this kind of tracking as we want all our students, whatever their capability to make progress and experience success in their learning.
Again in this newsletter, we continue our series of ‘getting to know’ our trustees. This month I would like to introduce Mr Dylan Kiriona. Dylan is a parent elected representative and an active supporter of Rangatahi Ora.  He is also on the finance committee and spends a great deal of time putting the financials in graphical form which provide us with clear visuals.  A teacher himself, Dylan also brings a strong sense of the diverse needs of learners to the Board and I so value his insightful contributions. 

Tēnā koutou katoa,

My name is Dylan Kiriona and I descend from Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Huia. I am a Parent Representative on the Board of Trustees as well as the Finance Committee and am an active whanau member of Rangatahi Ora. My wife Laurae Broughton-Kiriona and I have 5 children with 2 of them currently attending Horowhenua College. I am currently a Primary School Teacher at Levin East School and am actively involved in Kapahaka as well as coaching a range of sporting codes.
It has been a pleasure to represent whanau on the board and work with an amazing and committed team under great leadership. The range of skills and experience that each member brings to the table ensures that issues are viewed from a variety of perspectives. We focus on providing the best possible resourcing so that teachers can be effective in their roles to facilitate a quality education to ensure our students excel. We are proud of the school's many achievements and wish to acknowledge the dedication and generosity of so many on a day to day basis because as we all know, it takes a village to raise a child. Our role as a board, is simply to share the load with management and staff, and to pave the way for our future generations to be successful young men and young women. Ko ngā rangatahi o te rā nei, Ngā rangatira mō āpōpō.

Nāku noa
Dylan Kiriona

I will be in touch again after our next meeting in September!

Nga mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)




July 2017

Tena koutou katoa

We held our final board meeting for the term in Week 9.   The last few weeks of term have been particularly busy with sports matches and exchanges, flag assembly, report evenings, open days and the house haka competitions. A group of staff, students and representatives of Muaupoko headed off to Auckland on June 27th to celebrate the success of the Rangatahi Ora programme.  Though we didn’t win our category we were one of only eleven schools (out of 2539 schools in the country) who made it to the finals, so that alone is an impressive feat! We also celebrated the opening of our five new science labs last week, these had been on the drawing board for many years and it was fantastic to see them come to fruition.  Thanks to all those who had a hand in their design and build especially Colspec Construction and Proarch Architects.  Mr Denis Hutchings our Campus Manager has put many long hours into overseeing and supporting the contractors and it is his significant contribution and that of the Board Property Committee (comprising our tumuaki Mr Congdon, Mr Garry Good, Mr David Tate, Mrs Leanne Philips, and Mr Hutchings) which has seen the labs through to completion.   As I write this our science teachers are busy moving in and these 21st century teaching spaces will be up and running for Term Three.  

The Board has now made conversations with staff a regular part of its agenda.    This month Mrs Susie Prentice (acting Head of Science and Lead Teacher in the Horticulture Academy) came and gave us a report on the Horticulture Academy. As usual we received and discussed Mr Congdon’s report which keeps us up to date with how we are going with respect to our annual academic and wider charter goals.  The Board’s role is to ask critical questions - how, what, why and when questions to ensure we are making progress in relation to these goals across the academic year. We are also embarking on our charter review consultation.  You may have met some of us asking questions about what we do well and what we can do to improve things at Horowhenua College at the parent interview and Year 8 Open nights.  We intend to make this survey available online too.  Thank you to all who have participated so far, including our students who have also received a version of the survey!! 

In this newsletter, we continue our series of ‘getting to know’ our trustees. This month I thought you would like to hear from Mr David Tate, the teacher representative on the Board. In addition to being on the property sub-committee, David has a vital role in bringing a teacher perspective to all our decisions on the board, and he always encourages us to think about the impacts of our decisions for both academic and support staff in the school. Thank you David, for all that you do!

Kia ora

My name is David Tate and I am the Staff Representative currently in my second term of service on the Board of Trustees. I am a Social Scientist and this year teach History, Studies of Society and junior Social Studies. My other roles in the college are Relief Co-ordinator and Specialist Classroom Teacher.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve in this position and to work with a board that has real heart and integrity. Its focus on providing the best possible support to all staff in the college to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students is exemplary. One key aspect of my role as Staff Representative is to ensure that a staff perspective is raised and discussed on issues where relevant. I have learnt much about the Governance versus Management relationship and the sometimes convoluted processes involved when working with the Ministry of Education. As a member of the Property sub-committee which has invested a huge amount of time and energy into various projects on behalf of the college it has been extremely satisfying to see some key projects completed such as the re-roofing of S Block and the opening of the new Science Labs. The ongoing work of this sub-committee is helping to shape the future learning environment that we will all benefit from.

For me, working in an effective team environment which is extremely well led is a privilege. The commitment, skill set, and insight that the current board possesses is ‘very rich’ and invaluable as we continue to progressively refine our focus and deal with the exciting new challenges that are in front of us.

nāku noa
David Tate

I look forward to being in contact again next term and wish all our staff and students a relaxing and enjoyable school holidays.
Nga mihi

Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)


June 2017

Kia ora koutou

The Principal and our Student Representative reports presented at our last Board meeting were a reminder of all the great things happening in our school – it is wonderful to see our students taking up opportunities in the arts, sports and culture through through events such as Shave for a Cure,  inter-school and regional sporting competitions, Sheila Winn Shakespeare and Stage Challenge.  As a BOT we are very grateful for all the hard work, time and assistance of staff, parents and whanau in supporting these activities which help ‘grow successful young men and women’.  We have also received a letter from Hon. Hekia Parata M.P congratulating the College on sustained success in NCEA results.  Likely, you have heard that the College has made the finals of the Prime Ministers’ Excellence in Education Awards, a recognition of the work done by Matua Chris, Whaea Kawa and college staff over the last eight years in partnership with Muaupoko and whanau. Rangatahi Ora involves recognising Maori students ‘as Maori’ in their schooling and is providing opportunities for many of our Maori students to excel.   Winners are announced at a special awards ceremony in Auckland on June 27th but regardless of whether the College wins the ‘Excellence in Engaging – Atahāpara Award category’ – this is an achievement the whole school can celebrate, particularly as we are the only school in the wider Wellington region to be nominated this year for the one of these awards.  

At the beginning of our BOT meeting we had Mr Maurice True and Mr Robin Hudepohl come and speak with us about their role in leading the Service Academy.   As a Board we are really enjoying opportunities to talk with staff and/or students.  This enables us to learn about the different facets of school life, and to understand what is working effectively as well as any challenges staff or programmes are facing.  We use such insights to guide us in our charter review and strategic planning but more than this, it provides the Board the opportunity to build relationships with its stakeholders and to consider how we might support their practice. 

Given our current emphasis on getting to know members of the school, over the next few issues of ‘News from the Board’ I thought it might be helpful for you to learn a little about our current board members, their interests and their roles on the Board.  We will begin with Toni Baker who has been our student representative on the Board for the last two years. Not only is she a prefect and involved heavily in the sporting and cultural life of the school, but she is an invaluable member of our Board – bringing a student perspective and asking us to reflect on the impacts of our decisions for the student body.    Here is Toni’s perspective as a trustee:

My name is Toni Baker and I am the Student Representative on the Board of Trustees and am in my second term on the board. I am currently in year 13 at Horowhenua College. I am looking to do a conjoint degree in law and commerce at university next year and hopefully from there I will end up working in Corporate Law or in politics for the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Justice.

As the student representative I have been provided with the opportunities to learn about governance, to further my abilities as a leader through attending a 5 day course at Great Barrier Island, and to develop my appreciation of all the hard work the teachers and staff put in, in order to make sure each and every individual at Horowhenua College achieves to their highest potential. This has honestly been the most enriching and valuable experience as the role allows me to see things from different points of view. I have found that I am very easily able to translate the skills I have learnt from being on the board into an array of other areas of my life, in fact the experience I have had on the Board of Trustees has influenced the career path I am wishing to take! 

As the student representative my role on the board is all about bringing a student voice and opinion to the discussions going on around the table, whether that it just being there to be an advisor on matters or whether it’s bringing my own matters to the table for further discussion. Doing this effectively requires working very closely with the structures we have in place to make sure that we as a student body are heard. Having a student opinion on matters is very important and held in high regard at Horowhenua College, meaning that in decision making students are listened to and their perspectives acknowledged.

Our thanks go to Toni for all she has done.  She will be greatly missed as she leaves College at the end of 2017, but shortly an election will held for another student representative and look forward to welcoming our new student representative to the board team.   I do encourage our senior students to consider standing for election – as Toni says, it is a valuable (and I hope fun!) learning opportunity.

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

BOARD OF TRUSTEES ANNUAL REPORT (on the 2016 academic year)

Please click on the link below to access the Board of Trustees Annual Report from our Board Chair, Juliana Mansvelt




March 2017

Kia ora koutou

We began our second Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting for 2017 with introductions by the Prefects.   It was great to meet and talk with this awesome group of successful young men and women who exemplify the NUA way.   After learning about the Prefects’ roles in the school we introduced ourselves and the work of the Board.  As part of our charter review this year, we hope to talk to a wide range of groups and individuals about how we can grow successful students as a BOT.   We also welcomed Bob Slade our new Trustee who will assume a finance portfolio to the Board.   It was great to be able to congratulate our student rep Toni Baker on her selection for the Under 21 B Canoe Polo team – it is fantastic to see her excel in yet another area of school life!

As is normal practice, we spent some time discussing the principal’s report. Mr Congdon’s report provides an update on what has happened across various faculties since the previous meeting, but perhaps more importantly it addresses progress made in relation to the strategic and academic goals contained in our School Charter.  As the year progresses we track the extent to which we are achieving our goals, looking for evidence that the processes and practices put in place are making a difference.   In the last month BOT and management have appointed a new Deputy Principal. We are delighted Mr Jason White has accepted our offer of a position and we look forward to welcoming him with a powhiri on the first day of Term 2.

Amongst other things, we discussed the school’s involvement in the Community of Learning (COL) which involves collaboration between schools in the Horowhenua directed towards identifying and addressing significant achievement challenges.  Two Communities of Learning are being formed, one for the Foxton (Kere Kere) group of schools and the other for the remaining schools in the Horowhenua region (Taitoko).  Both COLs will have the same governance group and will work together on achievement challenges.  This initiative is progressing (albeit slowly), but we are hopeful that the time taken in getting the consultation and partnerships right, will be worth it once the COL begins its work in schools.

We also reflected on our recent visit from members of the Education Review Office. It was a positive learning experience which helped identify next steps and we look forward to seeing a draft of the report in about a month’s time.  The review office informed us that it was likely to be May before this was released to the public online – so we will keep you posted.

Recently Mr Congdon and I along with staff, academy students and parents had the privilege of attending the Service Academy graduation at Waiouru Military Camp.  Congratulations to all those Academy members who graduated from the two week induction course. The students did us proud and it was wonderful to see them marching out and taking part in a combined haka with 11 other service academies from the lower North Island.  A special thank you too to Maurice True and Robyn Hudepohl who invest so much time into supporting our Academy Students. It is so neat to be part of a school where we can see our young men and women thrive!

Nga mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (BOT Chair)

24 February 2017

Kia ora koutou

Welcome back to all our returning students, and a special welcome to students and their whanau who have joined Horowhenua College in 2017.   After each Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting I will endeavour to update you on what the board has been working on and our key priorities going forward. 

We had our first board meeting for 2017 last Monday night.   Your Board of Trustees representatives are Dylan Kiriona, Nikki Simpson-Tukapua, Garry Good (Deputy Chair), Toni Baker (Student Representative), David Tate (Staff Representative), our Tumuaki (Grant Congdon) and myself (Juliana Mansvelt, Chairperson).   As you will know we have been seeking to select a new BOT member to replace Chris Hartwell who resigned last year.  After having developed criteria for this position and prioritising gaps in our current expertise, we are pleased to announce that Bob Slade, a retired Chartered Accountant who has previous experience on a school board in Wellington has been selected as the new Board of Trustees representative.  Bob remains a consultant for the accountancy firm he set up and has many years’ experience in working with small and medium sized businesses, so his expertise will be invaluable as part of our BOT team. 
Much of the time at our last meeting was taken up looking at our NCEA results (which are our best ever at level 2 and 3!).    It is encouraging to see an upward trend in student achievement overall over the last couple of years, and the Board appreciates the time that management, teachers and teaching support staff have put into practices such as mentoring, and providing extra tutorials for students which have resulted in improvements in student achievement.  While we look for trends in achievement overall as a Board we are also concerned to reflect on how NCEA results, and the results of various assessments for all our students from Years 9-13 play out when we take gender, year level and ethnicity and curriculum areas into account.  Delving more deeply into the data enables the Board in partnership with management to set strategic goals which are directed towards lifting the achievement of target groups of students (these goals are contained in our School Charter).  In addition, each year about this time we look at a document produced by the Senior Leadership Team which provides a summary of the annual goals from the previous year, the actions taken to address them and whether they have been achieved.  Interpretation of this ‘Analysis of Variance’ document provides a basis for extending what we are doing well and for developing practices and procedures to address those areas in need of improvement.  

At our meeting we also confirmed the School Charter which contains the strategic goals for 2015-2017.  This year the Board would like to engage with staff, students and the school community in order to significantly revise the charter, so this will be a significant part of our work plan for the year. 

We have also been preparing for our impending visit from the Education Review Office. As mentioned in our last communication as well as engaging in self review of our own practice, we welcome the insights and opportunities an ERO review provides to further improve our school. 

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (Board Chair)
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees


5 December 2016

Tēnā koutou katoa

Term 4 is always a busy term with exams and reporting on assessments and various events and functions to mark the end of another academic year. The Board of Trustees really appreciates the hours the College staff have given to supporting students through their final weeks of school and in assisting with exam preparation. 

Our November meeting began with our Principal’s report. As mentioned previously each Board meeting Mr Congdon reports on progress towards the goals set out in the Strategic Plan.  The academic goals which form a part of the Strategic Plan are revised annually and submitted to the Ministry of Education prior to 1st March each year.  While Mr Congdon is able to report on progress towards these as we proceed through the year, it is not till after all student’s internal assessments are in, and the results of final examinations (both Horowhenua College ones and NCEA exams) that we know with certainty whether we have achieved our academic goals. Once the final results have been collated and analysed, they are used to create a report (called an Analysis of Variance) which enables us to report back to the Ministry and the school community on how well we are doing.    Although we do not yet have confirmed results for 2016, there are promising signs with gains having been made with the support provided to students at risk of not achieving, and predicted improvements in NCEA results.
We spent some time at our last meeting discussing information and communication technology and the development of new procedures around this.  We want our students to capitalize on the learning benefits of being connected to the internet, while at the same we are mindful of the distractions social media can provide in the class-room. The new procedures being developed will provide certainty around the use of devices at school for staff and students.  

We received no objections to our intention to select a new trustee to fill the current vacancy on the board so will proceed the selection process, and give you an update in the New Year.  In addition to our usual updates on finance, policy, property and health and safety matters we discussed self-review.   We continued our review of how we as a board function which includes identifying whether there are appropriate procedures in place to support our activities.  The Board of Trustees is also developing a table which summarises how we review our practices across all the aspects of the college.  This will help provide greater accountability, enabling us to understand the multitude of review practices in place and helping us to further develop our board calendar around review schedules. 

As there are few school days left this term on behalf of the Board of Trustees let me wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.  All the best for our year 13 students - I hope you take with you great memories of your time at Horowhenua College.  For our returning students we look forward to welcoming you back in 2017!

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (Board Chair)
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees



27 October 2016

Tēnā koutou katoa

There was plenty to discuss at our October meeting.   As part of our focus on student achievement we examined a Ministry of Education produced ‘School leaver Achievement and Destination Profile’ document which contained statistics regarding Horowhenua College school leavers and their NCEA level 2 achievement.  This kind of data is useful to the board because it breaks down the data according to gender and ethnicity, allows us to track progress overtime and enables us to develop targets for specific cohorts of students.   Each meeting Mr Congdon produces a principal’s report which gives the Board information about the achievement of students in relation to the annual goals laid out in the College’s strategic plan.   His report also outlines the measures the management and teaching staff are using to identify and assist those students at risk of not achieving. 

Usual Board of Trustees work also involves the review of policies and procedures.  As stated in a previous newsletter we are currently reviewing all our policies and procedures.  This month we ratified our new Health and Safety Policy, and examined our Health and Safety Implementation Procedure and Child and Young Person’s Protection procedure.   It is important that the College have processes of self review in place – and that includes reviewing how well we operate as a Board of Trustees.  In our October meeting we started the process of BOT self-review, and this is enabling us to see what we are doing well, and which areas of our practice or functions might need improvement.
We also received a report on the success of the Gateway programme in school.  It was great to learn that our students are having really positive experiences in a range of workplaces in our community, and that many students transitioned into jobs or further study as a consequence of their involvement in the programme.  The BOT is very grateful to all those local businesses that invest their time, resources and energy into giving our Gateway students such a positive experience.

Each time we meet we receive a report from our student rep Toni Baker.  Toni was recently re-elected to the BOT and we are delighted to have her back again for the 2016/17 year.  As well as keeping us up to date with student initiatives in the school, Toni contributes to the discussion as a full member of the BOT and we always appreciate having a student perspective. 
Following the resignation of Chris Hartwell, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution to select a new trustee following the process outline in Section 105 of the 1989 Education Act.  Rather than holding a bi-election, the selection process will enable the Board to fill existing gaps in expertise thereby strengthening the range of skills, attributes and complementing the existing abilities of trustees.   A newspaper advert will appear in the Chronicle within the next couple of weeks outlining this process.

Wishing you all the best for the remainder of what is a very busy Term Four!

Ngā mihi

Juliana Mansvelt, (Chair)
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees



September 2016

Tēnā koutou katoa

Thank you to everyone who voted in the June Boards of Trustees (BOT) elections, it is a privilege to serve you in this capacity!  Your board members are:  Dylan Kiriona, Nikki Simpson-Tukapua,  David Tate (staff rep), Toni Baker (student rep), Garry Good (Deputy Chair),Grant Congdon (Principal/Tumuaki)  and myself, Juliana Mansvelt (Chairperson).  Chris Hartwell was also elected to the Board, but resigned after returning from overseas on 6th September.  The Board have accepted Chris's resignation and would like to acknowledge the substantial contribution he has made to the school over many years in his role as trustee and Chair.  Thank you Chris, and we wish you all the best for your future endeavours!

We are also very grateful to have the assistance of Kate Searle who is our incredibly efficient BOT secretary!  The current board has a nice mix of new and experienced Horowhenua College BOT members with governance experience derived from a variety of backgrounds.  This provides a strong foundation for us to work together to support our principal, his management team and staff, and to see our students experience success in all areas of their school life. 

The BOT meets every five weeks to discuss issues which are necessary to the successful governance of the school.  Our key focus is ensuring we have plans and policies in place to promote the wellbeing and achievement of all our students.   We have a number of sub-committees too: finance, property, health and safety, and policy.  Each BOT meeting we discuss the reports and/or recommendations of these sub-committees, and examine key strategic issues related to the goals in our school charter.  In our first two meetings we have covered progress in relation to NCEA, and pathways and achievement for students in mathematics.   All the data we see at BOT meetings on student achievement is aggregated which means it enables us to see general trends without identifying individual students.   We have adopted a new structure for all our policies and procedures which aligns them with the Government’s National Administration Guidelines (http://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-of-education/legislation/nags/), so over the coming months will be revising them all, and hope to get them up on the college website for you to view in due course.

At the last board meeting we voted to join the Horowhenua Community of Learning (COL).  This is a government funded initiative which involves schools in the region working together to solve key achievement challenges by sharing knowledge and teacher expertise.  Many of the details are yet to be worked out, but as a member of the COL, Horowhenua College will have a role in shaping the form and direction of this collaborative learning community.  We will keep you updated as this moves forward!

Ngā mihi
Juliana Mansvelt (Acting Chair)
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees



28 July 2014

I wish to give you an update on the appointment of a Principal at Horowhenua College. Our four shortlisted candidates visited the college and met with staff, student groups and prefects. The calibre of applicants made it very hard to separate the candidates. I am very pleased to be able to announce that Grant Congdon has accepted the position of Principal at Horowhenua College.

I wish to thank all staff and students who have helped and contributed to the process. I think the following extracts from one of our student’s responses summarises things so very well.

“I believe Mr Congdon would make a great principal for Horowhenua College. I think he has great intentions for the school and the students”

“I think Mr Congdon will try his hardest to adapt to the school”

“I believe students will like Mr Congdon more, as he is passionate to make positive changes and be a great leader for NUA”

We have yet to confirm a start date but are looking at Term 4 this year.

Chris Hartwell


Horowhenua College Board of Trustees


11 July 2014

Principal Appointment Process Update to Staff and Community

Since I last spoke and advised you we had received 10 applications for the position of Principal, the Board have managed to digest the information provided and short list four
candidates for interview. The candidates will be at the college on Friday 25 July to meet and greet the staff, prefect group and board representatives. As earlier indicated, interviews will be on Saturday 26 July.

We are delighted with the quality of the applicants this round and are quietly confident that we will get a candidate that meets the needs of the role. I will update you again once we have completed the interviews and advise you on whether a successful candidate has been found.


Chris Hartwell
Board Chair
Horowhenua College Board of Trustees

30th June 2014

Board Chair - Update to the community regarding the appointment of a new Principal

At 3pm, Monday 30th June 2014, applications closed for the position of Principal at the college.
We have had very good interest in the role and I am pleased to advise that we have had 10 applications.
The breadth of experience of the candidates applying for the role is wide and varied and we are fortunate to have had such great interest in the role.

As a reminder the next steps are as follows:



30 June          Applications close, chair to update staff and community

1-7 July          CV Review

8-11 July        Shortlisting of candidates

11-21 July      Referee checks

25 July           Referee Checks

21-24 July      Opportunity for candidates to visit school by arrangement

25 July           Staff and prefect group to meet candidates

26 July           Formal interviews completed

We are hoping that on or about 26th July we will have made a decision with regards to any successful candidate.

At that point a formal offer for the role will be made, and once this has been accepted both the unsuccessful candidates, the staff and community will be advised of the outcome.

Chris Hartwell
Board Chair