Board of Governors

LAC House is the boarding part of Longburn Adventist College. It is ultimately accountable to the Longburn Adventist College Board of Governors, NZ Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (headquarters located in Howick, Auckland).

The New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (“The Proprietors”) are the owners of the College and responsible for the provision and maintenance of school property. LAC House is operated by the LAC Board of Governors. This is done through the NZ SDA Schools Association. They are also responsible for negotiating with the Ministry of Education what buildings and land are deemed to be ‘integrated’. LAC House is a signatory to International Students Pastoral Care and meets the NZ Ministry of Education’s (Hostels) Regulations Act 2005.

The role of the Board is to ensure good governance, to appoint staff, to hear serious student discipline cases and to plan strategically for the future of the college. The Board relies on the Principal and his management team to manage the dormitories.

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Current BOG Members
(As of February 2020)

Chairperson:

  • Graeme Drinkall – NZPUC Treasurer

Members of Committee:

  • Pastor Eddie Tupai – President of NZPUC
  • Pastor Ben Timothy – NNZ Conference
  • Mr Dan Carrasco – Assistant Education Director
  • Mr Brendan van Oostveen – Principal & Secretary
  • Mrs Lynn Roleston – Proprietor Representative

Invitees (non-members):

  • Mr Andrew Chen – Business Manager
  • Mrs Lynette Strauss – Minutes

Boarding (BoG) Draft Policies

  • Board of Governors
  • 1. Special Character
  • 2. Planning
  • 3. Personnel
  • 4. FInance & Property
  • 5. Health & Safety

Board of Governance Operational Policies

The policies below should be considered in addition to the Board of Trustees current policies.

Boarding Operational Policies

Written procedures will ensure compliance with the code of practice relating to the management of hostels. The legal ownership of the Boarding rests with the College’s Board of Governance, while the day to day management is delegated to the Principal who manages the Director of Boarding.

Delegations of Authority

The College will have defined delegations of authority which include:

  • The Principal is the schools' designated Privacy Officer. 
  • The Principal is the schools designated Protected Disclosure Officer. 
  • The BOG Chair is responsible for the appraisal of the principal and the principal is responsible for the appraisal of all other staff, including the Boarding staff.
  • The Deputy Principal will be the designated Health and Safety Officer, including the Boarding
  • The Assistant Principal will be the designated Equal Employment Opportunities Officer. 
  • The BoG Chair and the Principal are responsible for authorising media communications. 

The Principal is responsible for deciding and managing the closure of the School in extraordinary circumstances.

Policies and operating procedures (Regulation 54)

The Principal shall not fail to ensure that the hostel is managed in accordance with written policies, and written operating procedures, documented in the Operational Policies and Hostel Procedural Manuals.

The Principal shall not fail to ensure that the boarders: 

  1. are supported in a positive learning environment; and 
  2. are given the opportunity to develop positively within reasonable boundaries; and 
  3. feel secure and valued; and 
  4. have ready access to people they can trust and confide in and are supported in raising problems and issues that are of concern to them; and 
  5. have ready access to, and a degree of choice about, health and other personal services they may require. 

The Principal will, on a request for the purpose, make a copy of the policies and procedures available for inspection and copying by a member of the hostel’s staff, a boarder, or a parent of a boarder.

Policy 1: Special Character

1.1. Special Character

Rationale: The Board of Governors is committed to demonstrating the Special Character of a Seventh-day Adventist School as defined in the Integration Agreement as follows:

  • The Special Character of the School is determined by the faith system made up of the Christian beliefs, values and lifestyle of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as determined from time to time by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through the New Zealand Seventh-day Adventist Schools’ Association Limited.

Guidelines:

    1. The purpose of LAC House is to support the home and Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Palmerston North in Sabbath observance, attendance and fellowship.
    2. The function of LAC House is to facilitate the development of a mature and understanding commitment to the beliefs and practices of the Church so that boarders will become responsible and caring Christians in the community.
    3. The achievement of these goals is through participation in daily dormitory worships based on the ASPIRE values programme and to comprehend a:
      1. Perception of God as Creator and Sustainer of the Universe;
      2. Acceptance of Jesus Christ as our only means of salvation;
      3. The belief that the Holy Spirit draws men, women and children to a knowledge of God;
      4. Understanding that all truth finds its centre and unity in God;
      5. Reliance on Scripture as the revealed Word of God;
      6. Commitment to the holistic development of the child - physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and social

Conclusion:

This policy is intended to implement the right of the Board of Governors and Boarding staff to actively endorse and practice the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and living values of Scripture.

  1.  

Policy 2: Planning, Assessment & Self-Review

2.2 Monitoring, Reporting and Self-Review

2.2.1. The Boarding Director and boarding staff monitor and evaluate the achievements of individual students and regularly report progress against goals to the students and their parents/caregivers.

2.2.2. The Board of Governors and Boarding Director regularly evaluate progress towards strategic goals and boarding capability objectives, looking for areas that require special attention and implementing measures to deal with them.

2.2.3. The Board of Governors reviews the school’s Charter and Strategic Plan annually.

2.2.6. The Board of Governors Self-Review Handbook Outlines the self-review processes currently followed and the external reviews that occur for Boarding.

2.3 Boarding Policies and Procedures

2.3.1. The Board of Governors establishes and maintains policies in line with Hostel guidelines to guide the operation of Boarding.

2.3.2. The Boarding Director establishes and maintains management procedures that give effect to the Board’s policies and other obligations, and keeps the Board of Governors informed of any significant changes to these procedures. All policies, procedures and handbooks are presented to the Board of Governors for adoption each year.

2.3.3. Review of, and consultation on, policies and procedures (Regulation 67)

The Principal will with the Director of Boarding, at least once every 3 years, review the policies and procedures and as part of the review, the Principal must take all reasonably practicable steps to consult the boarders and their parents on the terms of the policies and procedures.

Policy 3: Personnel

3.1 Conditions of Employment

3.1.1. All staff are employed by an individual or collective employment agreement.

3.1.2. Longburn Adventist College Board of Governors abide by the relevant agreements and statutes that affect the staff’s employment conditions.

3.1.3. The College follows personnel policies as outlined in the and is also bound by the various collective agreements governing the employment of boarding staff including volunteer staff.

Tab: Insert policy of Staff Personnel Records and the process of employing Volunteer Deans

3.1.4. Information and procedures for Boarding staff are contained in the Boarding Staff Induction Handbook. This handbook is updated by the Boarding Director and Senior Deans each year.

3.2 Professional Development

3.2.1. All LAC boarding staff partake in professional development that enhances their leadership in the dorms and enhances the boarder’s boarding experience. 

3.2.3. The professional development programme for each term is set by the Boarding Director in consultation with the Board of Governors. 

3.3 Performance Management and Appraisal

3.3.1. The aim of performance management is to provide a positive framework for improving the quality of leadership for dorm staff and for the student’s boarding experience.

3.3.2. Longburn Adventist College values and acknowledges good staff performance in order to develop and maintain a culture of professional excellence.

3.3.3. The Board of Governors oversees a performance management system for Boarding Staff.

3.3.4. The performance management system operates on a ‘no surprises’ basis. Staff are involved in setting their own key objectives and are informed of the standards of performance expected of them.

3.3.5. The Boarding Director and Principal ensure Boarding Staff are given regular performance-based feedback.

3.3.6. Performance appraisals are used to inform individual professional development planning.

3.3.7.  The chairperson of the Board of Governors ensures the Boarding Director’s performance is evaluated against objectives and performance standards agreed annually with the Board of Governors. That evaluation is used to inform the Principal’s professional development plan.

3.4 Appointments

3.4.1. All permanent staff appointments are made using equitable and transparent procedures that ensure the best available person suited to the position is appointed. Because of the school’s special character, the proprietor ensures that all permanent boarding positions are advertised as tagged positions. Appointment procedures are set out in the handbook for NZ SDA Schools.

3.4.2. The Board of Governors appoints the Boarding Director. Senior Leadership Boarding Director appoints Senior Boys’ Dean and Senior Girls’ Dean.  Boarding Director’ appoints volunteer staff.

3.4.3  Appointments to permanent or long-term (i.e. more than one school term) are made by a recruitment panel whose membership includes, but is not limited to, the Principal, Boarding Director and a Longburn Adventist College representative who is not an employee of the Board of Governors.

3.5 Leave of Absence"

3.5.1. Staff leave conditions are covered by the contract outlined in the Handbook for NZ SDA Schools.

3.5.2. The Principal and Boarding Director consults with the Board of Governors regarding applications for leave in excess of two weeks.

3.6 Equal Employment Opportunities

3.6.1. Longburn Adventist College recruits, appoints, rewards and promotes the best people possible for each position.

3.6.2. All staff are treated equitably, irrespective of gender, race, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation and family responsibility. All relevant boarding policies and procedures reflect this commitment.

3.7 Sexual Harassment

3.7.1. Sexual harassment is not acceptable at Longburn Adventist College. The Principal and Boarding Director specifies procedures to ensure staff work in an environment free from offensive behaviour.

3.8 Volunteers

3.8.1. Volunteers for tasks involving students are known to Longburn Adventist College and are carefully selected to ensure they are suitable for the role.

3.8.2. In most cases, volunteer helpers will not have sole charge of students.

3.8.3. Selection and screening of volunteers who wish to be supervisors or drivers are done at an early stage by the Boarding Director.

3.8.4. Screening of volunteers will include police vetting, especially for off-campus events.  Refer to the Police Vetting Policy.

3.9 Handling and Resolving Complaints

3.9.1. All complaints are dealt with fairly and effectively, in the interests of all parties concerned.

3.9.2. In the first instance, complaints should be raised directly with the person(s) concerned, and attempts made to resolve the issue without further intervention.

3.9.3. If a resolution is not achieved, the complaint should then be taken to the Boarding Director (in the cases of complaints involving staff) or the chairperson of the Board of Governors (in the case of complaints involving the Boarding Director).

3.9.4. Boarding staff who wish to report incidences of serious wrongdoing within boarding should follow the protected disclosures statement.

3.9.5. This policy does not attempt to address complaints that are more appropriately directed to the Police or other statutory authorities.

Tab: the procedures to follow for dorm staff if there is a complaint,..also, procedures for boarders and volunteer staff

Policy 4: Financial and Property Management

4.1 Finance

4.1.1. The Board of Governors ensures Longburn Adventist College’s documented financial management procedures are actively followed and monitored for compliance. The Board follows the financial information and procedures as outlined in the Ministry of Education’s “Managing School Finances” website.

4.1.2. The Business Manager is responsible for the prudent and efficient management of the Hostel expenditure and revenue on a day-to-day basis.

4.1.3. The Board allocates funds in a way that gives effect to the priorities stated in the Longburn Adventist College Boarding Charter and Strategic Plan.

4.1.4. The Board ensures that the Hostel’s annual operating objectives and budget reflect the Board’s priorities and obligations.

4.1.5. The Board meets the relevant legislative requirements for the preparation, audit and publication of annual accounts.

4.2 Property

4.2.1. The Board of Governors establishes and maintains a 10 Year Property Management Plan (copies of the current 10 Year Property Plan are kept in the Principal’s office) aligned to the future needs of Longburn Adventist College Hostel. This plan is prepared in conjunction with the proprietor, the NZ SDA Schools Association, and follows property procedures as outlined in the Handbook for NZ SDA Schools (copy held by the Principal).

4.2.2. The Board ensures Longburn Adventist College’s boarding physical resources (including buildings, furniture, furnishings, equipment and other facilities) are maintained to provide a healthy and safe environment for students and staff.

Policy 5: Health and Safety

5.1 Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Environment

5.1.1. Longburn Adventist College has documented health and safety management procedures that are actively followed and monitored for compliance. These procedures are outlined in the following documents:

5.1.2. Longburn Adventist College provides a safe and healthy physical and emotional environment for students and staff, both within the school grounds and when school activities/events are held elsewhere. 

5.1.3. A safety audit of the school’s premises is conducted regularly, with the intention of removing or mitigating any safety hazards. Reports on these audits are passed on to the school’s proprietors.

5.1.4. Information and procedures to ensure the safety of staff and students are outlined in the LAC House Manual (staff) and LAC House Handbook (students).

5.1.5. Where excursions are organised by boarding to go off-campus, it will be subject to the college’s EOTC Handbook (Education Outside of the Classroom) procedures and documentation.

5.1.6 Healthy food and nutrition for all students in school and boarding is promoted.  Guidelines are listed in CHS Healthy Food & Beverage Guidelines 13 Nov 2018.pdf 

CHS Healthy Food & Beverage Guidelines 13 Nov 2018.pdf

Food and Drink Policy and Guidelines

Rationale

  • Under Regulation 63 of the Hostel Licensing 2005, LAC House is to ensure that food is served in the dining room is in such variety, quantity and quality that meets the  boarders’ nutritional needs
  • Food must be carefully stored, prepared and served free of and adequately protected against contamination and
  • An ample supply of clean drinking water available at all times 
  • To gain a better understanding of the original dietary pattern of nuts, grains, vegetables, water and non-processed ingredients
  • Follow the important nutritional practices of vegetarian foods and meals prepared from the school cafeteria kitchen 

Guidelines

  • To provide adequate fresh wholesome foods and on a daily basis
  • That foods and meals prepared for boarders meets their nutritional needs and consideration taken for those with certain allergies and food conditions
  • Drinking water which is supplied from the school water bore is tested regularly for any change in the water levels of acceptable toxins
  • Recipes that are non-meat based are welcome for a tryout with kitchen staff to serve as a preference some evenings

5.2 Managing Incidents

5.2.1. Longburn Adventist College responds to and investigates all significant health and safety incidents, in order to mitigate the effects and reduce the risk of recurrence.

5.2.2. The Principal ensures that teachers recognise and respond to cases of suspected sexual, physical or psychological child abuse in an appropriate manner.

5.2.3. The Principal ensures that a Critical Management Plan is developed, maintained and tested, in order to provide appropriate guidance to staff and students for handling a range of emergencies and their immediate (i.e. 72 hours) aftermath.

5.3 Student Behaviour

5.3.1. Longburn Adventist College Boarding encourages and maintains behaviour that facilitates boarders’ own safety and learning, and does not harm other boarders or act as a barrier to their wellbeing and living in a hostel situation.

5.3.2. Acceptable and safe boarder behaviour is outlined in the LAC House Handbook. This handbook is updated annually by the Boarding Director, and a copy is accessible on the college website. 

5.3.3. Longburn Adventist College uses suitable measures to ensure boarding student’s behaviour is maintained appropriately.

5.3.4. In extreme circumstances, the Board of Governor’s Discipline Committee may stand-downs and suspensions may be used, with the latter being subject to consideration by the Board of Trustees within seven days of the date of suspension.

5.4 Child Protection Policy

Rationale

This policy outlines the board’s commitment to child protection and recognises the important role and responsibility of all our staff in the protection of our children. The board of trustees has an obligation to ensure the well-being of children in our care, so they thrive, belong and achieve. We are committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and to the protection of all children. The safety and well-being of the child is our top priority.  It includes the board’s expectations when student abuse is reported or suspected by us. Advice will be sought through appropriate agencies in all cases of the suspected or alleged abuse.

Purposes

  1. To provide procedures and protocols for staff members, including contractors and volunteers to ensure our students are safe.
  2. In line with section 15 of the Children, Young Person and Their Families Act, any person in our school who believes that any child or young person has been, or is likely to be, harmed (whether physically, emotionally, or sexually) ill-treated, abused, neglected, or deprived must follow school procedures and must also report the matter to a social worker or the local police.
  3. To ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to meet child safety requirements as required and appropriate to the Board of Trustees.
  4. To comply with relevant legislative requirements and responsibilities as per the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

Guidelines

  1. Ultimate accountability sits with the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees delegates responsibility to the principal to ensure that all child safety procedures are implemented and available to all staff, contractors, volunteers and parents.
  2. This policy is available on the school’s internet site and in the front office.
  3. Any contract or funding arrangement made by the school adopts procedures of child protection where required.
  4. Ensure the interests and protection of the child are paramount in all circumstances.
  5. Recognise the rights of family/whanau to participate in the decision-making about their children.
  6. Staff have professional development, resources and/or advice to carry out the terms of this policy. This means that all staff are able to identify the signs and symptoms of potential abuse and neglect, deal with disclosures by children and allegations against staff members and are able to take appropriate action in response.
  7. Support all staff to work in accordance with this policy, to work with partner agencies and organisations to ensure child protection policies are understood and implemented.
  8. Promote a culture where staff feel confident they can constructively challenge poor practise or raise issues of concern without fear of reprisal.
  9. Consult, discuss and share relevant information, in line with our commitment to confidentiality and information sharing protocols, in a timely way regarding any concerns about an individual child with the board or designated person.
  10. Seek advice as necessary from NZSTA advisors on employment matters and other relevant agencies where child safety issues arise.
  11. Report and record concerns through the Deputy Principal, Principal or Counsellor.
  12. Child Protection processes form part of the initial staff induction programme for each staff member and all adults working with children.
  13. Provide recruitment guidelines including screening and vetting procedures of all personnel involved with our students.
  14. Describe safe working practices and agreed on staff behaviours for working with our students.

Procedures to support the implementation of the Child Protection Policy

  1. Process for screening and vetting staff, contractors and volunteers. See Advice Memo for School Boards from SDA church: Appointment Process Safety Checks VCA (NZSTA).docx (not available online)
  2. Resources to support the professional development of staff so that they are able to identify the signs and symptoms of potential abuse and neglect. Child Protection Procedures.docx (not available online)
  3. Process for disclosure and sharing of information.
  4. Contacts for disclosures.
  5. Description of safe working practices and agreed staff behaviours for working with students.

5.5 Others in the Workplace Policy

Rationale

For the safety of visitors and the school’s students and workers, the school must be able to identify who is on the school site. The principal must be informed of any interviews of students by visitors from outside agencies.

Purpose:

  1. To identify all visitors to the school.
  2. To ensure administration workers are aware of who is in the school throughout the day for security and emergency purposes.
  3. To provide clear guidelines on identifying visitors.
  4. To ensure guests who speak to students are vetted appropriately and do not pose an undue risk.

Process:

  1. Signs requesting visitors report to the school office are posted around the school and the administration block is clearly marked.
  2. On reporting to the office, visitors are requested to sign in with the date and time of their arrival and receive a visitor’s label to wear while on the school grounds.
  3. Any visitor wishing to speak to a student other than a child under their care must have the permission of the Principal or their delegated representative.
  4. Administration workers will locate the appropriate person to meet with the visitor and escort them around the school.
  5. School workers are expected to challenge any visitors to ensure they have reported to the office, and that their presence is understood.
  6. The principal must approve any non-worker’s attendance at school with the exception of parent helpers.
  7. Those meeting with workers or students, going to other parts of the school, or working on the school site must sign in. Persons unknown to the school must produce recognised photo identification (being Driver’s Licence, Passport or other formal identification with a photo).

Documentation to support others in the workplace:

  1. External Contractor health and safety agreement: Contractors Health and Safety Contract.docx
  2. Contractor’s checklist for health and safety processes: Contractors Checklist.docx

Approval:

When the board approved this policy it agreed that no variations of this policy or amendments to it could be made, except with the majority approval of the board.

Review:

This policy shall be reviewed every two years or more regularly by agreement. The provisions of this agreement may be varied by the board following consultation with workers.

5.6 Search, Surrender and Retention Policy

Rationale

This policy outlines the board’s commitment to providing a safe physical and emotional environment for staff, boarders and visitors.  In the event of the need to carry out searches and/or the requiring of surrendering of items or devices, Longburn Adventist College will ensure these will be conducted by authorized staff in line with Guidelines for the Surrender and Retention of Property and Searches document provided by the Ministry of Education, and in compliance with the Education Act.  This policy supports the implementation of National Administration Guideline 5.

Guiding Principles

  1. In line with National Administration Guideline 5, the school is required to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students and staff. A safe environment for students, staff and visitors is of paramount importance and therefore must be given primacy when applying the guidelines.
  2. Parents, students and the public will have a legitimate expectation that the school environment will be free from drugs, weapons, alcohol and cyberbullying. The school will develop procedures on surrender and retention and advise them accordingly.
  3. Parliament has given new powers and clarified the law in relation to searches and retaining student property. In exercising these powers, schools must act reasonably, in good faith and in the least intrusive manner to achieve a safe environment.
  4. Students are protected under Section 21 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, which states “Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property or correspondence or otherwise”. This section does not prohibit searches or seizure of student property but schools must be able to justify their actions as reasonable and necessary to maintain a safe environment. 
  5. The Human Rights Act 1993 protects people from discrimination.
  6. In accordance with the Privacy Act, 1993 personal information held about students that contain information relating to searches, seizures and retention will be held in the student’s file and be retained for use in the future. This information must be held as confidential except where disclosure to school staff or to parents is necessary to ensure the safety of all concerned.  Related to this, students may access their personal information held and seek correction of inaccurate information.
    1. Exceptions to the Privacy Act do allow for disclosure to the Police or to keep the name of an informant confidential.

Guidelines

  1. All staff will be made aware of, and be familiar with the current laws and guidelines surrounding search, surrender and retention, and will adhere to them.
  2. Students are to be made aware of expectations in relation to the surrender and retention of property and searches.
  3. Only senior boarding staff (Boarding Director & Senior Deans) are authorized to conduct searches or require an item to be surrendered and retained. The names and positions held by authorized staff must be made available for inspection in the school
  4. Parents and students cannot be asked by the Board or school staff to waive their rights as a condition of enrolment or at any other time.
  5. The following key types of items can allow a staff member to require students to produce, reveal and surrender items in their possession.
    1. Items likely to endanger the safety of others
    2. Items likely to detrimentally affect the learning environment
    3. Items that are harmful (poses an immediate threat to the physical or emotional safety of any person).
  6. A search may only be conducted by an authorized staff member if there is a belief that a student has something that is harmful.
  7. Any items (things that are not digital devices) surrendered must be stored appropriately for return or disposal after a reasonable period of retention. Any devices (digital devices) surrendered must be recorded and stored appropriately for return after a reasonable period of retention. Devices may not be disposed of.  After a reasonable period of retention, they must be returned to the student or passed to another person (parent) or agency (eg Police)
  8. A centralised written record for searches must be created and retained.
  9. In all cases where an item surrendered is of an illegal nature and would remain illegal whilst under the control of the school (eg: drugs) Police will be engaged.

Supporting Documents

Guidelines for the surrender and retention of property and searches

The Principal or delegated staff shall implement and maintain the following procedures and practices relating to this policy:  Student Discipline Policy

Delegations

The implementation of this policy is delegated to the Principal and the Senior Leadership Team.

5.6 Digital Integrity Agreement 

While residing in the LAC House dormitories, boarders have access to the NZ government provided Network for Learning (N4L) managed internet service. Access to the service through WiFi throughout the campus and is conditional on acceptance of the digital integrity agreement when enrolling at the College.

Digital Integrity Agreement