Our People


Meet the Team

Jude Pentecost

Principal  |  Tumuaki

Steph Williams

School Business Manager/EA

Suzanne Kershaw

Team Leader/

Additional Support Co-ordinator/

Reading Recovery Teacher

Carolyn Brett

Office Assistant

Jacqueline Vermey

Reading Recovery Teacher

Learning Support

Cloe Damico

Learning Assistant

Kate Te Ao

Learning Assistant

Kirsten Macdonald

Learning Assistant

Board of Trustees

Supporting student achievement is the main focus of the Board of Trustees. The Board works on behalf of the community and is accountable to the government for the school’s performance. It sets the vision for the school, provides strategic leadership, and ensures the school complies with legal requirements. 

The Principal reports to the Board and, together, they form the school's leadership team. The Board is strategic in its role and is not involved in the day-to-day running of the school. 

Our current Board of Trustee members are:

Mark Larsen (Chair)

Pam Cambridge

Kirsten Macdonald

Kim Morrison

Suzanne Kershaw

Jude Pentecost

Steph Williams (Board Secretary)

A recent message from former Chair, Andrew Dalziel:


One of the most common questions I get asked as a member of the Board is around the finances of the school. In particular, the role that fundraising plays and how it contributes to the running of the school. The starting point to this conversation is how the school is funded. 

Broadly speaking, there are four areas that our funding is broken down into, being:

Outside of these areas, there are specific grants for the likes of property, but this is normally for one-off projects and is a discussion for another time.


The salaries for the Principal and teachers is provided by the Ministry of Education and is simply a calculation based on the number of students. The more students you have, the more funding you have for teachers.

If evidence around student achievement supports it, we can choose, and have chosen, to invest in more staff resourcing, but this needs to come out of our fundraising money. 

Operational Funding

Operational Funding funds everything from office staff to power, rates, water, being audited, financial services, rubbish collection, broken windows, to art supplies; and is where the decile calculation comes into play. 

Deciles are a measure of the socio-economic position of a school’s student community relative to other schools' student communities throughout the country.

For example, decile 1 schools are the 10% of schools with the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic communities, whereas decile 10 schools are the 10% of schools with the highest proportion of students from higher socio-economic communities.

A school's decile does not indicate the overall socio-economic mix of the school or reflect the quality of education the school provides - it's simply the way that the Ministry determines funding. The lower the school’s decile, the more funding they receive. This is because lower decile schools are likely to need to spend more to meet the needs of their learners (and are likely to have more priority learners); and their communities are less able to make a contribution.

Worser Bay is a decile 10 school, which means we receive the lowest amount of operational funding per student that is made available. This is because we have a low number of priority learners compared to schools from lower decile areas, and our school community has a greater ability to make a contribution than lower decile communities. 

The Operational Funding does come with strings attached. The Board is charged with ensuring that the school is fiscally responsible, financially sustainable, follows national educational and administrative guidelines, and complies with all legislative and contractual requirements.

We are also a small school, so don't have the opportunities of scale that would exist with a larger school.

The upshot of this is that the Operational Funding doesn’t cover everything that our school community, and we as a Board, would like to do. 

5 Year Property Maintenance Fund

Every 5 years, the Ministry grants schools a lump sum to be used for property maintenance. It is then up to the school to budget the use of the funds over the 5 years. This requires the Ministry's approval for the property maintenance programme; and covers all the normal repairs and maintenance that you would expect that a school incurs. Because of the environment we live in and the age of our school buildings, we have reasonably significant repair and maintenance costs, however, the grant doesn’t take all of this into account.

Fundraising and Voluntary Contributions

Each year the Board prepares a detailed budget for the following year. This includes our target for locally raised funds which is currently $100,000 a year. This is effectively the money that covers the gap between what it costs to run and maintain the school on an ongoing basis, and the Ministry of Education funding we receive.

Locally raised funds are made up, almost equally, between the payment of Voluntary Contributions and fundraising events and activities like Discos, the Ceilidh, Sausage Sizzles, Pizza Lunches and the Fair.

This money is used in a number of ways but a clear example is the decision we have made to provide extra staffing, and staffing support, for the classes. This isn’t covered by the Ministry as they stick to a standard calculation, so, having decided we need the extra staffing, we have to fund it. 

Another example of where this funding is spent is professional development of our teachers. Like any good employer, we want to ensure that our staff are best equipped to ply their trade, and in turn help our children do their best. This means that we need to pay for external support and ongoing development of our teachers – something that is not covered in any of the funding we receive. We maintain high levels of capability, knowing it's what teachers do that makes the most significant difference to student achievement.

Some of the locally raised funds are also used on the mundane operational funding of the school - for instance, if we require further paper, scissors or crayons.

It may also be used to top up the difference between the funding we receive for the repairs, maintenance and development of the school property (which covers the basics), and what we need to do to improve the indoor and outdoor learning environments to better meet the needs of our learners.


At the end of each year, if there is any of the fundraising money left over, we put this to reserves to be utilized in the future. This is a difficult part of the school voluntary contributions and fundraising equation, because it requires us to strike the right balance in deciding how much of the money raised now should be spent on the children of the families that have raised it, and how much should be held back to spend further down the track. 

While this can get difficult because school developments are hard to move quickly, we look to invest locally raised funds on the children of parents who are currently at WBS, without disadvantaging future students.

The money we currently have in reserves (plus a whole lot more that we are yet to fundraise) will be fully used in the property plan we currently have (see the school website – there’s plenty of information around this). 

The final question

After explaining the above, and particularly that we have reserves, the question I sometimes get asked is, why does the school charge for things like School Camp or Swimming Lessons? The fact is that not all of these things, or all of the costs of these things, are covered by the Ministry; and we don’t budget for them all under the fundraising heading. 

The school makes a conscious choice to offer experiences for our learners. This is something that we see as important in developing the whole and every child. With these choices come costs, which is why the school has to charge for the experiences, especially when experts are brought into the school. The issue with these experiences is that these generally don’t work from an economic perspective unless we get a high participation rate of students. If we didn’t have a high participation rate then the cost of paying for expertise would have been prohibitively high and the school wouldn't be able to offer it. All children would miss out.

When we look at these type of experiences we always try to bear in mind the cost. This means that some things we think will benefit the kids, we won’t be able to do because of cost. It’s a balancing act.

This picture is pretty complex, and the Board has to take all of this into account as it, and the teaching team, undertake the strategic and annual planning, and then sets the Budget for the coming year.

The Board is ultimately responsible for the school’s financial sustainability and well-being. In making these decisions, the Board is guided by the need to encourage collaboration across the school and wider community; ensure the focus is on the learning needs of the whole and every child; and is firmly embedded in and encourages knowledge building and inquiry.


Hopefully you now have a better understanding of where our funding comes from and how we choose to spend it. 

There is more information on the school’s website that helps explain this as well – just search ‘funding’ on the search function for helpful info graphic and previous Board Shorts that also address this. 

Success and Plans

We celebrate our place: our historic school site, our unique environment, our school values and how we contribute to our world. These concepts underpin everything we do.

At Worser Bay School, we strive for excellence in achievement. We have high expectations for our children who are encouraged to make decisions about how our teaching and learning programme is shaped. Students and teachers share the ownership of what happens in the classroom.

Our school promotes an engaged community, both within the school and the community. Our children all know each other; all the students, throughout the school, have the chance to work with each other – and all of the teachers. We make the most of our neighbourhood, children spend time outside of school, be it making the most of the beautiful Worser Bay Beach or visiting nearby attractions or facilities. We have a strong and loyal parent community and encourage all parents to initiate involvement with the school.

Professional development for our teachers is key; we provide an environment where highly effective teachers are encouraged to strive for excellence. We are all learning and we are constantly looking for ways to improve what we do and how we do. Teachers are reflective and work together to question how we can add value to student learning.

Also see: