Board Training and Development


The governance functions of school boards are established in common and statute law, and high standards of due diligence are required from all directors and officers of the company in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities.

To assist the boards of member schools to meet their responsibilities, AISNSW provides advice on school governance issues and conducts governance training via workshops, courses, conferences and online modules.

In accordance with NESA regulations, all directors of school boards must undertake 12 hours of professional learning in governance over a three-year time frame. Training must be predominantly in the context of school governance, and provided by a NESA approved training body.

School Board Reviews


AISNSW conducts a school board review process as part of its governance services to member schools. These reviews assist the directors of member school boards to reflect, identify and improve the quality of board processes that contribute to better educational outcomes for students, consistent with the mission of the school. Board reviews are part of a process of continuous improvement and crafting a culture of professional learning.

School can choose to engage in one or all three stages of the board review process.

Stage 1: School Board Survey

This online survey captures data to enable the board to reflect upon the effectiveness of its governance processes. It collects responses to a range of questions about the structure, size and composition of the board as well as the performance of the board’s key functions and duties. The survey requires the participation of the whole board. Upon completion responses are aggregated and a report is produced for the Chair. Each director completing the Survey receives one hour of NESA approved professional learning in school governance. There is no cost to complete the Survey. To register your board’s interest in completing the Survey, please follow the link below.

Please note one week’s notice of the survey commencement date is required. Completed survey reports will be received by the nominated main contact approximately one week after the survey has closed.

Stage 2: Documentary Analysis

Stages 2 and 3 involve a more comprehensive and elaborated board review process which is a fee for service option for member schools. A Stage 2 review provides the board with an analysis of key governance documents ranging from the agenda, minutes, management, risk, compliance and strategic reports. The structure of the agenda and the quality of reporting to the board are critical documents on which the board relies to make prudent and informed decisions.

Stage 3: Thematic analysis

Confidential individual interviews are conducted with all members of the board including the Principal and the Business Manager (assuming this role acts as the company secretary for the board). Interviews gather qualitative data about key areas of board performance and enable directors to reflect and pose questions about the effectiveness and dynamics of board processes. Interviews provide important insights into the functioning of the board. A Stage 3 thematic analysis results in a report to the Chair setting out the key findings of the review with an accompanying set of recommendations for the board to consider.

It is desirable that school boards undertaking the Stage 2 and/or Stage 3 review also complete the Stage 1 School Board Survey which provides important data to inform the later stages of the review.

School board reviews are facilitated by Dr. Chris Duncan, Head of Governance and School Reviews. Costs for a Stage 2 or Stage 3 reviews are based on the daily consulting rate for AISNSW member schools. Please direct inquiries to Dr. Chris Duncan

Online Training Modules


These online courses are designed as a suite of self-paced Governance modules that provide essential knowledge and understanding for prospective or newly appointed members to school governing bodies. The online activities will also be valuable for current members of school boards to ensure they understand their governance role and are able to discharge their financial and legal responsibilities.