The Board of Trustees of the Southern Health School, by nature of the school's constantly changing community of students and parents, is somewhat different in composition. Members of our Board [with the exception of the Staff Trustee] are appointed, at triennial School Board election time, by the Minister of Education.

Board Members

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Craig Scott – Chair

Craig is the current Board Chair for the Southern Health School.

As a Clinical Manager, working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health for the Canterbury District Health Board, he brings considerable experience of mental health to his role on the Board of Trustees.

Craig holds an MBA from Canterbury University, a Diploma in Management from the New Zealand Institute of Management, and he is also a Registered Comprehensive Nurse.

He joined the BOT for the Southern Health School in 2015 and served the previous term as Deputy Chair.

Craig is also the Chair of a Not-for-Profit Trust, based in Canterbury and a member of the Institute of Directors, Canterbury Branch. 

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Eddie Norgate - Deputy Chair | Chair of Audit and Risk Committe

Eddie is the current Deputy Board Chair for the Southern Health School. He served the previous term as Chairperson.

As a former primary school principal and now an intermediate principal, he brings considerable educational experience to his role on the Board of Trustees. 

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Ben Nettleton – Member

Ben is a director, commercial barrister and mediator.

He graduated from Otago University with a double degree in laws and commerce. Ben worked for a Queens Counsel before joining a Southland law firm where he remains a consultant.

Ben’s first board appointment was New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing in 2012, a role which took him to Australia and Hong Kong, working, with top class international directors bringing about substantial change which is reflected in recent industry legislative amendments to confront the major technological and societal shifts. Ben has also served on the boards of Invercargill City Forests and Youthline. He presently sits on the boards of the Racing Judicial Control Authority, Southern Health School, Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust Investment Committee together with a several private companies including appointments by perpetual guardian.

A proudly millennial director he enjoys challenging the status quo, encouraging diversity and leading from the front in responding to the major challenges which confront organizations.



 David Ivory - Member

David holds degrees from Canterbury/Oxford Universities & Australian Catholic University. He is a former Fulbright Scholar. 

David Ivory has been involved in governance of a number of educational institutions, including Council Member of University of Canterbury, President of the Canterbury Workers Education Association, and has represented the Minister of Education on a number of school boards including both Halswell/Westbridge Schools and  Kingslea School. He has also served as a Board Member on the New Zealand SChool Tustees Association and served as the Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee.  

He represents the Minister of Health of the New Zealand Paramedic Council, and is a Director of several companies.  

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Laura McGrath - Member

Laura is from Nelson, New Zealand and currently lives in Wellington whilst studying at university. She first joined the Southern Health School Board of Trustees as a co-opted member in 2018 and in 2019 she was appointed as a board member by the minister.

Laura brings a student voice to the board as she attended the Southern Health School in 2016. The school played an integral part in her achieving NCEA level 2. 

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 Flora Gilkison - Co-opted Member

Flora holds a doctorate in management and comes with a background in education and health management. She was a teacher at Sacred Heart Girls’ College and New Plymouth Boys’ High School before moving to tertiary education. She has a strong background in curriculum development, assessment and standards setting having been the principal of the Pacific International Hotel Management School, Dean of Business and Management Schools at two large polytechnics, Weltec and Wintec and worked in senior management at NZQA. Her health experience comes from leading two large general practices and having been an elected member of the Taranaki District Health board for 15 years. Flora is currently CEO at Hospice Southland.  

She has strong financial management skills, HR and strategic planning experience. She focusses on equity and how to achieve this and is especially interested in how to do this for all pupils enrolled in NZ schools. 


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Matthew McVicar - Co-opted Member

Matthew is a year 13 student at Christchurch Boys High School. He attended Southern Health School during year 11 and 12 over the period of a year. Matthew has made a full integration back into school and now is keen to give back. He wants to share his knowledge of what it was like as a student at the school and give valuable insight into a student’s perspective. 

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Helen Mantell - Principal

Helen has been Tumuaki/Principal of the school since 2011, having spent five years as Deputy Principal prior to this. Previously she was a Mathematics and Statistics teacher at a Christchurch secondary school.

Helen believes that all akonga/students should have the opportunities access to education provides. For Southern Health School akonga, their health condition shouldn’t limit them achieving their potential. Her experience has taught her that education is most effective when akonga and whānau work together with schools, and in this case health professionals, to develop programmes that are personalised so that akonga can achieve success. She is privileged to be part of the team to support this unique group of akonga. 

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Jo Kennard - Staff Trustee 

Tēnā koutou katoa. Jo Kennard has worked in the education sector for over 20 years. She was appointed to the Southern Health School in 2013 and previously taught in schools in New Zealand and London. Currently, she is the Curriculum Leader for Years 1-6 and the majority of her learners are in Years 1-10.

She feels privileged to work for a school where students are encouraged to be the best versions of themselves despite their health conditions.  She is passionate about whakawhanaungatanga, building relationships, with her students, their whānau, schools and medical professionals. These connections enable her students to have positive outcomes through needs and interest-based learning programmes as well as developing their lifelong skills through a key competency focus. Furthermore, transition back to their regular schools is a more fluid process.

It is an interesting, rewarding role operating alongside talented Board of Trustee members. She enjoys being part of the governance of this wonderful kura and working in the best interests of the learners.

Board Meetings 2020

The Board meets monthly. These are public meetings the dates of which will be published in advance here. Unless otherwise stated meetings are at 5.00 pm.

Next Meeting:

February - 11th (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): FEBRUARY MINUTES
March - 17th (Queenstown - venue to be confirmed): MARCH MINUTES
April - 8th  Audit and Risk (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): APRIL MINUTES
May - 20th (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): MAY MINUTES
June - 17th Audit and Risk (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): JUNE MINUTES
July - 8th (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): JULY MINUTES
August - 8th ( Wellington, venue to be confirmed): AUGUST MINUTES
September - 16th (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): SEPTEMBER MINUTES
October - 28th  Audit and Risk (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): OCTOBER MINUTES
November - 19,20th (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): NOVEMBER MINUTES
December - 9th (Christchurch Campus, 2 Halswell Road): DECEMBER MINUTES

Policies for Community Consultation

Please email: if you have any comments.


Charter 2021

Annual Report 2019
Annual Report 2020

ERO Report

You can read our 2016 ERO Report here.