Toowoomba Directors' Briefing: Schools Governance





Ben Gouldson

Director, Clifford Gouldson Lawyers
Ben leads the firm’s Tax, Structures + Planning section. Over his more than 20 year legal career Ben has advised schools, corporates and NFP organisations on issues of corporate governance, risk & constitutional compliance. His experience includes advising the University sector, School Councils, and schools generally. Ben also volunteers in the sector, currently as President of the Toowoomba Anglican College & Prep School P&F & Vice-President of the Fairholme College P&F.

Bill Armagnacq FAICD

Council Member, The Glennie School
Bill is the Company Secretary/ Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Limited having commenced with the Bank in May 2003. From January 1998 to April 2003 he was Company Secretary of a number of Ergon Energy Corporation Limited Group companies. From July 1989 to December 1997, Bill was a partner of KPMG Chartered Accountants having commenced with a predecessor firm in 1979. He joined The Glennie School Council in 2011 and was Chair from 2013 to 2016. Bill has served on a number of committees at other school over a number of years. He is Director of Empire Theatres Pty Ltd and has been on a number of other Boards and Board committees. Bill served as a member and Chair of the AICD Toowoomba Regional Advisory Committee.

Dr Andre Van Zyl FAICD

Managing Director, Improving Schools Australia
Andre has experience in both business and education including board governance, company secretary duties, and senior education management. He is currently Managing Director of Improving Schools Australia Pty Ltd and has previously acted as Headmaster/CEO, Deputy Headmaster both locally and internationally. Andre was National Examiner for all Independent Schools in South Africa, and served on the Education Sub-Advisory Committee of the Board of Management of Independent Schools Queensland.
Understanding the governance role of school boards

The structure of school boards varies considerably. Some are representative boards with defined positions for past students, parents, church leaders and appointed directors. Others may have boards with all external appointees.

The time requirements of a school board can be considerable. A quarter of board members spend between two and five days per month on their duties. Performing well as a school board member requires an understanding of governance and the relationship between the schools education and enrolment strategy, risks and the long term funding of buildings and services. The Queensland Government is giving state schools greater autonomy in decision making. The Independent Public Schools initiative requires schools in this program to establish boards, designed to provide opportunity for enhanced local governance, locally-tailored workforce and public accountability, transparency and performance.

This briefing will look at:

  • Managing the school’s reputation
  • Financial viability/management
  • Strategic direction in an ever changing environment
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Managing risk
  • Impact of technology


  • Dr Andre Van Zyl FAICD, Executive Director, Pro-Ed Enterprises
  • Bill Armagnacq FAICD, Former Chair, The Glennie School
  • Ben Gouldson, Director, Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

Qld gold corporate partner

Commonwealth Bank


Strategic Solutions

Contact details

Tracey Lawrence
Members & Directors Coordinator
T. 07 3222 5500