Board Operations

Proper governance requires a school’s ‘responsible persons’ to have in place structures, policies and procedures for governance, leadership, authority, decision-making accountability and transparency. This eight hour course helps ‘responsible persons’ understand and implement effective board operations within the context of each school’s distinctive philosophy and traditions, its framework of governance, and the NESA Requirements for Proper Governance. 

Content covered includes the Board-Head relationship, overseeing the Head, engagement with the Head, board engagement with the community, board composition and succession, board meetings and dynamics, evaluating the board, and notifying NESA. Understandings of effective board operations are developed through hypothetical case studies. 


This course is designed to help ‘responsible persons’ [as defined under Section 47(1)(b) of the Education Act in New South Wales] understand and implement sound policies and ongoing procedures for effective governance in ways that comply with the NESA requirements upon school boards. Specifically, the course is designed to provide in-depth appreciation and practical application of ways in which ‘responsible persons’ can work together to enhance their board operations to ensure (a) effective implementation of established principles of ‘best practice’ in school governance and (b) compliance with relevant NESA requirements in the area of board operations. Furthermore, the course provides opportunities through discussion and problem-solving for ‘responsible persons’ to build unity of understanding, a common purpose, and a commitment to implementing ‘best practices’ for effective school governance in a strategic manner that enhances the school’s outcomes. While the emphasis of the course is addressing ongoing professional learning needs, it is also highly suitable as a component of the induction of new ‘responsible persons’.


  • To upskill ‘responsible persons’ in the theory and effective practice of board operations.
  • To inform ‘responsible persons’ about the NESA requirements and expectations in the area of board operations.
  • To expand knowledge of the NESA requirements and expectations into a solid, practical understanding that is demonstrated by a commitment to fulfil the requirements and adhere to principles and practices of ‘best practice’ in the area of board operations.
  • To help ‘responsible persons’ develop a practical strategy to fulfil the NESA requirements in terms of (a) record keeping, (b) understanding effective governance principles and practices, and (c) implementing ‘best practice’ in the area of board operations.
  • To help ‘responsible persons’ reflect upon the board’s effectiveness in the area of board operations, and if appropriate, initiate an ongoing process of improvement.


8 hours, either in a single block or split into two four hour sessions on different days.


Face-to-face workshop with all the ‘responsible persons’ in one group, usually delivered at the school or at another suitable venue organised by the school.


Who are the ‘responsible persons’?

Why is professional learning required?

Evidence of compliance with NESA sections 3.9.1 and 3.9.2.

The Board-Head relationship

Overseeing the Head

  • Hiring the Head
  • Responsibilities of the Head
  • Head’s remuneration
  • Head’s evaluation
  • Managing a leadership transition

Engagement with the Head

  • The Chair’s role
  • Board members’ roles

Board engagement with the community

  • Engagement with the Executive
  • Engagement with Faculty and Staff
  • Engagement with parents, alumni and the wider community

Board composition and Succession

  • Selecting board members
  • Removal of board members
  • Induction of new board members
  • Evidence of compliance with NESA section

Board meetings and dynamics

  • Body corporate
  • Professional courtesy
  • Using the strategic vision in the agenda
  • Board reports
  • The information asymmetry
  • Successful board meetings
  • The Minutes
  • Evidence of compliance with NESA section

Evaluating the Board

  • Trustee (board member) evaluation
  • Board evaluation
  • Using the four dimensions of effective governance

Hypothetical case study of effective board operations

Notifying NESA

  • Evidence of compliance with NESA section 3.9.5

Best Practice self-evaluations of each theme throughout the course

This course covers the following governance requirements as outlined in the Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual (September 2019):

3.9.1; 3.9.2;;;;;;;; 3.9.5.


Upon successful completion of the course, a signed certificate is issued to the school stating the name of the course, the content covered, the duration of the course, the venue, and the names of those persons who attended.  Upon request, schools may instead request an individual certificate for each attendee.  Participating schools also receive a password-protected PDF copy of the presentation slides used during the workshop for the use of attendees.

We are a NESA approved and accredited training provider of courses relating to proper governance in non-government schools.

D2015/35965 – D2019/8657 – D2019/23247 - – D2019/134103

DOWNLOAD the complete OSG-S1 Course Outline in PDF format

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