Terms of Reference

Role of the Authorisation Board

The primary role of the Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua Authorisation Board is to advise the Minister of Education in relation to: the approval of sponsors under Section 158B of the Education Act; and the educational performance of Partnership Schools. This includes to:

  • evaluate applications for Partnership Kura
  • make recommendations  to the Minister of Education regarding which applications should be approved
  • provide assistance, where reasonable and practicable, with the negotiation process and the establishment of the schools, and
  • once  the  schools  are  established,  be  responsible  for  regularly  monitoring  and reviewing their performance to ensure agreed targets are achieved.

The Board also has a broader role to:

  • contribute to the mana and success of Partnership Kura, and
  • provide advice on policy development relating to Partnership Kura.  

In carrying out its work, the Board will ensure that all applicants get a fair hearing, that it will seek applicants with the capacity and ability to widen choices and raise achievement for priority learners, consistent with Government policies and that it will be a source of informed, independent advice and recommendations to the Minister of Education. 


The Board may determine its own procedures. 

In the course of carrying out its role, the Board will: 

  • thoroughly evaluate all written applications
  • undertake interviews with applicants
  • undertake detailed investigation on those applications it deems of sufficient quality to consider for recommendation to the Minister of Education
  • provide advice and  make recommendations  to the  Minister on which applications should be approved
  • be kept informed of the negotiation of contracts with approved sponsors, and where requested, assist in responding to issues
  • be kept informed of issues arising with the establishment of the schools, and where reasonable, provide assistance in resolving them
  • once   schools   are  established,   oversee   the   regular  review   of   each  school's performance against agreed achievement targets, and
  • periodically or by request, report to the Minister on  each  school's  performance. These reports may include recommendations on the appropriate action to take In the event of non-performance of a school.


The Minister of Education will appoint a Board that includes a Chair, a Deputy-Chair and other members.

The Board will comprise individuals who have the appropriate range of skills, experience and perspectives to carry out its functions.

Relationship with other bodies

The Board will source information from the Education Review Office and its review process for these schools. It will be provided with the performance and accounting data that is provided by the schools to the Secretary for Education. It will be supported by a secretariat from the Ministry of Education, and provide reports and recommendations on authorisation and monitoring to the Minister of Education.


The Ministry of Education secretariat will provide the full range of organisational support and resources required by the Board to carry out its functions.

The Authorisation Board may access such external support and resource as it deems necessary to undertake its work, as agreed with the Ministry of Education.

Confidentiality and Official Information

Advice and recommendations provided by members of the Board will be treated in confidence. Members will not disclose any confidential information or material provided to the Board by officials. The Official Information Act 1982 will apply to the activities of the Board.

Public engagement

All members of the Board will publicly support Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua policy. All media statements made from the Board will be made by the Chair.


Appointments to the Board will be made for a specified period.

Prior to beginning an application round, the Board will meet with the Minister of Education and Secretary for Education to discuss application and reporting processes and timeframes.

The Board will be expected to meet for an intensive period when assessing applications. The application period will be agreed annually.

They will also be expected to meet on a regular basis to review schools' progress against agreed outcomes.

Good faith

Members of the Board are expected to act in good faith and on a 'no surprises' basis.

Members are expected to declare any potential conflicts of interest. A conflict register will be maintained and updated regularly. The Chair will be responsible for deciding how to manage any conflict (in the case of conflicts involving the Chair, the Minister of Education will have responsibility for these decisions).

Further matters

The Minister of Education may provide guidance  and directives to the Board prior to an application process.

The Board will share information in a timely manner; and it can expect to be kept informed as appropriate by the Ministry and the Minister.

Related documents:

  1. Cabinet Paper - NZ Model of Charter School Working Group appointments
  2. The NZ Model of Charter School Working Group terms of reference