Posted on 28 August, 2020

From the School Board

From the School Board

Over the last few weeks various Committees of the DHS Board have been meeting to discuss a range of topics and progress various initiatives. This month I’d like to mention the work of the Policy, Performance and Governance (PPG) Committee, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory (ATSI) Committee and International Education.

The PPG Committee has arranged for two training sessions to be run by COGSO (Council of Government School Organisations) for Board and Committee Members. The first will cover the priority area of Governance training for Board members. This will help members, particularly those new to the Board in 2020 understand the processes and structures that apply in managing the activities of representative bodies such as the school board. The intent is to help new and returning members to become comfortable and feel supported in their role on the board. The second area of priority training is around School Partnerships (Engagement). Another agenda item discussed at the PPG meeting was the DHS Policy Schedule and policies due for review. The PPG Committee requested that the school undertake an audit of current policies, including their accessibility, with a view to having an overarching schedule that incorporates review dates for each policy and a documented process for how policies are created and reviewed. The Board is keen to ensure policies remain current and that when policies undergo review opportunities are provided for input from staff, students and parents where appropriate.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander committee is continuing to work on the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with the assistance of Anna Goat. The Committee is aiming to have a draft to the Board to endorse for launching in national NAIDOC week (second week of November). All Board members and other interested people are very welcome to join with us in the RAP development. We are also working on design ideas for a cultural space within the school together with the Buildings and Master Plan Committee.

At its meeting last week the Board held a small launch event for the schools new Strategic Plan 2020 - 2023. The plan is built on a foundation of a strong, inclusive, diverse and engaged school community and our values of achievement, integrity, respect, cooperation and responsibility. More details of the key focus areas of excellence in teaching and learning, future learning and wellbeing are communicated elsewhere. The Board will play a role in supporting the implementation of the strategy and monitoring, review and evaluation over the coming years.

The Board invited Debra Liddiard, the Director, International Education and Non-government School Services, to discuss the outlook for International Education in COVID impacted times, initiatives for rebuilding post-COVID, maintaining the program and means for DHS to access funding under new arrangements brought in by the Department. DHS has the largest cohort of international students in the NT, and has a proud history of delivering a program that both provides a quality education to these students and enriches the school community. This is a resource intensive program and the Board is pleased to be able to participate in upcoming consultation regarding guidelines, priorities and processes for accessing the funds arising from student fees, for capacity building projects and sustaining existing programs.

The board also welcomed SRC representatives Joshielle Pastor and Nuhansi Wijesinghe who reported on a recent workshop and BBQ, and discussed upcoming events such as RUOK day in week 8 and plans for engaging new members into the future.

Please remember that the any member of the school community is welcome to attend Committee meetings where they would like to make a contribution on particular topics or just observe. Meeting dates are available on the school website or by contacting the Board via email [email protected]

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