Pasifika parent representation on the boards of trustees
What We Have Found
The number of Pasifika parent representatives on the board fairly reflected the Pasifika student numbers in a third of schools.
Date Updated: January 2014
The proportion of schools with a fair level of Pasifika parent representation on the board of trustees as at 1 December.
Why This Is Important
Active participation by Pasifika in planning, development and delivery of education services will help to ensure that those services are appropriate and effective for Pasifika students. Pasifika representation on boards of trustees is one key mechanism for participation.
Boards of trustees of state schools must hold elections for parent representatives every three years. A board may also decide to adopt a mid-term election cycle where half of its parent representatives are elected at a mid-term election (18 months after the triennial election) and the remainder are elected at the triennial election.
Triennial elections have been held every three years from 1998. A by-election can occur at any stage in the election cycle if an elected parent representative leaves the board and creates a vacancy. Although the major changes in board membership occur in triennial election years, there is still some fluctuation in intervening years due to by-elections and mid-term elections.
How We Are Going
In 2013, there were 469 schools with sufficient numbers of Pasifika students that, for the students to be fairly represented, we would expect to have at least one Pasifika parent on the school board of trustees. This expectation is based both on the number of Pasifika students and the number of positions on the board.
The proportion of schools with fair Pasifika representation increased from 26% in 1998 to 39% (184 schools) in 2013. The trend shows a gradual increase in the last decade. The number of Pasifika parent representatives in the remaining 285 schools (61%) does not reflect the number of Pasifika students in these schools.
Figure 1: Proportion of schools with fair Pasifika representation (1998-2013)
Demographics, such as family size, may contribute to this under-representation. Based on the Population Census 2013, for every 10 school aged Pasifika children (5-19 years old) there are 9 Pasifika adults aged 25 to 49. In comparison there are 17 non-Pasifika adults for every 10 non-Pasifika children.
While the majority of schools that should have Pasifika parent representation on the board of trustees are co-educational, the proportion of schools with fair representation in the 23 single sex schools (61%) was higher than among co-educational schools (38%).
Fair Pasifika representation on the board was more common in secondary schools (53%) than in primary schools (37%).
Figure 2: Number of Schools and the proportion of schools with fair Pasifika representation on the board, by decile (2013)
The majority of schools (58%) considered in this indicator are decile 1 to 3 schools. There were, however, schools that we could expect to have Pasifika representation in every decile.
Low decile schools (Decile 1-3) were slightly more likely to have fair representation than high decile (Decile 8-10) schools; 41% of low decile schools had fair representation compared to 39% of high decile schools.