Locally Funded Capital Works
Capital works must comply with the Ministry of Education's minimum standards.
The minimum standards relate to the quality of the buildings as described by the Ministry's design standards, building related statutory regulations, the Disabled Persons Act and the Health and Safety in Employment Act.
Working with the Proprietor
In the State School sector the administrative system has two major players, the Ministry of Education and the Board of Trustees. The Ministry of Education as owner sets out the policy by which Boards of Trustee can occupy the school site and fund Boards directly to manage the school in accordance with these policies. The Board of Trustees is responsible for all work to the property on the school site both maintenance and capital work and receives funds from the Ministry to accomplish this.
With Integrated Schools there are three major players: the Proprietor of the school - as owner of the land & buildings and upholder of the Special Character; the Ministry of Education - providing funding from the State for education of the students and maintaining of the integrated buildings to state standards; and the Board of Trustees who are also responsible to uphold the Special Character of the school through the school charter and to look after the day to day running and maintenanceof the school.
The role of the Proprietor in an integrated school is paramount to ensure that not only is the Special Character upheld but also to ensure that the School can continue to be a viable institution providing the best possible environment for the education of the students.
It is therefore essential that an integrated school Board of Trustees not only works with the Ministry of Education but also works closely with the school Proprietor to ensure all the needs of the school can be met.
Proprietor's authority needed
The first step involves being familiar with the principles that guide Proprietors when they make decisions about authorisation. These are clearly set out in Capital Works: Guidelines for Boards of Trustees of Integrated Schools prepared by the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, August 2002.
Where schools are contemplating capital works proposals the Proprietor, through the Manager of the Catholic Education Office, must be satisfied that:
The assets under the Board's stewardship are being adequately maintained;
The interests of the children presently in the schools are not compromised by such actions;
The latest audited accounts (sent to Catholic Education Office as part of the capital works application) show reserves for maintenance of buildings and repairs plus replacement of furniture and equipment.
The locally raised funds have been raised on behalf of the Proprietor (see #5 below) and are not Board of Trustee funds or funds sourced from the Crown. When using locally raised funds, diocesan policy requires that buildings on the Proprietor's land be in the ownership of the Proprietor.
All fundraising on behalf of the Proprietor must be carried out in accordance with the Statutory Requirements for Proprietors and Boards of Trustees of Integrated Schools.
Liaison with the Catholic Education Office
The Catholic Education Office acts for the Proprietor and is responsible for ensuring items 1 - 5 above are complied with. It is, therefore, vital that authorisation is gained from the Catholic Education Office before a school officially engages consultants or undertakes any detailed planning. The Manager of the Catholic Education Office will advise you of the procedure to follow.
Please note that the provision of any accommodation must also comply with all appropriate statutory requirements such as Local Authority by-laws and relevant legislation.
In order to comply with diocesan policy, Ministry of Education policy and the law, schools intending to carry out a capital project on a Catholicintegrated school site need to ensure:
The approval of the Proprietor is obtained;
The approval of the Minsitry of Education is obtained to add any buildings to the integrated school site the Catholic Education Office will make application to the Ministry of Education on behalf of the school Board of Trustees;
Any locally raised finds to be used for the work are specifically raised on behalf of the Proprietor and not the Board of Trustees.
The school's contribution to a project will not in any way prejudice their financial viability, including its ability to meet on-going operational commitments, such as maintenance. The Catholic Education Office reserves the right to decline any application that it considers may place the school's financial viability at risk.
It is also important to adhere to the information, advice and guidance contained in the Ministry of Education's Education Circular 2002/1 (www.minedu.govt.nz), on the actions to be taken by school boards when a board member stands to benefit financially from a decision being taken by the board. Two points in this circular are highlighted here for your reference.
Firstly, any trustee who has a pecuniary interest in any matter must be excluded from any meeting of the board while the board discusses, considers anything relating to, or decides, the matter. A pecuniary interest exists where the matter would, if dealt with in a particular way, give rise to an expectation of gain or loss of money.
Secondly, if a school trustee or a board committee member is interested in any contract or contracts with the board worth more than $25,000 a year, that person will be disqualified from being a school trustee or board committee member, unless the board obtains the approval of the Secretary for education for that contract. Please read this circular (Ministry of Education Circular 2002/1) for more details.