First-of-a-kind partnership to deliver world-class training for school boards

World-class online training is set to be rolled out for the 17,000-plus school board members in Aotearoa under an Open Polytechnic/NZ School Trustees Association (NZSTA) partnership for innovation. 

“Through the power of partnership, and the combined expertise of the two organisations, we’ll be able to offer better targeted training to meet the learning and professional development needs of school boards, which can vary considerably,” says NZSTA CEO, Elise Adams.

Ms Adams says she expects the recently-signed preferred partnership agreement between the two organisations will bring multiple long-term benefits for online education, paving the way for further innovative collaborations across the sector and increasing participation rates. 

“We have already experienced a significant increase in interest from board members in their professional learning and development over the last 18 months, following an extensive review which brought about numerous changes to our training and other services for school boards.”

“The collaboration is a first for both organisations and, to the best of our knowledge, online adult learning for school boards in Aotearoa.”

The training will be delivered through Open Polytechnic’s state-of-the-art digital learning platform, iQualify. iQualify is a New Zealand made platform that is designed to offer an engaging and motivating online learning experience anywhere, anytime.

“With many school board members being busy parents, the new partnership is an excellent opportunity for Open Polytechnic and NZSTA to enable members to upskill while balancing other commitments,” says Open Polytechnic Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Seelig.

For further information about education services Open Polytechnic, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, can offer organisations who want to upskill their staff, visit

About Open Polytechnic

Open Polytechnic is a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, together with all other polytechnics in New Zealand.  As New Zealand’s specialist provider of open and distance learning, Open Polytechnic enrols over 35,000 mainly part-time students per year. The majority of students are adult learners combining work and study. Website:


NZSTA is the most influential leader of effective school governance in Aotearoa. Sustained and funded by paying members, it provides a range of services to support and grow the capability of the near 2,500 school boards across the country. Website: