Annual Performance Report
The Trust’s Annual General Meeting was held on 20 September. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, David Montgomerie, provided commentary on the 2017 Performance Report which received an unqualified audit clearance from Moore Stephens Wairarapa Audit.
Briefly, the Chairman noted the Trust had experienced another year of financial success, with sales of underperforming property assets contributing to a reduction in debt and a corresponding fall in interest expense. In turn this had enabled the Trust to maintain its level of financial support to the community. Most other performance measures were positive and indicated the Trust is on the right track.
The Chairman also used the opportunity of the Annual General Meeting to present the Trust’s newly adopted education funding strategy. He said the Trust had invested $1.3 million in supporting education over the last 10 years and Trustees considered it was time to review their grants strategy to ensure the funding continues to deliver the best outcomes for the community.
The result, to be implemented from 1 April 2018, will see a significant change in approach to the allocation of the funding, the adoption of a new set of priorities, and amendments to the criteria and procedures associated with the application process.
Allocation of funding
Earmarked funds to support three specific Board initiatives will in future be “top sliced” from the annual education funding budget. The funds fall under the following headings:
Hardship ($2,500 per annum) – this fund will be used to assist children up to and including secondary school age who are lacking basic support or who would miss out on education opportunities and school activities due to their family’s lack of financial resources with individual grants of $125 each.
Personal development ($2,500 per annum) – this fund will be used to assist children of secondary school age whom it is considered would benefit from engagement in extracurricular activity to support their personal development with grants of $500 each.
Promotion of apprenticeships ($5,000 per annum) – this fund will be used by the Trust to implement a scheme under which Greytown based employers agree to employ Greytown school leavers as trade apprentices, with the Trust sharing dollar for dollar with the employer the annual cost of formal training and equipment needs for each apprentice employed, up to $1,000 each per apprentice.
Two new education “sectors” – Early Childhood and Community – will be allocated funding alongside the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors currently supported by the Trust.
Formerly, early childhood education received financial support on an ad hoc basis from the Trust’s community grant allocation. The sector has now been recognised by Trustees as a key contributor to the education and welfare of children in Greytown.
The new community education category is intended to support education initiatives delivered by the community for the benefit of school children and vice versa.
As a result of these changes the Trust’s annual education funding is having to stretch further, which inevitably has a knock-on effect on the level of existing grant awards. To accommodate future allocations to the Trust’s specific initiatives and to the two new education sectors the annual grant to individuals going on to tertiary education (at NZQF Level 4 and above) will be halved from $1,000 to $500 and will now be paid once rather than twice a year as previously.
However, the grant will remain payable for a maximum of three years ie. up to $1,500 in total, depending on receipt of proof of continuing study in years 2 and 3.
Trustees adopted six new education priorities and have asked early childhood centres and schools to take these into account when applying for their funding. They are:
1. Enhancing community connection and collaboration.
2. Supporting Community of Learning initiatives.
3. Promoting new learning approaches.
4. Enhancing transitions and pathways between institutions.
5. Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
6. Enhancing understanding of identity, culture and language.
Application criteria and procedures
Grants from the hardship and personal development earmarked funds will be made as and when required on the recommendation of early childhood education leaders and principals.
Grants from the earmarked apprenticeships fund will be made following application by employers.
Applications for bulk education funding will be lodged by the early childhood centres and schools in September each year in future, with grants being confirmed and paid out in November. The initiatives included in these applications will need to demonstrate they deliver on at least one of the Trust’s education priorities. Those delivering on more than one priority, as well as initiatives jointly submitted by at least two education providers, are likely to receive greater consideration from Trustees.
Applications for community education funding will be sought twice a year in September and March.
Applications for tertiary education grants will no longer be accepted from individuals who cannot provide evidence of living in Greytown at the time of their first application for a grant. First and subsequent applications will need to be lodged in February each year in future, with grants being confirmed and paid out in March.
New bulk funding and individual grant application forms will be made available online in early 2018. Both will feature new information and reporting requirements. In particular, every individual grant applicant will in future need to confirm what “payback” contribution they will each make to the Greytown community in return for receiving a grant and how they propose they will demonstrate they have met this obligation.
The detailed strategy document can be viewed online by clicking here. A hard copy can also be supplied by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Any queries or observations regarding the strategy can be addressed to the Trust’s General Manager, Kevin Murphy at email@example.com.