GP14 The Relationship Between the Chair and Principal


The performance of the school depends significantly on the effectiveness of the relationship between the Chair (leader of the Board) and the Principal, and as such, a positive, productive working relationship is to be developed and maintained using the following relationship principles. The Chair is the leader of the Board and works on behalf of the Board on a day to day basis with the Principal.

These relationship principles are to be read in line with the following:

  1. The Board’s agreed governance and management definitions
  2. The Board’s Roles and Responsibilities Policy
  3. The Responsibilities of the Principal Policy
  4. The Chair’s Role Description Policy
  5. The Trustees’ Code of Behaviour Policy


The Board Chair and Principal will develop and maintain a positive, productive professional working relationship.


The Chair and Principal will maintain a positive, productive professional relationship by adhering to the following principles:

  1. A positive, productive working relationship between the Principal and the Chair is both central and vital to the school.
  2. This relationship is based on mutual trust and respect.
  3. The two must work as a team and there should be no surprises.
  4. The relationship must be professional.
  5. Each must be able to counsel the other on performance concerns.
  6. The Chair supports the Principal and vice versa when required and appropriate.
  7. There is understanding/acceptance of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  8. Each agree not to undermine the other’s authority.
  9. There is agreement to be honest with each other.
  10. Each agree and accept the need to follow policy and procedures.
  11. Each agree not to hold back relevant information.
  12. Each agree and understand the Chair has no authority except that granted by the Board.
  13. Each understand that the Chair and Principal should act as sounding Boards, both supporting and challenging in order to hold the school to account for achieving the goals and targets that have been set.


“Management” – The Board delegates all authority and accountability for the day-to-day operational organisation of the school to the Principal who must ensure compliance with both the Board’s policy framework and the law of New Zealand. [For detail see Operational Policies].

“Governance” – The ongoing improvement of student progress and achievement is the Board’s focus.  The Board acts in a stewardship role and is entrusted to work on behalf of all stakeholders. It is accountable for the school’s performance, emphasises strategic leadership, sets the vision for the school and ensures compliance with legal and policy requirements.   Board policies are at a governance level and outline clear delegations to the Principal. The Board and Principal form the leadership, with the role of each documented and understood. The Principal reports to the Board as a whole with committees used sparingly and only when a need is identified in order to contribute to Board work.

The Board is proactive rather than reactive in its operations and decision making and does not involve itself in the administrative details of the day to day running of the school.

Relevant Legislation

Including but not limited to;

  • Education Act 1989

Document Management and Control

Policy / Document Owner: Orakei School Board of Trustees
Governance Policy Number: CP14
Prepared or Reviewed By: W Pihema
Authorised By: The Board of Trustees
Date Policy Approved and Resolution No.: June 12 2017 / 2.6.17
Date Last Reviewed:  
Review Frequency: Triennial
Date of Next Review: June 2020


Document History
Review Date: Review Outcome: